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France - Tour d'argent wine auction

Paris restaurant in million-euro wine sale

Article published on the 2009-10-17 Latest update 2009-10-17 14:40 TU

Château Lafite Rothschild, one of the wines on sale(Photo: Michael Case/Public access)

Château Lafite Rothschild, one of the wines on sale
(Photo: Michael Case/Public access)

Paris's Michelin-starred restaurant, the Tour d'argent, is to sell 18,000 bottles of wine and spirits in an auction which is expected to raise about a million euros.

The bottles have never appeared on the market before. They were bought direct from producers and put straight onto the exclusive restaurant's extensive wine list.

The Tour has been in the wine-buying game for quite a while - it was founded in 1582.

The bottles are valued between about 100 euros to several thousand per bottle.

They include prestigious Clarets from Bordeaux, including a 1928 Château Cheval Blanc and Château Margaux and a Château Lafite Rothschild from 1970.

And there are Burgundies, including Puligny Montrachet Referts Sauzet from 1992 and a Vosne Romanée Jayer from 1998.

But some of the vintages go back not years but centuries.

Four bottles of 1875 Armagnac vieux had been forgotten and were found covered in a black fungus that looked like matted cat fur. They are expected to sell at between 400 and 500 euros each.

And the oldest bottle dates from before the French revolution. Another brandy, a fine Champagne Clos du Griffier, is 321-years-old, dating from 1788. The money raised from its sale will be donated to charity.

The Tour will still have plenty left to offer customers -  it currently has 450,000 bottles in its cellar.

The auction, organised by the Piasa auction house, will be held in Paris on 7-8 December.

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