We start the week with both an exclusive bottle and a philanthropic desire: Here comes a Réserve d’Austerlitz Fine Champagne Age Inconnu that is located in Belgium.

The Reader writes “My father received this bottle as a gift when he was Deputy general director of Radio France, my mother kept it preciously in an old “bodega” in Spain till I was sent to clean the house and received the bottle as a gift from my mother for cleaning the place. Both my father and mother are now dead and I would like to invest the benefit of this sale on a project that aims to support poor coastal population to refit old fishing and cargo boats into hybrid (sails-engine) passenger and cargo coastal ships to foster local transportation and commerce of fair trade goods.”

(If you also have a Cognac bottle you would like to sell, or you need information about age or value – send us photos and information, just submit: Use this form – but please be aware: if you don’t follow the steps precisely, we will not publish your bottle.)

Réserve d'Austerlitz Fine Champagne Age InconnuBottle in upright position with a rule on the side to measure full height, the level of cognac can be seen at the level of the small lead seal

The label reads: Only one label with the following information from top to bottom:
40º
Réserve d’Austerlitz
Fine Champagne
age inconnu
on the bottom of the label some parts of the words are erased, we can still read:
???ntin – Delapo??e – Paris

That’s all…

Tax labels, revenue, signs or similar: There is one old grey wax seal above the label, partly broken. We can see three keys on it.
The cork is sealed with the same grey wax and there is a sort of net made of metal wire also partly broken and rusted. A small lead seal is fixed to one part of the wire.

Réserve d'Austerlitz Fine Champagne Age inconnuClose-up of the front label, the unique one

How has the bottle been stored:

Some more information about the bottle:

  • Everythings seems fine
  • Cork is protected by a wax seal

Réserve d'Austerlitz Fine Champagne Age inconnuClose-up of the cork and visible level of cognac

The level of the cognac: High shoulder or top shoulder: the level of cognac has reached the upper curve of the shoulder

Our reader would like to sell this bottle of Fine Champagne Réserve d’Austerlitz Fine Champagne Age Inconnu.

Please make your offers, ask questions or inform us about this bottle – give your opinion. Buyers please note: We do not accept simply pasting your email address into the comments – please make an offer first; then later on we will connect buyer and seller. Thank you.

Buyers please note: We do not accept simply pasting email addresses into the comments – please make an offer first; then later on we will connect buyer and seller. Thank you.

For both bottle owners and potential buyers: If you want to get in touch with respective owners or buyers please send a mail to [email protected] expressing this wish.

Sellers please note: ​ ​To be put in contact with potential buyers, we ask for the service to be supported by paying a nominal fee of 5% of the final price agreed , ​min. $10, to a max. of $200. These amounts help us improve the blog and make the website better for bottle owners, collectors and everyone else who uses it. And naturally, in the event that you don’t end up completing the sale of your bottle, this amount will be refunded.

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Réserve d'Austerlitz Fine Champagne Age Inconnu

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Author

Jacki has been with Cognac Expert from virtually the beginning. She's the senior editor of the blog, and has spent much of her life living in rural France. Today she's based back in the UK, where she splits her working life between writing for Cognac Expert and working as a Paramedic at a large regional hospital.

25 Comments

  1. Avatar

    I think this looks like a bottle of Exshaw Réserve d’Austerlitz, can you add pictures of the capsule please

  2. Avatar

    Dear connoisseurs,

    I would definitely love selling the bottle described above: Réserve d’Austerlitz Fine Champagne Age Inconnu.

    It will represent a great help on financing my project that supports developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America by establishing locally owned coastal maritime transport with hybrid (sail & engine) refitted fishing ships and cargoes.

    All funds obtained by selling the bottle will be used to finance this project.

    The bottle is currently stored in a safe at Court St Etienne.

    I’m asking seven thousand eight hundred and ninety euros, i.e. 7890 euros.

    Thanks for your support.

    Georges

  3. Avatar

    To Roman asking for more details of the capsule:

    Dear Roman, the capsule is visible in the picture shown in the presentation of the bottle (see above).
    It has no mark at all, it is made of strong grey wax.
    A wax seal, placed between the cork and the label, shows three keys, that’s all.
    Best regards,

    Georges

  4. Avatar

    May I ask how you came up with such a number (7890 euros)?

  5. Avatar

    Georges,
    Do you have any idea what is in the bottle and when it was bottled? “Age Inconnu” could just mean that the cognac is more than 30 years old. There is no brand indication and the label appears to be hand-drawn with an alcohol % indication which does not point to a very old bottling. Typically old cognacs did not advertise alcohol %.
    For the price you are asking this cognac would have to be proven to be something absolutely exceptional and well over 100 years old. At this point we have a bottle of unknown manufacture, unknown age and only cryptic markings…
    Have you considered having it examined by an expert?

  6. Avatar

    Hello Roman,
    Two reasons for this specific number, a logical one and an illogical one!

    My first aim, and in fact most difficult task, has been to find the range of price such a bottle can reach. I’m not a specialist at all and antiques are not my usual field of prospection.
    Anyhow, crawling the web, I found a bottle a bit similar with a price of 7400 GBP here:

    http://www.oldliquors.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage_maatwerk.tpl&product_id=3709&option=com_virtuemart&vmcchk=1&Itemid=36

    My father’s bottle is much more rare, may be unique, but that gave me an idea of the kind of money I could ask for.

    The second reason is that I started the project for real the day I made a bid for the first ship we wanted to buy, as I had no idea of the value of the ship, I decided to run for the first number I could figure out: 12 345 euros i.e twelve thousand three hundred and forty five euros, starting from 1 and going up one number at a time: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

    I hope this bottle will also be part of the story so I opted for the next series of numbers, starting from the range of price seven thousand.

    The result is a 7, 8, 9, 0 figure, giving a price of 7890 euros!

    That’s it!

    Georges

  7. Avatar

    To Michael,

    Yes I have asked Stephen Mould from Sotheby’s, a prestigious expert in Europe and awaiting for his answer.
    I’ll keep you updated.

  8. Avatar

    To Michael,

    By the way, if you know wine/cognac experts, would you accept sharing names and, if possible, contact details?

    Thanks

  9. Avatar

    Georges, I hate to burst your bubble but the problem with your orientation is quite common and not unusual. 1st the retail markers you may find on line have no base or limits and a retailer such as old liquors can not be used as such and as it has been proven in the past, also not to mention the bottle in the link is 3.5 litters where is yours is no more then 700ml so even if you where using it as your guide it would put your bottle in a 1875 euros range retail end. however a true value is what someone is willing to pay and to get a real idea of the value you should defiantly check with the bigger auction houses like Bonhams or Christies, also as you may already know the old liquors site is also in the buying old bottles business and contacting them for the info and value is a good idea to get an estimate

  10. Avatar

    Georges,

    The expertise that you need for this cognac is probably more forensics than cognac… Age of the glass, type/age of wax seal, type of paper… Trying to establish some basic facts. There is no way a cognac collector will pay this kind of money for a bottle without much more information.

    Old Liquors dot Com is one of the most ridiculous cognacs sites on the Internet… Their pricing is absurd and I doubt they have ever sold a single bottle. The site belongs to a Dutch collector who claims to have one of the most extensive collections of old cognacs in the world. But he is so attached to his collection that he has priced every bottle at multiples of actual value. The bottle you linked to happens to be a 3,5 L bottle which makes it very rare but I would still not value it at much more than $1,500.

    I think our Dutch collector got the 1805 date of Exshaw Cognac establishment confused with the age of the cognac which was bottled in the 1950s.

    I understand the reasoning behind the price you set and I agree it is as good as any price because we don’t exactly know what you have. The fact that it may be a very rare bottle can be both a advantage and a disadvantage… How to establish value without another bottle to compare it to?

    I have very little confidence in Auction house appraisers because they don’t want to invest the time to actually do research and they have no “skin” in the game. (They risk nothing by giving completely inaccurate valuations)

  11. Avatar

    All my apologies for taking so long in answering your kind and constructive messages, both of you, Michael and Roman.
    I have been very busy, acquiring some heavy tools to start repairing the ship, a compressor, a pneumatic drill, a sandblaster, etc…

    Dear Roman, thanks for you advices and proposing to look for a auction house.
    I contacted the head of Sotheby’s rare wine section, Stephen Mould who answered the following:
    ——————-
    Dear Mr Drouet,
    Thank you for your email. Unfortunately this would not be suitable for one of our sales. I’ve not seen such a bottle before and there is no traceable provenance.
    Kind regards,
    Stephen Mould
    ——————-
    So, as you say, no trace, no reference, no valuation…
    Still, I want to emphasize that the bottle contains 3,5lt of cognac, it is indeed a large bottle as you can appreciate by the size. I put the ruler on the side to give an idea of the total height of the bottle and I’m positive, it is a 3,5 lt.

    Dear Michael,
    The idea of a forensic investigation is definitely an option to explore… I have contacted a laboratory in Brussels:
    http://www.brussels-art-labo.com/english/accueil.html
    and ask for the kind of process that can be used and delay.
    I hope to have an answer rapidly to share with you.

    Dear Roman and Michael.
    Thanks for the info about Old Liquors, quite a personage indeed!

    I’ll keep you updated on the “forensic” research.

    Thanks for your help, that’s very kind of you, sincerely!

    Georges

  12. Avatar

    Dear Georges,
    Your ruler shows a height of about 30cm which is typical for 0,7L “champagne-shape” bottle. A 3,5L bottle would be nearly 50cm tall.
    I cannot believe it is a 3,5L bottle. I have similar shaped bottles of Remy Martin VSOP in both 4/5 Qt (0,75L) and 1 Gallon(3,6L) and measured sizes for comparisson.
    You could weigh it to confirm. To be 3,5L it would weigh 7 kg

  13. Avatar

    Yes Michael, you are correct the bottle is a 700ml at the most but I must to disagree on the weight a litter is equal to a kilogram one to one so a 3.5 litter is going to weigh 3.5 kilogram plus the weight of the glass bottle

  14. Avatar

    Hello Michael and Roman,

    I’m sorry to disagree with your appreciation of the size of the bottle, but this is a large size bottle. I mean, you’re speaking of a 700ml which is a standard wine bottle and my bottle is much bigger and larger. It is now stock on a safe so I can’t picture it side by side with a 75cl bottle but I’ll try to go around as soon as I can and I’ll upload the picture somewhere on the cloud so you can watch it.
    I agree in what concerns weight, 7kg is too much, it should be around 5kg, heavy glass.

    One more point is that I have received an answer from the Carbon 14 dating service and, well, that much too expensive. They ask for 800 euros on a 10 weeks time process…

    So, I think that I’m arriving at the end of the investigation process.

    Would you have any other idea?

    Thanks,

    Georges

  15. Avatar

    You are correct 1 liter = 1 kg but a 3,5 Liter glass bottle weighs 3,5 kg hence 7 kg total as I stated. I weighed my two 1 gallon cognac bottles (Remy and Otard) to make sure I was correct on the weight.

  16. Avatar

    The height looks more like 35cm (vs 30cm for a normal 70CL) on the photo so the bottle could be a magnum (1,5L) but not a 3,5L bottle. My 1 gallon Remy is 47cm tall and same shape as this bottle.

  17. Avatar

    i see so that’s where the one gallon otard went

  18. Avatar

    I don’t think mine is the same Otard you are talking about. I got mine from a private sale not listed anywhere as far as I know. 1940 Otard Dupuy – VSOP 20 year – in a coarse wood crate stored so long I found a complete mouse nest with a mouse-skeleton inside as well as 70 years of dirt, dust and mouse dropping… Yuck!

  19. Avatar

    Did you get it along with a bottle of Louis XIII from the same lady?

  20. Avatar

    Actually with 5 old bottles of Louis XIII (3 in the green boxes from 1946-47), 3 Hennessy XO and several other cognacs. Same person?

  21. Avatar

    Back after several months on a mission abroad, I would like to sell this bottle at a fair price to finance the repair of the engine of the trawler and move it to the workshop where the main work will start, sandblasting, cutting superstructures, electronics, etc.
    The bottle sounds indeed to be a 1,5 liter one.
    Do you have an idea of the price I can ask for?
    Do you know someone who could be interested?
    Thanks
    Georges

  22. Avatar

    Hello gentlemen,

    some time passed, but I think it’s never too late. I’m joining the discussion, because I might have sort of information you’ve been looking for. The unreadable word in left lower corner of the label actually says “Courtin”.

    Last year I managed to obtain a similar old bottle of cognac in a small auction, just with little information about the bottle itself. The cognac was reportedly found in an old German estate, stored in a ramshackle oak cabinet and covered with a thick layer of dust, apparently resting there for decades. Since the label mentioned name Courtin, I contacted family Courtin – traditional cognac producers in Grande Champagne – but the answer was that the bottle does not originate form their estate. And that was the moment when it started to be interesting.

    Later I found this post with bottle pictured above and noticed the similarities. Hand written label, wiring, a wax sigil with 3 keys and most importantly the writing on the bottom of the label. I could not resist to run some “research” on the internet and finally got to the point, that the bottle(s) were produced by a Paris-based company named Courtin Delaporte, which resided on the old Rue de Bordeaux in 12th district – a street of merchants and warehouses, built in 1878 and last original buildings demolished in 1993. There is only very little of public record of the company on the web, assuming that it was a small local enterprise and now gone for a long time. They don’t appear like a liquor producer to me, rather a merchant company that traded and owned some (old?) barrels and bottled them for French market. Their products are very scarce nowadays, I only found a few instances of bottles with their name. According to public sources, they also used to import and fill fine rhums from Martinique, but unlike for other spirits, these had printed labels (look like 1940’s or close, unfortunately no picture of a label on a bottle is available, just labels alone).

    Now something about the cognac I have. Not much to say really, it’s even difficult for me to determine the decade when it was bottled (sorry, I’m not an expert). It’s a 75cl green glass bottle with wax-sealed top, wiring under seal (partially corroded), hand-written label under wiring (detached, fixed by a tape by seller). Within rests a Fine Champagne cognac and the label clearly states ABV – 40%, which makes the dating somewhat easier. There’s a sign in the upper left corner, also visible on the Austerlitz label. Age statement “Chauffe Coeur” is rather typical for calvados and it can mean anything from V.S.O.P. to Hors d’Age. Given all above, my rough estimate is, that the cognac was filled somewhen between 1930’s to 1950’s. Possibly shortly before or during WWII, when green bottle glass majorly replaced the brown one, used in war industry. Another thing is ribbed bottom of the bottle; although I don’t have the knowledge, it may indicate that the bottle is post-WWII.

    I have uploaded a couple of photos of the cognac for your reference. First four are another 2 examples of C-D production I found since, a calvados and an armagnac (just informational, I don’t own those):

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]

    Assuming that Courtin Delaporte was a local company and very little information preserved until these days, it’s quite strange to me that the bottle was found in an old German house. I don’t want to slip into speculations, but also cannot resist the idea that besides a common commercial way, it could have made it into Germany “unwillingly”, as a war loot during the occuppation of Paris. Only a hypothesis, considering that it already existed before or during WWII.

    Feel free to share your ideas and knowledge. I only made it this far.

    Cheers,
    Michal

  23. Avatar
    Katja (Cognac-Expert.com)

    Hey Michal!

    Thank you for taking time to share your knowledge with the cognac-expert.com community. Surely this information might be interesting for others just as it is for us.

    Keep it up and many thanks,
    Katja

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