When the fine celebrates, the finest of the finest gather to lend a supporting arm. To celebrate the 400th anniversary of France’s Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey, a unique wine exhibition is taking place. Unique because, this is probably the world’s first Lalique barrique to be on display, filled with 300 bottles of 2013 Premier Grand Cru Classé Sauternes inside. The wine used in the 225-liter barrel has been bottled previously for two years but were reopened to fill it. Traditionally a barrique is an oak barrel, but the one on display at the Lalique hotel and restaurant, which lies at the heart of the château, has a spectacular replacement. The barrique is made of crystal, created by famous French glass designer Lalique.
The idea for such a celebratory move was that of Lalique’s Chairman and CEO Silvio Denz, who acquired the château in 2014. Twelve different craft skills were involved, most notably the technique known as lost-wax casting that was practiced by René Lalique (founder of the glassworks brand) up to 1930, according to an official statement. Other marks of excellence from the jeweller include the an engraving on the barrique of the “Femme et Raisins (Woman and Grapes)” motif, which he created in 1928 for the first-class sleeping cars on the Côte d’Azur Pullman Express, and a frosting effect applied to the entire surface of the piece to reproduce a “repolished-satin” finish.
While the exquisiteness of it is fascinating, the wine is still edible, say, company spokespeople. The barrel will remain protected in an air-conditioned room, and if someone wants to have a go at it, they can. And if not, it will just remain there forever, or until the apocalypse.