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Monday 13 June 2022

Wine auction rakes in millions

King's College - part of the University of Cambridge - has a history that dates back to 1441.

The college sits beside the River Cam in the centre of the city and was founded by King Henry VI.

Alumni include poet Rupert Brooke. mathematician Alan Turing and writers EM Forster, Salman Rushdie and Patrick White, along with famous wine writer Hugh Johnson. 

The lucky folk who study here also have access to one of the most extraordinary wine cellars in Britain.

A collection of rare Burgundies from the cellars fetched £1,365,125 in a Christie’s auction this week - that is over $AU 2 million.

The ‘Generations of Jayer’ collection included 42 lots from the Burgundy vineyards of Henri Jayer and his nephew Emmanuel Rouget.

A 12-bottle case of Grand Cru Henri Jayer for Georges Jayer, Echézeaux 1999 from the Côte de Nuits led the way, selling for £100,000 at the London auction, Decanter reported.

The cellars lie deep inside a labyrinth of dark, cold vaults beneath King’s College. They are said to contain more than 50,000 bottles.

King Henry VI granted its students an annuity of "one tun of French wine", the equivalent of 256 gallons.

Jayer was dubbed the ‘godfather of Burgundy’ after pioneering a range of key innovations in the region. He believed that low yields were the foundation of truly great wines, and resisted the use of chemicals in vineyards.

Christie’s international director of wine, Tim Tiptreee MW, once described Jayer's wines as "certainly among the finest I have ever tasted, particularly the Richebourg, Echézeaux and Cros Parantoux".

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