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  • Press release
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  • London
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  • For immediate release
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  • 12 October 2017

RELEASE: Rare Vintages from Cellars of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ of Champagne Grande Marques, Charles Heidsieck, Released for December Sales in London & New York

HISTORIC SALE WILL INCLUDE THE FIRST VINTAGE OF ‘CHAMPAGNE CHARLIE’

London and New York – An historic sale of rare vintage champagnes from Charles Heidsieck, to be sold directly from their chalk cellars in Reims where they have been stored since being bottled – in some cases for more than 50 years – will be offered at auction by Christie’s on 7th December in London and on the 8th & 9th December in New York. This will be the first time that Charles Heidsieck has released an extensive collection of rare vintages directly from their œnothèque for sale at auction.

Anthony Hanson MW, commented: “It is incredibly unusual to have such a range of prestigious vintage champagnes at auction and in addition, these pristine vintages have lain untouched in the house’s 2000-year-old underground chalk-pit cellars, since their original bottlings.”

Fine Champagne enthusiasts will have access to the much celebrated ‘Champagne Charlie’, including its first vintage in 1979, as well as the ‘81, ‘82 in magnum,’83 and ‘85. Estimates will range from £400 to £4,000. The house’s highly awarded Blanc de Blancs, ‘Blanc des Millénaires’, will be available from the ’83, ‘85 and ’90 vintages (Blanc des Millénaires 1990, estimate £1,500–2,000 per 12 bottles), while the historic Cuvée Royale will be available from the ‘75 and ‘66 vintages (estimate for the 1966 is £600–1,000 for 2 bottles & 2 bottle of 1975 is estimated at £400–800).

Vintage Rosé admirers will find a series of Rosé Millésimé from the 1980’s & 1990’s (’83, ’85 and ’96) with estimates from £600 to 1800 per lot, and for fans of large formats there will be 12 jeroboams of Millésimé 1989 (estimated at £600-800 per jeroboam), of which Anthony Hanson, MW commented; “It is an absolutely astonishing wine, to my mind one of the best large format champagnes in existence, with perfect provenance.”

The entirety of this ‘Collection Crayères’ has been tasted and approved by the wine team at Christie’s. Hanson noted; “Charles Heidsieck had been a Sleeping Beauty amongst Grandes Marques Champagnes… The offering has depth and breadth. Aficionados of old vintage Champagne have the opportunity to acquire legendary bottlings.”

Stephen Leroux, Director of the House of Charles Heidsieck, explains “Opening our Œnotheque to the public is a passionate and powerful act. We want to enable wine lovers to obtain these bottles and have unforgettable experiences; it echoes the House philosophy.  What’s more, distributing such rare bottles in a responsible manner whilst ensuring a minimum are available for future generations, is an exercise in balance.”

About Christie’s

Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction, private and digital sales in first half of 2017 that totalled £2.35 billion / $3 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.

Alongside regular sales online, Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.