The largest ever selection of vintages from a single champagne house is to be sold at auction next month.
A total of 544 rare vintages from Charles Heidsieck, some dating back more than 50 years, will go under the hammer at Christie’s in London and New York from 7-9 December.
The auction marks the release of Heidsieck’s ‘Collection Crayères’, five rare champagnes from the Charles Heidsieck cellars including the house’s Brut ’83, Rosé ’85, Champagne Charlie ’82 and ’85, and Royale ’81.
The selection to be auctioned includes a full vertical of Heidsieck’s ‘Champagne Charlie’ cuvée, including its very first vintage (1979), plus the house’s ‘Blanc des Millénaires’, blanc de blancs from the ’81, ’83 and ’90 vintages. Estimates for sales of individual Champagne Charlie cuvées are reported to range from £400-£4,000 depending on vintage and format.
A series of rosés from some of the best vintages will also be auctioned, while large formats will include 12 jeroboams of Millésime 1989, which Christie’s describes as ‘one of the best large format champagnes in existence, with perfect provenance’.
The auction comes as wine collectors increasingly focus on provenance, with ex-cellar sales attracting the highest bids owing to their guarantee of origin. The entire Charles Heidsieck collection comes directly from the house’s 2,000-year-old chalk cellars in Reims.
‘This is one of the finest champagne collections we’ve had the pleasure to taste, including some absolutely astonishing vintages,’ said Anthony Hanson MW, consultant to Christie’s. ‘The provenance is immaculate and we are expecting huge interest in this rare and magnificent collection.’
Stephen Leroux, director of the House of Charles Heidsieck, added: ‘This collection has been a sleeping beauty in our chalk cellars and we are delighted to enable wine lovers to obtain these rare bottles and go on to have unforgettable tasting experiences.’
Full catalogues are available from Christie’s and auctions are open to the public on Thursday 7 December in London, and Friday 8 December and Saturday 9 December in New York.