Two thousand bottles of this ancient vintage – initially bound for Tsar Nicolas II in St Petersburg in 1916 – were salvaged from a sunken ship in the Baltic Sea in 1997. Found to be exceptionally preserved, they are considered to be a holy grail of sorts for those seeking extreme champagne experiences.
Established in 1785, Heidsieck & Co Monopole, the fifth oldest Champagne house in France and the makers of today’s popular “Blue Top” Champagne.
Re-discovered in 1998 by a deep sea search, The Heidsieck & Co Champagne on the Jonkoping was found to be perfectly preserved, the constant temperature and under water pressure almost perfect cellaring conditions. Bottles were immediately snapped up at auctions, with one particular bottle breaking auction house Christies’ record for the highest price paid for a single bottle of Champagne.
In Australia, at Number 8 Restaurant and Wine Bar at the Crown Entertainment Complex, this famous fizz is priced at $13,200 a bottle, making it the most expensive Champagne to be found on any wine list in Australia.
Managing Director for Heidsieck & Co Monopole in Australia Cameron Harris said that the exceptional circumstances of the Jonkoping voyage mean Heidsieck & Co is the only Champagne house that can offer an opportunity such as this.
“This famous fizz was the champagne of choice of many of the royal courts across Europe and was also the Champagne being enjoyed as the Titanic met its watery end in 1912 so we are pleased that dinner is not only at one of Melbourne’s fine restaurants, but also that it is on solid ground,” he said.
See Cameron Harris with Crown’s Director of Food and Beverage Kym Barter and Number 8′s Chef de Cuisine Joe Hlusko talk about this story here.