Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tour d'Argent Cellar Sale

The landmark Parisian restaurant La Tour d'Argent, which dates back to 1582, is cleaning out its 450,000-bottle wine cellar, considered one of the best in the world. The Associated Press says the Michelin three-star is putting 18,000 bottles up for auction in December and that the event "has captured the imagination of French wine lovers." Tour d'Argent is selling mostly wine but also some very old spirits, such as three bottles of Clos du Griffier Cognac from 1788, the year before the French Revolution, as well as a bottle of 1875 Armagnac.
The cellar of the Left Bank restaurant, known for pressed duck and spectacular views of Notre Dame, is an important part of its history. A sign marks the spot where a brick wall was built in 1940 to hide the best bottles during the Nazi occupation.

Estimated prices at the Dec. 7th and 8th sale, by French auctioneer Piasa, range from 10€ to 2,500 to 3,000€ for each bottle of the 1788 Cognac, one of which will go to charity.

Among the wines on sale are Chateau Lafite Rothschild (1970, 1982, 1997), Cheval Blanc (1928, 1949, 1966) and Chateau Margaux (1970, 1990). The total sale is expected to bring in around €1 million.

Chief sommelier David Ridgway says the restaurant wants to cut down on wines it has in multiples to vary and modernize its selection. Buyers can rest assured the bottles aren't counterfeit — a major problem in the industry — because the restaurant bought them directly from vintners.
For more info go here:
Or read the AP article on the NPR website:
or in the Times:
Photo: Four bottles of 1875 Armagnac Vieux, covered in a black fungus that looks "like matted cat fur," have been unearthed from the labyrinthine wine cellar at La Tour d'Argent. The restaurant will sell 18,000 bottles at auction this December. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)


  1. Wow! I'm sure there will be some very happy wine enthusiasts who get to participate in this event. Maybe next year ... I'll have to add it to my Goal Board! LOL ... great blog Julie. *huGs*

  2. i will add you to my blog roll to keep updated on all things french. thanks for reading my blog. i am so sleepy right now...sorry for the short and boring comment. but i knew if i didn't leave it now i would possibly forget as my brain is like a sieve lately.
    take care julie!! a bientot!