MARKETING/DESIGN/CONSUMER TRENDS/INSPIRATIONS Cognac & Brandy News for Consumers & Industry Experts


Christie’s London will be auctioning next month (December 13th and 14th 2012) a collection of antique and vintage cognacs from the famous Parisian restaurant “La Tour d’Argent” founded in 1582. La Tour d’Argent the restaurant was the inspiration for Pixar’s animated 2007 movie Ratatouille.

This is the second time in recent years that the Tour D’Argent auctions some of its rarer and older fine wines and spirits. In 2009, the restaurant sold 18,000 bottles for more than 2.5m usd in order to finance the purchase of newer vintages.

What’s the deal!?

Are they worried of running out? No, with a cellars including more than 400,000 items to choose, that is 14,000 different types of products no point in being worried.

Are they hurting and looking for cash?  No, it is just common sense: people are not ordering these “collectors’ items” and this auction will allow the restaurant to renew its stock with more contemporary products. Some stocks will again be auctioned in 200 years, and here it goes from one generation to the other etc…

Some of the products that will be auctioned date back from the stock transfer which was made by the owner’s daughter of Café Anglais, Augusta Burdel, after she married the owner of La Tour d’Argent, André Terrail, i.e., the grandfather of the current owner. The Café Anglais was demolished in 1913.

One hundred and eighty lots of ancient Cognacs but also Armagnacs, rum, calvados, Port and marc, all from the cellars of the Parisian restaurant La Tour d’Argent, with an expected value of 300,000 usd total sales.

The oldest bottle of all is the prized, pre-Revolutionary, Vieux Cognac Grande Champagne ‘Clos du Griffier’ Café Anglais 1788, with an estimate of 5,000 usd  (no way!!!).

‘Clos de Griffier’ 1788 [Christie's Image Ltd 2012]

‘Clos du Griffier’ 1788 [Christie’s Image Ltd 2012]

Other remarkable cognac include two jeroboams (2.5L) Fine Champagne Cognac ‘La Tour d’Argent’ 1805. This extremely rare format was bottled on site more than 200 years ago. Both items will be sold in their original hand-blown glass bottles with an estimate of 20,000 usd.

1805 Jeroboam Fine Champagne (c) Luxuo Luxury Blog

1805 Jeroboam Fine Champagne (c) Luxuo Luxury Blog

Last 1738 Clos du Griffier which was auctioned by Christie’s was bought as a charity lot by the Playboy Club in London for 78,000 usd one year ago, and it was accidentally broken by a client last June while they were making him by a 8800 USD cocktail.

In 2009, there was another auction for the exact same cognac but from 1788 which sold for 37,000 usd, from a stock of La Tour d’Argent restaurant again. I wonder how many they have of these!!

Two days ago, Tuesday 13th November 2012, Christie’s in Geneva auctioned another bottle of Cognac from 1789, Saulnier Freres (Saint-Amant de Graves) also a Fine Champagne which sold for 31,650 usd.

Saulnier Freres Cognac Fine Champagne (c) Christie's 2012

Saulnier Freres Cognac Fine Champagne (c) Christie’s 2012

The question is how much this next bottle of pre-revolutionary cognac will go for in London this December? My guess = 42,000 usd, let’s see …

Source: Decanter and Luxuo and SUD OUEST

Source: Christie’s Image Ltd 2012


  1. Me
    November 21, 2012

    Sacrilege I know, but if I could afford those two bottles I’d have to open one to try 🙂

    • cognacs
      November 21, 2012

      Collectors are different. There are many kinds but the 2 major types are collectors for the perfect object: do not use/do not drink. Eg, perfect 1960 Austin-Healey and does not drive it to keep original mileage low. Second type collects for personal experiential gain: use/drink. Eg, WWII rifle they may bring to the shooting range and try.

    • cognacs
      November 12, 2016

      Ideally, one would want to have 2 of each. One to try and one to pass on.

  2. Me
    November 26, 2012

    Indeed, I don’t understand the mentality of owning something just to own it rather than drink it (in this example).

    • cognacs
      December 8, 2012

      It is called materialism!

    • cognacs
      November 12, 2016

      Possession and materialism is a human personality trait. Everyone is subject to material behavior: from very little to extreme materialism.

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This entry was posted on November 15, 2012 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , .
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