Yesterday me and my husband went to Åland (the island between Sweden and Finland), after we found out that it was going to be an auction on the wreck finds from last year, with associated lectures by Richard Julin, lectures by a historian from Veuve Clicquot, and reports from the diving expedition, held by the dive leader Anders. We just had to go! Said and done, we packed the bag and took the boat over from Kapellskär on Thursday afternoon. What a weather! The trip was all sunshine, and when we arrived at the hotel we enjoyed a Heidsick vintage 2000, which we found in the boat’s tax-free. After relaxing with the champagne we were off to Hotel Arkepellag for dinner. A very nice dinner indeed and the best perch I have eaten in a long time. One could say that it was a totally ok evening. 🙂
The following day began at 10.30 when we arrived at Alandica culture and conference, with the talk by Richard Julin, where my husband were lucky enough to pinch one of 20 places for the Veuve Clicquot-tasting with RJ that followed the lecture. So when he was away sipping champagne, I listened to dive leader Anders Näslund, who told in great detail about how they found the wreck and how they finally got, approximately 160 bottles of champagne, up to the surface. A very complicated process indeed it turned out to be. My husband came back just in time for the end of the lecture, and since he used to be a diver himself, and has dived with both Anders and the other divers in the expedition earlier, he was of course very excited. And he got a full-fledged description of all technical details from the guys during the day. 🙂 We continued with the historian of the great champagne firm, completely amazing how knowledgeable she was, and what research she had done! Well done!
At 15:00 the auction started with a U.S. auction firm named Acker Merrall & Condit, and the auctioneer was incredibly American in every way. The Åland Government were present and announced that all the surplus would go to charitable causes in the area, mainly the preservation of marine relics and increased resources for marine archeology in the area, which was really good to hear. Also Veuve Clicquot announced that the surplus that was going to come from their bottles sold at the auction would leo go to these charities. Incredibly generous, but you can on the other hand buy such publicity, so smart move Veuve Clicquot!
This is the compete list on what was auctioned and what the lots went for (VCP, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin):
Lot 1: VCP – Vintage 1955, 1 magnum. SOLD for: 3200 €
Lot 2: VCP – Vintage 1969, 1 magnum. SOLD for: 2200 €
Lot 3: VCP – Vintage 1969, 3 bottles. SOLD for: 2400 €
Lot 4: VCP – Vintage 1980, 2 bottles and 1 magnum. SOLD for: 1300 €
Lot 5: VCP – Vintage 1990th 1 st Jeroboam. SOLD for: 1600 €
Lot 6: VCP – Vintage 1990, 3 magnums. SOLD for: 2000 €
Lot 7: VCP – Vintage 1990, 6 bottles. SOLD for: 2200 €
Lot 8: VCP – Vintage 1975 rosé, 1 magnum. SOLD for: 1400 €
Lot 9: VCP – Vintage 1989 rosé, 3 Magnums. SOLD for: 2000 €
Lot 10: VCP – Vintage 1989 rosé, 6 bottles. SOLD for: 1300 €
Lot 11: VCP – Vintage 1989, La Grande Dame, 6 bottles. SOLD for: 1600 €
Lot 12: VCP – Vintage 1990, La Grande Dame, 1 Jeroboam. SOLD for: 1300 €
Lot 13: VCP – Vintage 1995, La Grande Dame, 3 magnums and vintage 1998, La Grande Dame, 6 bottles. SOLD for € 2000
Lot 14: VCP – Vintage 1955 rosé, 1 bottle. SOLD for € 1500
Lot 15: VCP – Vintage 1969 rosé, 1 magnum. SOLD for € 1700
The champagnes from the wreck:
Lot 16: Juglar vintage early 1800s (the latest available vintage is 1828, when the house Juglar was closed in 1829), a bottle. SOLD for € 24 000
Lot 17: VCP vintage early 1800’s, a bottle. SOLD for 30 000 €
This made the wreck champagne from VCP, the most expensive champagne ever sold! It beat the previous record held by a Dom Perignon Vintage 1952 Rosé, that was sold in the spring of 2008 in the U.S. for about $ 42 000.
The buyer of the bottles was a private collector from Singapore and bidded over the internet. In total this person bought champagne for over half a million dollars yesterday afternoon.
Me and the husband found a bottle of Dom Perignon for 898 SEK on the boat on the way home and some yummy bottles of red wine and was terribly pleased with it.