Rare Massandra Vintage Wines produced to be served to the Tsar Nicholas II and his guests highlight Heritage Auctions’ Signature Wine Auction March event. Wines from the Massandra Collection, which make up 145 lots of tokays, muscats, sherry and port, were bottled at the winery (built in the 1890s), specially for Czar Nicholas II’s summer palace – and among the last to appear in his cellar before his assassination in Russia’s 1917 October Revolution will certainly attract a lot of interest among wine lovers and collectors.
All wines in this sale were hand-selected by Martell at the winery, where he sampled all but one wine so that relevant tasting notes and ratings accompany each lot, the first time this has been the case in the United States.
Included in this selection are a 1901 Tokay Ai Danil, estimated to bring $1,200, and a 1905 Rose Muscat Livadia, estimated to bring $1,800, which are among the last remaining bottles that were actually produced for the Tsar and his family. Also highlighted in this collection is a six-pack of 1923 White Muscat, (estimate: $2,600), and a six-pack of 1954 White Muscat Livadia, which carries a pre-auction estimate of $1,400. It is important to note that the ’23 Muscat and ’54 Lividia received nearly flawless ratings of 98 and 99 points, respectively.
“There are 47 Massandra vintages on offer in this auction touching upon almost the entire catalog of what is produced at this legendary estate,” said Frank Martell, Director of Fine and Rare Wine at Heritage. “I hope that as many people as possible bring home some of this outstanding wine and share it. With so many individual vintages available, it’s easy to celebrate milestone birthdays or anniversaries with a wine whose journey began alongside your own. These bottles have spent a lifetime waiting for your occasion.”
There is the obvious historical importance of the winery and facility, considering the fact that many wines produced before 1917 were made to be served to the Tsar and his guests, since the exclusive rights to production of these wines were held by Romanov’s Royal Family. There are fascinating stories describing the survival of all these wines in the collection throughout long periods of political unrest and world war. Wine lovers can find themselves overwhelmed by these narratives and others, but what really launches Massandra into the stratosphere of collectibles is the unyielding quality of everything produced throughout the history of this great estate.