A Royal Champagne Affair

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions Present The Fine Wine, Port & Champagne Auction

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Two magnums of vintage Krug champagne made from grapes picked during Queen Elizabeth II's first years as monarch, and produced to commemorate her Silver Jubilee will be making their first appearance since being won as a raffle prize in 1977. They will be offered alongside wines from the top estates of Burgundy and Bordeaux at the Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions Fine Wine, Port & Champagne Sale on Wednesday 27th November 2013.

The consecutively numbered magnums of Krug 1952 & 1953 (complete with their case and original packaging) are possibly the only matched pair still in existence and are estimated at £6,000-8,000. They were a raffle prize at a gala dinner for the premiere of the movie Bugsy Malone and were presented to the current owners by the late Christopher Reeve. They come complete with a letter from Paul Krug which states: "Only 120 of each of these magnums remain. They have been individually numbered and made available in pairs in special cases. I hope these wines will give particular pleasure to those who drink them as a toast to Queen Elizabeth II in her Jubilee Year" [Lot 86].

Also in a wooden presentation box and from the House of Krug is a 1981 bottle of Clos du Mesnil, estimated at £650-750. Clos du Mesnil was the first single vineyard wine that Krug produced, initially for their Grande Cuvee and is now one of the most iconic wines in the world. The house describes the wine as having "an expansive generous personality" and only releases it in extraordinary vintages. [Lot 97]

Produced in tiny quantities, a Bollinger Vielles Vignes Francaises, originating from ungrafted vines that survived the phylloxera epidemic that reached Champagne in the early 20th century, is estimated at £600-800. [Lot 83]

Originating in America the microscopic phylloxera bug quickly spread to Europe devastating the wine industry by destroying vine roots. To overcome the disease, European wine growers grafted their vines onto the roots of American vines, which are immune to attack. Wines from ungrafted vines, such as this Bollinger example, are extremely rare.

The red Burgundy section of this sale features a bottle of 1973 Romanee-Conti, from the cellar of the widow of an employee of JLP Lebegue, the Domaine's former UK importer. Stored, undisturbed, for decades in her Sussex cellar, the bottle remains in fabulous condition and is estimated at £3,000-4,000 [Lot 165].

For Bordeaux aficionados, the largest section of the auction offers mature first growths and older bottles from legendary estates. Amongst 21 lots from the cellar of a Danish collector are two bottles of 1945 Chateau Margaux [£1,500-1,800 lot 250] and two bottles of 1948 Chateau Cheval Blanc [£200-1,500 lot 249].

Every year since 1946, Chateau Mouton Rothschild has invited a famous artist of the era to illustrate their labels, the most recent being Jeff Koons on their 2010 vintage. A 1973 vintage with a Picasso label is estimated at £1,200-1,500 [Lot 191], while a case of eight 1986 vintage bottles, with labels illustrated by Haiti born artist Bernard Sejourne, are estimated at £3,000-5,000 [Lot 276]


The auction will be held at Dreweatts Donnington Priory Saleroom on Wednesday 27th November with viewing from Monday 25th November. Online bidding with no additional fee will be available via www.bidforwine.co.uk and www.the-saleroom.com



Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions are a UK 'top 5' auctioneer of fine art and collectibles. As part of Noble Investments (UK) PLC we are the only UK stock-exchange listed firm of auctioneers and occupy the same stable as coin specialists Baldwin's, and Apex Philatelics. Established in 1759, we have the broadest and most regular calendar of specialist catalogued sales in the industry, numbering over 150 per annum, and provide vendors and buyers alike access to market-leading specialist advice in any number of collecting fields. We operate from salerooms in Donnington Priory (near Newbury), London's Mayfair, Bristol and Godalming.

Dreweatts - 11th November 2013