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Rare bottle of Black Pearl Cognac surfaces at Bonhams after life at sea
The unusual Cognac, bottled in a special, limited edition, black crystal decanter is estimated at £5,000 – 7,000. Photo: Bonhams.
LONDON.- An exceptional selection of rare Cognac will be offered at Bonhams Fine & Rare wines sale on 13th September at New Bond Street, London. One of the highlights is a bottle of Rémy Martin Black Pearl Cognac. The unusual Cognac, bottled in a special, limited edition, black crystal decanter is estimated at £5,000 – 7,000.

After several years travelling the world on a luxury cruise-liner, the bottle will end its voyage at auction. It started life at sea in the on-board shopping mall and was eventually purchased by an experienced South African bar manager, who trained as a sommelier. He spotted the bottle while cruising across the Mediterranean and, realising its importance and rarity, he bought it and sent it from Greece to South Africa for safe-keeping.

The Cognac, a ‘Louis XIII de Remy Martin’, is made using a special blend of 1200 eaux de vie, between 40 and 100 years old and is aged in ancient oak barrels. It is produced from grapes grown in the Grande Champagne territory, at the innermost heart of the Cognac region. While all Louis XIII Cognac is bottled in Baccarat crystal decanters, only 800 bottles of Black Pearl are released each year and very few come onto the open market. The distinctive bottle is made from black crystal that has a silvery gleam and is accompanied by a stopper with a fleur-de-lys design.

Other exceptional Cognac in the sale includes two bottles over 200 years old. A bottle of Pierre Ferrand Cognac, Réserve Marie Domain, from 1806 is estimated at £1,800-2,200 and is presented in a wooden box with a humidifier and hygrometer, and a bottle of Napoléon Grande Fine Champagne Cognac is estimated at £1,000-1,500.

Presentation plays an important role in the appeal of fine Cognac. Another highlight of the selection coming to auction is an extraordinary decanter of Frapin François Rabelais 1er Grand Cru Cognac, estimated at £3,000-4,000. The decanter is cased in gilt, to appear like a giant pocket watch, and includes a functional time-piece at the centre.

Richard Harvey, International Director of Bonhams Wine department commented “The selection of Cognac we have in this sale is a feast for the senses. Black Pearl is a highly sought after de-luxe Cognac and it is incredibly rare to see something like this come up at auction. With the Cognac market increasingly buoyant, it is a pleasure to be offering rare bottles produced over two centuries ago and bottles with interesting provenance and presentation”.



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