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shipwrecked

  • Shipwrecked Cognac - 100 Years On

    shipwreckedIn 1917, SS Kyros set sail for St Petersburg from France.  As it approached Sweden, the cargo ship was sunk by a German submarine UC58.  For decades the ship was assumed lost but in 1999 it was discovered 77 metres below sea level having been damaged by fishing trawlers and trawl boards.  It took 20 years to clear the shipwrecked vessel for exploration, but it was worth the wait as hidden inside were 50 cases of cognac from De Haartman & Co.  An exciting and historical find from the time when Tsar Nicholas II was Emperor of Russia.  It is difficult to estimate the current condition of the cognac as this will, in part, be dependent on the bottle seals (see this month’s Technical Topic).  Interestingly, some bottles of 1890 champagne, which had spent over a century buried in wet chalk underground after a landslide, were recently opened.  At the tasting they were deemed “still pleasant to drink” so maybe there is some hope for the turn-of-the-century cognac yet?