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World’s Oldest Bottle of Wine By Matt Long
On a visit to the Bahamas, which was orchestrated by Bahamas Tourism, I had the opportunity to stay in one of the most unique hotels in the world, the Graycliff in Nassau. The history in this old school hotel is palpable, but never more so than when you tour the hotel’s wine cellar.
A sommelier’s dream come true, the Graycliff collection is practically without rival, exemplified by the fact that they own the most expensive bottle of wine in the world.
The bottle in question, a 1727 Rudesheimer Apostelwein from Bremen Ratskeller in the Rheingau region of Germany is priced at $200,000 and is one of the most rare wines in the world. In case you were wondering, it is still drinkable because of the high sugar content.
The Graycliff is a feast for all the senses and their attention to fine wine and dining is what sets them apart from more “mainstream” properties.
The remarkable Bremer Ratskeller was founded almost six centuries ago and is still owned by the town of Bremen in Northern Germany. In the famous Schatzkammer (treasury cellar) are housed a fabulous collection of rare old German wines going back to the 17th century.
The Apostel Wein 1727 comes from 12 barrels of wines of vintages 1683, 1717 and 1727 which were reduced in number, one by one, due to the evaporation. So contrarily to the technique of solera, there was no addition of new vintages. When only one barrel remained, the wine was bottled in the 1960's.
Here are Michael Broadbent's notes on this wine: This wine comes from a large cask in the famous ’12 apostles’ cellar beneath the Town Hall or Ratskeller in Bremen. The first time this appeared in a Christie’s wine catalogue was in 1829 when it sold for 5 pounds per dozen, a high price at the time. An occasional half bottle has appeared at auction since that date, mainly over the past 30 years. The wine is drawn from the mother cask which is then topped up with a young Rudesheimer of appropriate quality. In this way the large volume of the old wine is kept refreshed. I first tasted the 1727 at Schloss Vollrads in 1973 at a tasting of wines of the world to celebrate Count Matushka’s 80th birthday. Another memorable occasion took place at a dinner in Sydney on the evening of my first visit to Australia in February 1977. By way of welcome, my host, the
Some previously sold bottles of German wines:
irrepressible Len Evans had invited the Prime Minister and a group of the best ‘palates’. Among other fine and rare wines was
On my second visit to Bremen in 1981, I was able to taste the wine from the cask. It had an amber straw colour, the smell of old
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
|4 122€ +25.0%||3 297€ +12.0%||2 944€ +28.6%||2 289€|