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Paris Wine Collection Raises Top Dollar at Auction

Posted by perle0 on 2006-10-24 22:03:46 (3813 views)

You heard it here first: we reported in July that the Socialist mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, was planning to auction off much of city hall's collection wine of fine and rare French wines. The collection, amassed between 1977 and 1995 during the mayoral term of later French President Jacques Chirac, was expected to earn around 650,000 eurosInstead, it raised 961,030 euros ($1.2 million) for the French capital's coffers, as bidding between English and Chinese wine merchants drove up the prices by over 75%.

Among the nearly 5,000 bottles sold--almost a third of City Hall's finest--were such prized wines as a 1986 Romanee-Conti Burgundy, which went for 5,000 euro ($6,280), and a 1989 Petrus, which sold for a mere 4,000 euro ($5,025). The sale also included bottles of Château Margaux, Château Cheval-Blanc, and Château d'Yquem.

Bernard Bled, then secretary-general of City Hall, built up the wine cellar from 1975 to 2001, for the purpose of impressing important dinner guests with France's finest offerings. Not surprisingly, Bled was rather unhappy to see his prized collection go for mere money rather than to further the honor of Paris and France.

"I'm proud to have built such a collection," said Bled, "but I'm a little sad that they didn't drink more."

Some details of the sale.

Reactions from the French.


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