Wednesday, 21 October 2009

France's ultimate vintage wine sale

Wine lovers around the world are being given a chance to buy some of the world's oldest and finest wines straight from the cellar of a famed French restaurant.


FRANCE - It's a collection to get even the most discerning wine buff salivating.

450,000 bottles of the world's finest - and 18,000 of them are up for sale.

DAVID RIDGWAY, CHIEF SOMMELIER, SAYING:

"All of the very old Cognacs - you've got 1788 Cognacs, 1893s, 1830s, they were all in the cellar at that time. The 1788s, saw the First World War the Second World War and the Franco-Prussian war. So they've been through some pretty hair-raising periods."

David Ridgway is Chief Sommelier at the Tour d'Argent in Paris.

The Michelin-starred restaurant will auction the bottles over two days in December.

DAVID RIDGWAY, CHIEF SOMMELIER, SAYING:

"It's a unique possibility to get hold of some wines and not necessarily that expensive. Some of them are going to be very good value, I'm sure."

The Tour D'Argent is located on Paris' Left Bank over-looking the Notre Dame.

Many well known faces have graced the establishment since it opened in 1582.

And it's current owner says the quality of its wine is second to none.

ANDRE TERRAIL, OWNER AND PRESIDENT OF TOUR D'ARGENT, SAYING:

"The wines here make only one trip - from the winemaker to our cellar. So they don't move. It's an incredible guarantee for the buyer that the wines will be of perfect quality."

During the second world war the cellar was bricked up to hide it from the Nazis.

The auctioneer tasked with selling the bottles says the collection is unique.

ALEXIS VELLIET, PIASA AUCTIONEER, SAYING:

"The oldest bottle in the auction is Clos du Griffier 1788. I don't think there's a bottle like it anywhere else. It could to sell for 2,500 euros."

The auction is expected to raise at least a million Euros - that's a million and a half dollars.

But how many buyers will actually drink their purchases isn't clear.

A 200-year-old bottle, possibly costing thousands, deserves a pretty special occasion.

Sonia Legg, Reuters.