A bottle of Jay-Z’s D’ussé Cognac just sold for US$52,000 at Sotheby’s

By Rachel Cormack 17 March, 2021
Jay-Z D’USSÉ Cognac

Fittingly dubbed Bottle No. 1, the Cognac is the first release in the 1969 Anniversaire Collection that comprises just 285 bottles

Jay-Z D’USSÉ Cognac
Jay-Z’s D’ussé Cognac was sold to raise funds for the Shawn Carter Foundation, which helps individuals facing socio-economic hardships further their education

Jay-Z has one more reason to raise a glass after this weekend. A bottle of the billionaire’s D’ussé Cognac sold for more than US$50,000 (S$67,311) at Sotheby’s on Saturday to raise funds for his namesake organisation, the Shawn Carter Foundation.

The ultra-rare Grande Champagne Cognac, fittingly dubbed Bottle No. 1, is the first release in the limited-edition 1969 Anniversaire Collection that comprises just 285 bottles. The prized expression, which had an estimated value of between US$25,000 (S$33,656) to US$75,000 (S$100,967), was snapped up by an unnamed bidder for US$52,500 (S$70,677). For that sum, we have age and aesthetics to thank.

Decanted from a single barrel, the tipple matured for half a century at one of the oldest and most storied Cognac houses in France, Château de Cognac, under the watchful eye of Maître de Chai Michel Casavecchia. D’ussé initially surprised part-owner Jay-Z with the Cognac to celebrate his 50th birthday, before the legendary rapper decided to offer the first bottle of the collection for auction.

“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 honour it by doing something that would celebrate its singularity,” Carter said in a statement.

Jay-Z D’USSÉ Cognac
The Cognac sports a Jay-Z signature and flavour profile of “incomparable potency”

Singular indeed. According to Casavecchia, the Cognac has rich aromas of fresh walnut, hazelnut, and candied apple with a flavor profile that reveals an “incomparable potency.” It’s said to be woody at the start, with a long finish of stewed fruits, leather and cigar.

The lavish bottle design reflects the tipple’s collectible nature. The elixir is housed in a 12-cut crystal diamond decanter that features eye-catching 24-karat gold foil around the neck. All bottles in the collection are numbered with an inscription on the topper, though this is the only to be signed by the acclaimed musician.

Bottle No. 1 was the first in the collection to be on sale publicly. All proceeds raised will go toward the charity Jay-Z and his mother Gloria Carter founded in 2003. The Foundation will use the funds to directly support the professional development and entrepreneurship workshops designed for college alumni.

The remaining 284 bottles will be available for a suggested retail price of US$12,000 (S$16,155) in key cities across the country, though we wouldn’t blame the rapper for keeping a few for friends and family.

Much of Jay-Z’s steadily growing 10-figure fortune can be attributed to the spirits industry. D’ussé, which is a joint venture between Carter and beverage giant Bacardi, moves almost 200,000 cases annually and has grown nearly 80 per cent yearly. The rapper also recently sold 50 per cent of his champagne brand Armand de Brignac, a.k.a. The Ace of Spades, to LVMH for an estimated US$300 million (S$403.89 million).