Auction house Sotheby’s will present a one-of-a-kind bottle of D’USSÉ® Cognac on March 13, which was created to celebrate American rapper Jay-Z’s 50th birthday.
Proceeds from the sale will benefit Shawn Carter Foundation, the charity launched by the acclaimed artist, philanthropist and entrepreneur to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships further their education at institutions of higher learning.
Jay-Z, whose birth name is Shawn Carter, is no stranger to the drinks world. His Champagne Armand de Brignac was acquired by LVMH for a 50% ownership last month.
Aside from Champagne, Jay-Z is also a Cognac connoisseur. He first tasted the unique Cognac many years ago and found it so remarkable that he noted it must be reserved for a momentous occasion.
D’USSÉ surprised him with the first ever bottle in celebration of his 50th birthday on 4 December 2019. Just fifty bottles were issued to mark this milestone, the majority of which were given to his family and friends.
Estimated at $25,000-75,000, the bottle of D’USSÉ 1969 Anniversaire Limited Edition Grande Champagne Cognac comes housed in a diamond-shaped cut crystal bottle, adorned with 24 karat gold leaf wrapping on the neck and decorated with the symbol of Le Croix de Lorraine, the historic French emblem of courage, honour and perseverance.
Sotheby’s “Bottle No. 1” is the only bottle in the collection to also carry Jay-Z’s engraved signature, and the first to be made available for public sale as part of the company’s first dedicated live Spirits sale in New York. A further limited run of the Cognac will made available for consumer purchase in the spring.
Speaking of the special Cognac bottled for his fiftieth birthday, Carter said: “When our Cellar Master, Michel Casavecchia, discovered the aged liquid at the Château de Cognac and explained how truly one of a kind it is, it was important to me to honor it by doing something that would celebrate its singularity. Once that barrel is emptied, there’s no way the liquid can be recreated.
“The whole process behind the 1969 Anniversaire collection reminded me why I got involved in the spirits industry in the first place – to create something that will stand the test of time. It means a lot that we’re finally able to share the D’USSÉ 1969 Anniversaire Limited Edition with the rest of the world, and we’re proud to auction the first bottle in the collection with Sotheby’s to benefit The Shawn Carter Foundation.”
Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s Spirits Specialist, said: “We have seen an increasing rise in demand for Cognac in recent years, from the oldest and most valuable vintage Cognac sold at auction to ultra-premium brands. We are delighted to support the Shawn Carter Foundation with the sale of this highly special bottle of D’USSÉ Cognac. As we have recently expanded our sales of spirits, there is no better time to offer this special lot in New York.”
The 1969 Anniversaire Edition was launched in 2019 by D’USSÉ and JAY-Z. The liquid comes from one of the oldest and most storied Cognac houses in France, the prestigious Château de Cognac, under the supervision of one of the world’s greatest authorities on Cognac, Cellar Master Michel Casavecchia.
Encapsulating the essence of the brand, the 1969 Anniversaire collection is bottled from a rare single barrel which has been maturing for decades in the two-hundred-year-old cellar at the Château de Cognac.
The single eau-de-vie – “water of life”, a 100% Grande Champagne aged in the cask, with no blending – is a unique liquid that can never again be replicated once the barrel is emptied. It is now being shared for the first and only time.
The bottle will go on view at Sotheby’s in New York from 5 March alongside a select showing of cars, watches, jewellery, handbags, sneakers, wine and spirits.