sale of Fine & Rare Wines on Thursday 13th September included an exceptional selection of rare Cognac, some of which realised prices over three times the pre-sale estimates. After fierce bidding one of the highlights, a bottle of Rémy Martin Louis XIII Black Pearl Cognac, sold for £10,350 against a pre-sale estimate of £5,000 7,000. The unusual Cognac is bottled in a special, limited edition, black crystal decanter.
After many years aboard a luxury cruise liner, the bottle of Black Pearl ended up at auction only to be sent overseas again to the successful bidder who paid £10,350. 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. While all Louis XIII Cognac is bottled in Baccarat crystal decanters, only 800 bottles of Black Pearl have been released and very few come onto the open market.
Other rare bottles of Cognac in the sale included two bottles over 200 years old, which both sold well above their pre-sale estimates. A bottle of Pierre Ferrand Cognac, Réserve Marie Domain, from 1806 sold for £3,910 against a pre-sale estimate of £1,800-2,200 and a bottle of 1811 Napoléon Grande Fine Champagne Cognac sold for £2,530 against a pre-sale estimate of £1,000-1,500. Another special bottle, a J & F Martell 260th Anniversary Cognac, sold for £1,840, over three times the pre-sale estimate of £500 600.
Presentation plays an important role in the appeal of fine Cognac. Another highlight of the selection was an extraordinary decanter of Frapin François Rabelais 1er Grand Cru Cognac, which sold for £3,910. 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 We have had excellent results for the Cognac in this sale and are pleased to see so many rare bottles exceeding their pre-sale estimates. The success of the sale only goes to show that the Cognac market embraces buyers in many different countries. It has been great to see rare bottles, including some over 200 years old, make such high prices.