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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

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). Christie's is also recognised as a reference for prestigious single owner collections, having auctioned 8 of the 10 most important collections in history.

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including use of hologram technology to tour life-size 3D objects around the world, and the the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.