This article was originally published on Christies International Real Estates blog Luxury Defined.

 

Not only does the rarefied status of vintage champagne and limited-edition spirits make them truly special, these gifts also provide pleasure for decades after they’re received. As end-of-year celebrations beckon, we’ve selected a collection of one-of-a-kind pieces for the beverage savant, whether their specialty is rare whiskey from Japan, classic wines from France, or single malt Scotch.

 

Charles Krug Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Set

Charles Krug Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Set
Charles Krug’s three-bottle Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon set containing 1979, 1989, and 2009 vintages. Image (and banner): Getty Images
 
Charles Krug Winery in Napa Valley, California, was the area’s first bonded winery, and its history cultivating the region’s standout terroir is evident in its opulent, aromatic Cabernet Sauvignons. This season the winery is releasing its second annual vintage collection, a three-bottle set of Cabernets from 1979, 1989, and 2009.

 

Charles Krug houses one of the largest and oldest Cabernet Sauvignon libraries in the United States, and the vintage set was aged at the winery cellar, guaranteeing a perfect provenance. Originally released in 1944, the Vintage Selection has remained the estate’s top bottling for more than 70 years. Spanning a 40-vintage range, the set is ideal for Cabernet lovers and offers a unique chance to give a wine that’s both ready to enjoy now, and bottles that could cellar for another three decades.

 
19th-Century Madeira
Cache of Madeira wine
This cache of wine and liquor uncovered in New Jersey included 20 bottles of Lenox Madeira dating from the 18th century, which achieved great results at Christie’s New York’s Finest Wines and Spirits Sale in December 2018. Image: Christie’s Images
 
Christie’s Head of Wine Chris Munro notes that Madeira, especially old vintages, is ideal for gifts because “it is virtually indestructible” thanks to its unique production process. Slowly warmed in special cellars on the Portuguese island of Madeira, these wines have incredible caramelized flavors and range in sweetness levels, making them a perfect match for festive meals or simply served alongside cigars and good company.

“It’s wonderful because you can take a sip whenever you want, unlike wines or other beverages that you have to finish in a single sitting,” says Munro. “Once opened, it never goes bad.”

 
In late 2018, Christie’s led a sale of a cache of Colonial-era Madeira, and this season will be releasing another exquisite set of century-old Madeira, including unique bottles of Torre Bella Private Stock dating to 1801.

Karuizawa Special Release Japanese Whiskeys

Mount Asama in Japan
Karuizawa’s headquarters is situated near the base of Japan’s most active volcano, Mount Asama. Image: Getty Images
 

Japanese whiskey, modeled after the fine and infinitely ageable Scotch whiskys, makes a fantastic, sophisticated gift for spirits enthusiasts, and Karuizawa is perhaps the country’s most sought-after distillery. A “silent distillery,” Karuizawa stopped distilling new batches in 2000, but is slowly releasing its limited, aged lots from its headquarters at the base of Japan’s most active volcano, Mount Asama. Munro points out, “The limited-edition whiskeys available today are only going to get rarer. And they never go bad.”

 
Christie’s will be offering several exclusive Karuizawa lots this season, including the “Aqua of Life,” a 50-year-old bottling that is considered one of the distillery’s top releases.

Charles Heidsieck Collection Crayères Brut Millésime 1989 in Jeroboam and Jérobo-Gem Tasting Table

Jeroboam of the Charles Heidsieck Collection Crayères Brut Millésime 1989
Charles Heidsieck recently released its last cache of jeroboams of the Charles Heidsieck Collection Crayères Brut Millésime 1989. Image: John Short; styling by Laura Sawyer
 

This season, Charles Heidsieck has released its last cache of Crayères Brut Millésime 1989 in jeroboam. Recently disgorged after a glorious 30 years in the Charles Heidsieck cellars in Reims, the Crayères represents the house’s top vintage bottling and is an incredible champenoise jewel destined to impress on any occasion.

 
Jérobo-Gem tasting table
The Jérobo-Gem tasting table, designed specially for a jeroboam of Charles Heidsieck Brut Millésime 1989.
 
To accompany the three-liter centerpieces, Charles Heidsieck crafted a limited-edition, stunning tasting table called the Jérobo-Gem. This leather-and-wood table is a handcrafted and movable art piece designed to allow collectors to savor and pour these large-format bottlings with ease and elegance. In collaboration with designer Éric Berthes in Paris and Italian artisans in Tuscany, Charles Heidsieck completes the table with six Riedel crystal glasses and a balancing device for showing this dazzling, beautifully-aged champagne.

Rare Library Georges Roumier Bonnes-Mares

Bottles of Domaine Georges Roumier Bonnes-Mares
Lot 140 of the Christie’s Fine & Rare Wines Sale in London in late November 2019, which contains nine bottles of Bonnes-Mares from Domaine Georges Roumier.
 
Domaine Georges Roumier is one of Burgundy’s foremost estates, and quite simply a classic that never goes out of style. With nearly a century of dominance in Burgundy, Roumier’s releases are known for their muscular structure and longevity, despite a limited use of new oak. Simultaneously elegant and powerful, Roumier’s releases are glorious, and this season, Christie’s is offering a selection of its vintages from the legendary Bonnes-Mares vineyard. Coming with exquisite provenance, this rare selection of bottles from 1999 to 2008 is a must-have for serious Burgundy collectors.

The Macallan 72 Years Old in Lalique

Copper still at The Macallan distillery
Copper stills at the Macallan distillery in Speyside, Scotland, where its whisky is developed during the first stage of production.
 
 
The Macallan represents the pinnacle of Scotch whisky for many collectors, and this exclusive, beautifully designed limited release is a remarkable spirit, designed to impress even before the Lalique crystal decanter is opened. This release is comprised of barrels that matured in the post-Second World War period, and with more than seven decades in pristine conditions has developed incredible aromas and delicate, multilayered flavors of peat, fresh citrus, smoke, and oak.
 

The oldest single malt bottled in Macallan history, the Macallan 72 Years Old in Lalique is an exquisite collector’s item and a true fusion of fine art and perfectly aged Scotch.

 

Only 600 bottles were produced, and as Munro is quick to point out, “One- or two-cask releases with numbered bottles are ideal for the collector.” In the 72 Years Old in Lalique bottling, the master craftsmen at The Macallan have beautifully combined their expertise in distilling in a stunning release that delivers visual and gustatory pleasure—and will for decades to come.

 

Older Blog Posts