Shipwrecked bubbly uncorked
Wednesday the 17th of November will always be a day to remeber for champagne lovers around the world. The shipwreck-bottles — of the brands Veuve Clicquot and the now defunct Juglar — was recovered from a shipwreck discovered in July near the Aland Islands, between Sweden and Finland. A total of 168 bottles were raised in the salvage operation.
Early 19th Century Juglar champagne discovered in the Baltic
A treasure trove of 168 bottles of ancient champagne were discovered at the bottom of the Baltic in July of this year. The government of the Aaland Islands, an autonomous archipelago in the Baltic Sea, unveiled the find in the capital, Mariehamn, on 17 November 2010.
Most of the wine retrieved carried the name Juglar, which at that time belonged to the House of Jacquesson. Francois Félix Juglar was the German cousin of Memmie Jacquesson, the founder of the House, and had come to work in Champagne to help this growing business. Some of the production thus bore the name of Juglar.
A 200 year old champagne
This extraordinary discovery confirms other records of Memmie Jacquesson’s business strategy at that time: having decided that the competition in the English market at that time was too fierce, he preferred to concentrate his efforts on Scandinavia, Poland and Russia. This decision, fatal for at least one of his shipments via the Baltic, has afforded us an unforgettable experience, the chance to taste a Champagne which is nearly 200 years old. The shape of the bottles and our records allow us to date these wines towards the end of the 1820’s. The very recent discovery of some bottles of Veuve Clicquot in the find alongside the bottles of Juglar has meant that we are able to confirm the provenance of the find, the Clicquot bottles dating from the early 1830’s.
“The wine from the Juglar bottle has an orange tint, its aromas are incredibly powerful: leather, tobacco, but also very ripe dried fruits. In the mouth one immediately notes the very high dosage, somewhere in the region of 70 grammes a litre, corresponding to the tastes of that time. But the most striking thing is the astonishing freshness of the wine, which has conserved all its acidity, and the enormous length in the mouth.”
This was a wine which was obviously of very high quality when it was shipped, allowing it to survive for two centuries, and giving us the opportunity to pay homage to our founder and predecessor. Read more about the tasting were Richard Julin's sencitive nose and palate was asked for. Click on the following links:
The Vancover Sun
Svenska Dagbladet webb-tv
Ålands Radio & TV
Fotografen Tibor Bàràny