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Centuries-old bottle of wine sells for €103,700

A bottle of wine from the year 1774 has been auctioned for over €100,000 in the Jura, along with two other bottles that fetched almost as much.

One bottle of Vin Jaune du Jura from 1774 sold for €103,700, while two others from the same era went for €76,250 and €73,200 at the auction on Saturday (May 26) in Lons-le-Saunier (Jura, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté).

According to the auctioneer Brigitte Fénaux, the wines were bought by some Canadians and Americans, who have connections with France. She added that the auction had been very busy, with over 50 people bidding.

This weekend’s price beats the auction record for this vintage of wine, after two bottles of it were sold in Arbois for €57,000 in 2011, and for 46,000 francs (€38,300) in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2012.

All three of the record-breaking bottles date from 1774, and may be the oldest bottles of wine in circulation. The 87cl-capacity containers are in the “bourgogne” style - with a large body and slender bottleneck.

The wine itself was made by winegrower Anatoile Vercel (1725-1786), whose descendants kept the containers safe for over 200 years, in an underground cellar in Arbois, the “wine capital” of the Jura.

In 1994, the same Vin Jaune wine vintage was tasted at the Château Pécauld in Ambois, by 24 wine professionals.

They gave it a 9.4 out of 10 in terms of taste, and said it had flavours of “nuts, spices, curry, cinnamon, vanilla, and dry fruit”.

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