Jay-Z's Rare D'USSÉ Cognac sells at $52,500 at Charity Auction

Roc Nation's boss Jay-Z has auctioned off a rare bottle of his D'USSÉ Cognac at Sotheby's. Rare spirits auctions are hitting high sales at an active rate despite the pandemic. In the previous year Sotheby's, the spirits sales contributed $18 million. According to Sotheby's, the auctions conducted last year made up 20% of Sotheby's wine and spirits annual auction sales.

This is a notable spike from less than 2% just five years ago. The rare D'ussé bottling known as "Bottle No 1" from the Grande Champagne Cognac Anniversaire Limited Edition 1969 was sold at Sotheby's this weekend. It features an engraved signature from rapper and business mogul Jay-Z and the liquid is housed in a faceted crystal decanter shaped like a diamond. The cognac bottle is only one of 285 bottles made in celebration of Jay-Z's 50th birthday in 2019. 

The bottle is christened "Bottle No.1" because it is the only bottle with an engraved signature from the mogul, Jay -Z. The D'USSÉ Grande Champagne Cognac Anniversaire Limited Edition 1969 luxurious bottle was sold for a whopping $52,500USD. In 2020 the notable two sales were, "The Macallan Red Collection (sold for $977,496 in October)" and " The Macallan in Lalique Six Pillars Collection($507,819 last March)."  Although these numbers are considered high, Sotheby's set a new record for the top spirit or wine put up for sale both privately and on auction in October 2019 when it sold "The Macallan Fine & Rare 60 Year Old for $1.9 million during " The Ultimate Whisky Collection" sale. 

All 285 bottles have been numbered with an inscription on the topper to showcase their place in the batch. Each of these bottles will have a 12-cut crystal diamond decanter design encased in a leather box decorated with luxurious accents. Some of the bottles have been gifted to Shawn Carter's close family and friends. 

On the 1st of March, an action which went live benefited the Shawn Carter Foundation, a non-profit focusing on mentoring and assisting students. This Foundation promotes professional advancements and entrepreneurship workshops for students. This is the first of such bottles to be made available for public sale. The bids started at $1 as there was no reserve on the bottle. Sotheby was right in their estimation that Lot 7 would sell within the range of $24,000-75,000. 

The bottle-winning bid came in at $52,500 and it is the first to be put on sale publicly. Sotheby's has yet to reveal the number of bids in this lot or the identity of the winner as of March 14, 2021. Jay-Z in a statement said, "When our Cellar Master, Michel Casavecchia, discovered the aged liquid at the Chateau De Cognac and explained how truly one of a kind it is, it was important to me to honor it by doing something that will celebrate its singularity. Once that barrel is emptied, there is no way the liquid can be recreated. The whole process behind the 1969 Anniversaire collection reminded me why I got involved in the spirits 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, we're proud to auction the first bottle in the collection with Sotheby's to benefit the Shawn Carter Foundation."

It is presumed that the pandemic had made collectors optimistic for the festivities ahead. Lot 1 of the Sotheby's spirits-focused auction showed a 75cl bottle of The Macallan 1967 Anecdotes of Ages Collection, with a label designed and signed by Sir Peter Blake. This lot also included a bespoke wooden carrying case, an exclusive visit to the Macallan Estate, and an original unframed print by the artist. Similar to the D'USSÉ, Lot 1 had no reserve but featured an estimated closing bid range of $170,000-$750,000. It was put on sale for $437,500.

Lot 8 featured a Hennessy XO 150th anniversary lodged in a Frank Gehry-designed decanter made from bronze. This Lot also includes the original mold and the bids were estimated within the range of $15,000- $30,000; it was sold for $18,750. There is still hope to lay your hands on the Cognac if you are curious about Bottle No.1 or got outbid for it. 

You still have a chance to taste the rarefied liquid. More than 200 bottles of this spirit, which comes from a single barrel of Cognac estimated to be at least a minimum of 30 years old will be made available to consumers at select markets later in spring for $10,000. But these bottles unlike Bottle No.1 will not feature an engraved signature of Jay-Z.


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