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Rare bottle of 1774 French wine fetches $49k at auction

The wine has been described as "probably the oldest unfortified example of what is to be still an astounding wine".

Swiss rare bottle 120516Enlarge
The rare bottle of 'Vin Jaune' from 1774 has been stored for eight generations in a vaulted underground cellar by the Vercel family. (Christie's/Courtesy)

A bottle of rare French wine from 1774 has sold for 46,000 Swiss francs (US$49,200) at auction in Geneva, Switzerland.

AFP reports that the 'Vin Jaune' from Arbois in the eastern Jura region was bought by an anonymous buyer.

Christie's auction house said the wine had been stored for generations in a vaulted underground cellar by the Vercel family.

The bottle was described as the oldest offered by the London-based auction house, according to Bloomberg.

Ahead of the auction, the Decanter website said that the bottle could fetch up to 50,000 Swiss francs (US$53,000).  It says that it believed a bottle from the same batch was drunk by Louis Pasteur, the French chemist best known for inventing the process of pasteurization, to celebrate his admittance to the Académie Française.

The Among the Vines section of the Gevena Lunch online newspaper says that the Vin Jaune is "famous for the extraordinarily complex range of aromas it develops as it ages."   It is the traditional wine of the Jura region, which lies between Burgundy and Switzerland, and takes its name from the Jura Mountains.

Ditton Wine Traders quotes Michael Ganne, head of the Christie's Geneva wine sale, as saying that the bottle is "probably the oldest unfortified example of what is to be still an astounding wine and another true rarity for wine lovers and connoisseurs".

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/120515/rare-bottle-1774-french-wine-fetches-49k-at-auction