History was made when Buyan Russian Haute Cuisine & Caviar Bar located in the Republic of Singapore, won the world’s most expensive Champagne in a fierce bidding war. Buyan, which offers both inexpensive traditional Russian fare as well as Russian haute cuisine meant for the Tsars, has paid €30,000 (SGD 43,630) for a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, which is estimated to be 170 years old.
All 145 bottles discovered in the shipwreck were opened, tasted and re-corked with the best two bottles acquired by Buyan. These historical bottles which still have bubbles – indicative of their fine quality – will indeed be drunk one day, but not in the very near future. The Veuve Clicquot Champagne itself is said to have “notes of linden blossoms and lime peels” and was pronounced by world renowned Champagne expert Richard Juhlin, who tasted some of the bottles last year as, “…great… wonderful… with an intense aroma…”
Buyan also paid €24,000 for Juglar, a now-defunct house of champagne that used to be one of the favourites of Napoleon I. He awarded a gold medal to the House of Juglar in 1810, 19 years before the estate was bought over by Jacquesson.
These two bottles will be added to Buyan’s existing collection of 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.
Another historical wine in Buyan’s possession is the oldest drinkable wine in Asia, a Vin Jaune from 1821, which will not be put up for sale. Buyan currently also owns 20 bottles of the world’s most rare vintage wines – some of which pre-date the two world wars and are actually available on their wine list including a 1877 Chateau Margaux, a 1883 Lafite Rotschild and a 1859 Mouton Rothschild.