On the trail of the Jönköping…

In 1916, Heidsieck & CO Monopole sent a shipment of 3,000 bottles of champagne to the Imperial Russian Army in St Petersburg. These crates of champagne were to be shipped from Sweden to Finland on board the Jönköping, before being transported by train to St Petersburg.

During the journey in November 1916, the Jönköping was sunk by a German submarine. It was not until July 1998 that a Swedish underwater expedition discovered the Jönköping at the Eastern tip of the Baltic Sea at a depth of 64 meters, bringing up 2400 bottles of 1907 Heidsieck & CO Monopole Champagne.
Despite 82 years under the ocean, the bottles were in perfect condition.

Upon tasting, it was revealed to be a nicely balanced wine that was not maderised and with fine, persistent bubbles. Today, you can share this unique experience with the Millésimes d’Or Collection.

 

 
 

A private collection that is one of a kind, by Paul-François Vranken

It is a beautiful house, a setting for centuries-old artistry… Villa Demoiselle’s cellars contain a precious treasure: the largest collection of 19th and 20th century vintages.
Paul-François Vranken has decided to share his collection of around 300,000 unique bottles with enlightened connoisseurs. These 46 ‘Millésimes d’Or’ are an exceptional collection of wines.

The collection’s curator guarantees the quality of each and every bottle.

‘I waited more than thirty years to unveil this collection. I wanted to respect the history of these great houses, which have always made great wines. We have in our possession a real treasure. It is a treasure that needs to be shared. Everyone is familiar with champagne as a wine for celebrations, but these old vintages are truly exceptional .

Paul-François Vranken

PLAN YOUR VISIT TO VILLA DEMOISELLE 

 
 

One collector’s dream

“I love champagne, and I do know something about it, since I have dedicated most of my life to champagne. It is a wine that I have always loved, and I will always wish the best for it. My champagnes resemble me; they bear my style.
In 1978, I helped change the champagne taste by eliminating cognac spirit from the blend. I wanted champagne to be fresh and light. In 1985, I invented the exceptional champagne bottle, for La Demoiselle, so that my brut cuvées could be just as elegant as the prestige cuvées.

With Cuvée Diamant by Vranken, its special bottle became an exceptional bottle. Today, on the eve of Vranken’s thirty-fifth anniversary, I truly believe that nothing can last unless it changes. So Vranken is turning its focus more to vintage champagnes, with La Maison du Millésime. Backed by this new idea to give connoisseurs and aesthetes the quintessence of our savoir-faire, the result of a wonderful alchemy between our Cellar Director’s remarkable work and the inexorable force of Mother Nature.

This is the age for exceptional wines, and with Vranken, vintage champagne is an ardent source of dream and emotion. With La Maison du Millésime, excellence becomes a part of everyday life. Vranken champagnes take on the colours of time, of an entire life, calling out to our memory and offering the best of a single year to those who like the finer things in life. “

Paul-François Vranken

 

 
 

Message from the curator, Thierry Gasco

In the darkness of the cellar, the resting bottles are enveloped in mystery, calling out for meditation…
 

“That light, vibrant spirit, both sharp and amenable, the undisputed mark of French wit, also pairs well with the sparkling spirit of champagne. It can be enhanced with richness, generosity, and complexity, like the impressive vintages in Paul-François Vranken’s Collection. Each century, nature offers us just a few exceptional vintages in all the vineyards of France. These years are unique, 

 
   
 

Millésimes d’or according to Lawrence Weiner

“If accumulation is a reflection of life, the quality of accumulation is a reflection of the quality of life.” Lawrence Weiner

As Miguel de Cervantes said, “Time ripens all things.” Time, whether in joy or in sadness, still plays an inexorable hand in our lives, and so we pay homage to time with the Millésimes d’Or collection. This collection and its history are dedicated to other collectors, lovers of fine wines and great emotion, as well as aesthetes and explorers of style.

This collection tells the story of a century of champagne through the life of Paul-François Vranken, who built his champagne house to share his love of wines throughout the world. From his modest start, he gradually allowed time to work its magic, and a collection was born, it grew, it took on confidence, and it is not one of the most important collections of vintage champagnes.

 
   

Champagne

Provence

Camargue

Portugal

Sparkling Wine

 

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