Jewel-encrusted bottles of champagne costing £115,000 have gone on sale in Harrods, at the highest prices ever charged outside of a fine wine auction.
The three bottles of Piper Heidsieck prestige cuvée ‘Le Secret’ Rare are adorned with a ruby, sapphire or emerald embedded at “the heart of interwoven bands of gold set with 510 [tiny] diamonds”.
Régis Camus, the cellar master of the champagne house, said the bottles were so expensive because they originate from a “secret” batch of exceptional 1997 vintage chardonnay and pinot noir champagne. The “Marie-Antoinette inspired” gems and gold bottle produced by the French jeweller Mellerio dits Meller help lift the price.
The winemaker said: “[Régis Camus] saw something unique in the wines of  and rather than declaring a vintage, he chose to blend a small quantity of this cuvée behind closed doors, secretly ageing it only in magnums in his private cellar. Now, 20 years later, the results are truly extraordinary.”
Camus said the wine “turned out to be a masterful stroke of intricate finesse”. He said it has “a rare depth and complexity, with a lively citrus attack and a serene minerality”. The champagne house said the wine has such “sophisticated finesse” that they decided to approach Mellerio to create special bottles.
“Marie Antoinette is a natural link between our maisons,” Laure-Isabelle Mellerio, the creative director of the 400-year-old jewellers and a direct descendant of its founding family, said. “The refined world of rare champagne instantly guided my hand.”
Once drunk, the buyer of the bottle will be taken to Maison Mellerio in Paris, where “jewellers will transform the bottle’s beautiful adornment into a brooch, bracelet or pendant, depending on the owner’s wishes”. Ten of the jewellery bottles are on sale across the world.
For those with slightly less expensive tastes, 50 unadorned bottles are available for £1,150.
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