Whenever we think of Champagne, the immediate connotation is that of sophisticated parties and extravagant celebrations, but for some people, a bottle of Champagne is more of an investment, for which they are willing to part with quite staggering sums of money, whether or not they ever actually plan to drink the contents!
There are a number of examples of astonishingly expensive Champagnes the world over and the list continues to grow, as new and rare examples are happened upon almost on a daily basis.
One on the most expensive bottles of Cristal to sell over the last decade was the 1900 Brut, dubbed the Methuselah, which sold for an impressive $17,625 to an undisclosed bidder at auction.
A limited edition set of 100 12-bottle packages of Pernod-Ricard Perrier-Joet were also released with a quite heart-stopping value, selling for approximately $50,000 each and taking the title of one of the most expensive in the world by far.
However, of all the Champagnes produced in recent, or at least relatively recent years, to attribute an eye-popping price tag, the undisputed heavyweight has to be the collection of 2000 bottles of shipwrecked 1907 Heidsieck. Not only is such Champagne valued for its quality, but also the intriguing and rather amazing story each bottle carries.
These highly prized bottles of Champagne were discovered in 1998, while exploring in the shipwreck of the Swedish freighter Jönköping which had met its demise in the Gulf of Finland.
This ship had been chartered to deliver alcoholic beverages via Sweden to the Imperial Court of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia; though never made it to its destination after being torpedoed during the Second World War by a German U-Boat. However, much of the cargo was preserved, including the majority of the beverage bottles carried by the ship, including the Hiedsieck cuvee named Diamant bleu vintage 1907.
These truly unique bottles of champagne took over 80 years to reach their destination, resulting in many having since been sold to an elite group of wealthy Russian entrepreneurs. Their incredible story of survival through history has proved both inspiration and unique, resulting in an irresistible Champagne investment with no comparable counterpart the world over.
The 1907 Heidsieck sold for over $275,000 a bottle, making it by far the most expensive champagne the world has ever seen.
Read more about Champagne in the book “Christie’s Encyclopedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine“