A bottle of 1762 Cognac by Gautier was sold at auction recently for a record breaking £118,580. Thought to be the world’s oldest cognac, only one other bottle of this vintage now exists. The bottles’ history can be traced back to the 1880s when they were acquired by the Donsir family. The family adopted a son, Alphonse, who in 1870, went to find work in the cognac vineyards. Over the next decade the Phylloxera outbreak decimated European vines so, when work dried up Alphonse returned home. As the vineyard was financially ruined, he was paid in cognac, including 3 bottles of the highly regarded Gautier 1762. The precious pre-Phylloxera bottles were stored in the family cellars until such time as each was sold. One has since been opened, one has pride of place in the Gautier Museum and now, the third one has become a world record breaker. Although described as a ‘large’ bottle the size of this 1762 is unknown so it is difficult to compare with our Massougnes 1801 (¾ imperial gallon) which sold through Hedonism Wines for £222,000!