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18th-century wine sets record in France

Feb. 6, 2011 at 5:27 PM

PARIS, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- A 1774 vintage bottle of wine was sold Sunday for $77,270 in a record for eastern France's Jura region.

The vin jaune (yellow wine), was made by Anatoile Vercel (1725-1786) from savagnin grapes grown during the reign of Louis XV (1715-1774), Radio France Internationale reported.

The wine is aged for six years in oak casks, where it attains the ability to stay drinkable for centuries.

Connoisseurs who tasted another of Vercel's 1774 batch in 1994 declared it "excellent," praising its amber-gold color and notes of walnut, curry, cinnamon, vanilla and dried fruit.

The auction took place at the region's annual wine festival.

The winning bidder was the Swiss Pierre Chevrier, acting for a group of French, Swiss and Belgian wine fanciers.

"I really wanted to taste it," said runner-up Francois Audoze. "The oldest bottle I've ever drunk was 90 years younger."

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