A 170 year old champagne from Finland was on Thursday 22 September unveiled in Singapore. The Veuve Clicquot champagne sold at an auction in Aland for 30,000 euros earlier this year.
The Singaporean resident, Ravi Viswanathan bought the bottle in fierce competition with other bidders in June in Mariehamn in Aland. He wanted the bottle so he could give it as a ten-year wedding anniversary to his wife Julia Sherstyuk-Viswanathan.
On Thursday, Julia Sherstyuk-Viswanathan added the expensive gift to her existing large collection of wine at her Russian restaurant, Buyan Russian Haute Cuisine & Caviar Bar in Singapore.
The champagne bottle was part of a treasure of 145 wine bottles found by divers last year in a 19th century shipwreck off the Åland Islands, a Finnish-controlled archipelago of 6,500 islands in the Baltic Sea with a mostly Swedish speaking population. It is believed that the ship was bound for St. Petersburg, Russia and the precious cargo was meant for the Russian Tsar, Nicholas I.
All 145 bottles in the shipwreck were opened, tasted and re-corked. One of the few tasters of the champagne said that it had a strong floral and citrus aroma with an after-taste of fudge and caramel sweetness.
Since it is drinkable, the couple plans on opening the bottle at a very special occasion, which is undecided yet.
The authorities in Aaland, said the proceeds of the sale would go to a good cause, such as environmental measures to improve the quality of the water in the seas around Aaland, whose main industries are shipping, trade, banking, farming and food. About 65 of the islands are inhabited, with 11,000 people living in Mariehamn, the archipelago’s only town, founded in 1861.
The Singaporean restaurant already boasts a collection of 20 bottles of the world’s most rare vintage wines. Among Buyan’s old bottles are seven bottles of 1907 Charles Heidsieck & Monopole Champagnes found in another shipwreck in the Baltic Sea. These were part of a Swedish cargo sunk by a German U-boat during World War I in 1916. These bottles were also on their way to the court of the last Tsar Nicholas II, great grandson of Nicholas I.