World-famous auction house Christie's have another world record to add to their growing total after selling a three-hundred-year-old bottle of wine for close to $40,000. Listed as the “oldest Madeira” in the world, the final hammer price far surpassed the estimate of $12,000 to $18,000.
This JCA & C Terrantez bottle was produced in 1715, a year in which a 5-year old Louis XV took to the throne. Netherlands-based collector Bay van der Bunt had the highest bid when the hammer fell and this sought-after bottle will now join his priceless collection, which is on display at oldliquors.com.
Edwin Vos, from the Christie’s auction house, sampled the wine in 2013 and suggested that despite its high price and its age, there was still a place for this wine “on the buyer’s Christmas dinner table”. Vos called the wine “remarkably youthful” and “surprisingly sweet”.
In 2015 Christie’s sold a bottle of the same wine for around $20,000, some $6,000 down on the price they received for a duplicate bottle the year before. Although considerably less than the $40,000 received for this bottle, both of those prices were higher than the estimates, suggesting that the demand is greater than many experts thought.
Dutch East-India Company
The roots of Madeira wine can be traced back to the era of the Dutch East-India Company. The island from which the wine takes its name was a common stop for many trading ships. The locals would supply these ships with wine, earning a trade from merchants and sailors. The intense heat and the constant movement of the vessels had a beneficial effect on the wine.