Facing each other across the Gironde estuary in the wine region of Bordeaux stand two historic châteaux – Château Rauzan-Ségla on the Left Bank and Château Canon on the Right Bank. Situated between Margaux and Saint-Émilion, this pair of iconic French estates – owned by CHANEL – are each characterised by their own unique terroir, the wines they produce sharing a renown dating back centuries.
This autumn, Sotheby’s will present a selection of wines direct from the châteaux, where the bottles have remained untouched. Celebrating twenty-five years of CHANEL ownership and more than 100 years of winemaking on both banks, the sale features a range of over sixty rare vintages spanning more than a century, from 1917 to 2020, in a variety of formats, from bottle to Melchior (18 litres). The historic event also marks the first time wines from two properties carrying a Grand Cru and Premier Cru classification – mirror estates on opposite banks – are to be offered in a dedicated auction.
Comprising over 900 lots, the unique sale is distinguished further by several exclusive and unprecedented experiences on offer – from tours of the vineyards and châteaux to an overnight stay during harvest time, crossing the estuary between Margaux and Saint-Émilion, to several exciting and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities with CHANEL, including a visit to Mademoiselle Chanel’s apartment in Paris, the chance to discover the CHANEL flower fields in Grasse – the birthplace of French perfumery – and an opportunity to experience the beating heart of CHANEL’s art houses. With a combined estimate in excess of £730,000, Rauzan-Ségla & Canon | From One Bank to Another | A Celebration Direct from the CHANEL Vineyards will open for bidding on 15 October and culminate in a live auction in London on 29 October.
“At Sotheby’s, we have been closely watching the steady resurgence of these two great Châteaux, whose reputations have been fully restored to their illustrious past, with each current vintage being one of the most sought-after by today’s collectors. Both properties have undergone a significant period of investment where every decision was based on how to make the very best quality wine, which reflects their superb and distinct terroirs. No shortcuts have been taken, and each decision has been made with the long term in mind. There are no other two properties where one can measure this philosophy so closely and see such clear results – combining purity, finesse and generosity, the wines made under the management of Nicolas Audebert define class. Offering such an incredible range of great vintages directy from Château Rauzan Segla and Château Canon – wines that have never left the cellars of either property until now – will provide lovers of these two great Châteaux an extraordinary opportunity to acquire, taste and enjoy historic wines in pristine condition.”
“Making wine is not a trivial job. It requires passion and a lot of humility. It also implies a special relationship with time. Being a winegrower is like being a craftsman who, through patient and gradual work, creates something that is made to last. The key words at Rauzan-Ségla and Canon are know-how, elegance and timelessness, values shared by CHANEL, which has been supporting the châteaux for 25 years. With this sale, Sotheby’s is highlighting the exceptional longevity of our wines. We are very happy to be sharing our collections with fine wine lovers around the world.”
Laying claim to 360 years of history, Château Rauzan-Ségla on the Left Bank in Margaux was acquired in 1661 by Pierre de Rauzan, who named the estate after himself. Two centuries of vested family ownership maintained its standing, so much so that when American president Thomas Jefferson visited in 1787, he ordered ten cases. The story of Château Canon on the Right Bank in Saint-Émilion began in 1760 when Jacques Kanon bought the property and expanded the vineyard and estate, before selling it a decade later to a Bordeaux wine merchant, whose descendent officially changed the name from Kanon to Canon in 1853.
Linked by ownership in the final decade of the 20th century, Château Canon and Château Rauzan-Ségla now share a common philosophy and vision, whilst maintaining their own unique DNA as a result of the special terroir that each estate occupies in their respective communes. In 1994, CHANEL acquired Rauzan-Ségla, awarded Deuxième Grand Cru Classé status in the famous classification of Bordeaux wine properties drawn up in 1855, and in 1996, it acquired Château Canon, the St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé, heralding the dawn of a new era for both these châteaux. Over the next 20 years, with the renovation of the wineries and the châteaux, and the restructuring of the vineyards, the estates’ positions as Bordeaux legends were cemented. Their resurgence continued in 2015 with the appointment of winemaker Nicolas Audebert as general manager. Sharing a philosophy – excellence, quality, and precision – these properties make two of the most sought-after wines in Bordeaux today.
Notes to editors
This auction is an echo to the book From One Bank to Another (D'une rive à l'autre) – first published in December 2020, highlithing the collaboration between five photographers and three writers as a celebration of the link between Château Rauzan-Ségla and Château Canon, and their different identities.
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