Rare yellow wine sold for record amount

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A rare bottle of Arbois Vin Jeune has recently been sold in Eastern France for a record-breaking sum.

The wine was purchased for a total of €103,700 (£90,800), along with two other bottles from the same batch. It was estimated to fetch around €20,000 (£17,500) by auction house Jura Encheres, in Lons-le-Saunier.

The three bottles were bought by two Canadian buyers and a buyer for the American market, with the second and third bottles also exceeded expectations reaching €76,250 (£66,770) and €73,200 (£64,100) respectively.

Speaking to AFP news, auctioneer Brigitte Fenaux said:

“I didn’t think that these bottles would sell for so much. The last record set in 2011 was €57,000 (£49,900). There were winemakers in the room who applauded, who were happy, it was moving.”

The wine was made from grapes that were picked when King Louis XVI was on the throne in 1774, by winemaker Anatoile Vercel. The 87cl bottles have been kept ever since by the Arbois family, his descendants, and the same batch of wine was sampled by a panel of 24 experts in 1994, when the wine was rated 9.4 out of 10. The notes at the time described hints of ‘walnuts, spices, curry and cinnamon’.

The distinctive yellow colour of the wine, which is still produced in the Jura region of France, is achieved by harvesting the grapes later in the season and then maturing them under a thin layer of yeast for six years before bottling.

Special tasting ceremonies are held each year to sample the wine, and connoisseurs come from all over the world. Serving the wine in engraved crystal wine glasses will enhance the unusual golden colour.

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