Heart’s Delight Hot Lot: Big Bottles!

Posted by | Posted in Wine Events | Posted on 04-27-2012

As we mentioned last week, we are posting some of our favorite auction lots that are available for bidding, live or by absentee bid, from the Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting & Auction taking place May 2-5 in Washington, DC. More information on attending and bidding can be found in the original post.

Jeroboam. Rehoboam. Nebuchadnezzar. Salmanazar. Balthazar.

Old Testament Kings? Well, yes. But also some of the commonly-used (but non-standard) names for large format wine bottles, although no one seems to know who gave them such regal titles.

Big bottles captivate the attention of wine lovers for a variety of reasons. They are rare, as most producers do not go through the additional trouble required to bottle wine in such huge vessels; therefore, the scarcity increases the value of a large format bottle well above the sum of the values of the equivalent number of bottles it holds. Also, wine ages better in a big bottle, because the ratio of air to liquid is lower. Finally, they just look so damn cool. No one can deny that it is impressive to wheel out a huge bottle at a special celebration, not to mention the presentation of the bottle, full or empty, in one’s cellar.

This year, Heart’s Delight is auctioning off a number of large format bottles, but two in particular stand out.

Courtesy of Heart's Delight.

The first is Lot #9 at Friday’s live auction. It is a melchior of 2009 La Croix de Beaucaillou, which is 18 liters, or the equivalent of two cases of wine!

This bottle was designed by Jade Jagger, renowned artist and daughter of some Brit, and only 50 of them exist in the entire world. One such bottle was auctioned off late last year in China and fetched over $13,000! Heart’s Delight estimates the value at a relatively more modest $2,500, so a wise man could end up with a bargain. To the left is a photo of the rare melchior being photographed at the Heart’s Delight offices last week.

Another large format bottle destined to garner some action next Friday night is a jeroboam of 2000 Château Mouton Rothschild. It comes to Heart’s Delight courtesy of Philippe Dhalluin, managing director of Mouton and honored guest at this year’s event.

The jeroboam is the equivalent of six bottles, and it is a simply gorgeous work of art in and of itself with an engraved gold enamel sheep (mouton is French for sheep). But, like all wine, it is what is inside the bottle that counts, and this Mouton, from the legendary 2000 vintage, will certainly not disappoint.

Another biggie!

Courtesy of Heart's Delight.

Heart’s Delight estimates the value of this bottle (pictured to the right along with its custom case) at $10,000, but they’ve gone for more than that at other auctions. Don’t be sheepish (groan) - get your absentee bid in today, or attend the festivities next week!

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