Wine and spirits auctions can provide excitement even for teetotalers. It happens, for example, when one comes across bottles like the one that will be auctioned on Tuesday, December 20, by Bertolami Fine Art : 70 cl of Cognac Napoleon Grand Réserve vintage 1811, an alcoholic sip of History with a capital S.

Cognac Napoleon 1811 Grande Réserve
1 bottle (bt) - 70 cl; 40% vol
1811 vintage
Estimate 15,000/18,000 euros
Lot 127 from the Bertolami Fine Art auction.
"Wines and Spirits. Vintage, fine and collectible"

History (and legend) of the world's most famous cognac

The Napoleon is probably the most famous cognac in the world and Courvoisier the story of that legendary distillate of his has always told it this way. In 1811, the emperor Napoleon honored with a visit the firm of Emmanuel Courvoisier e Louis Gallois, producers of his favorite cognac, which, from that time on, would bear his name.

In 1811 Bonaparte dominated continental Europe and his immense power appeared unbreakable. Everything seems to go well for him in that fortunate year crowned even by the birth of his only legitimate son, Napoleon Francis, the unfortunate King of Rome.

Yet fortune is about to desert him. Only a year later, the disastrous Russian campaign will open the season of his decline, a hard-fought chapter in the little corporal 's life destined to close with his exile on the 'island of St. Helena, the sad residence where - they tell from Courvoisier - Napoleon did not fail to bring a few casks of his beloved cognac.

The King of Rome
Pierre Paul Prud'hon (attr.) (1758 - 1823)
Oil on canvas
Napoleonic Museum in Rome
1811 is a happy year for the Emperor, a man at the height of his fortunes who sees his dynastic dreams crowned by the birth of an heir. The ill-fated Napoleon Francis will, however, have a short and hidden existence

Warfare and communication strategist

According to the writer Ernesto Ferrero, one who knows everything about Napoleon, things turned out differently instead. Napoleon did not like cognac. He drank modest wines and ate soberly, convinced that luxury at the table was not the stuff of men of war.

That great strategist of war, however, was also adept at communication strategies and vigorously favored the spread of his "N" brand, "Because"-he would say-"if a man wants to be everything, he must be everywhere." Of the bottles of the cognac that bore his name, Bonaparte would thus hoard them not for himself but to give as gifts to distinguished guests.

The historic label in pure neoclassical style of the
Cognac Napoleon 1811 Grand Réserve

A bottle full of history

However things turned out, lot 127 in the wine and spirits auction of Bertolami Fine Art cannot go unnoticed with its 70 cl of the legendary 1811 vintage of cognac with an N stored in wood for quite a few decades and bottled only in the late 1880s. Won't it be time to uncork this bottle full of history?

Explore Auction 247 - Wines and Spirits. Vintage, fine and collectible









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