It took two days to sell the contents of a collector’s wine cellar, which also held the rarest spirits.
Yellow Chartreuse, 1840-1969, Pères Chartreux.
The very well-attended auction totaled €597,000, with the Chartreuse collection alone accounting for €294,300. Two outstanding bottles from Isère, the original home of the medicinal liqueur invented at the Grande-Chartreuse Monastery near Grenoble in about 1764, took center stage. First, a bottle of yellow Chartreuse from the 1840-1969 period, naturally produced by Carthusian monks, fetched €41,540—not surprising given its age. The second, made by the same monks, was a white Fourvoirie (named after the place where another of the monastery’s distilleries was located) dating from 1878-1903. It sold for €21,700.
Spain also started to produce the precious spirit, especially in the Tarragona region. The reason is simple: expelled from France in 1903, Carthusian monks took refuge in the Catalan city, taking with them their recipe to produce a spirit that would be named Tarragona after the place where the famous liqueur is still made. A complete, 48-bottle (most with a Spanish excise stamp) limited-edition series of yellow and green Santa Tecla Chartreuse from 2000 to 2020 fetched €18,600.