Two of Europe’s great heritage brands, Lalique and Niepoort, have come together for a groundbreaking
The Niepoort in Lalique 1863 decanters – five exceptional demijohn decanters, each one
engraved with a name from one of the five van der Niepoort generations and holding what is possibly the oldest fine wine in the world – the first Niepoort Port created in 1863 by the first Niepoort generation, Francisco Marius van der Niepoort. The first of the five generation decanters, created in his honour, is to be auctioned by Acker Merrall & Condit on 3 November in Hong Kong.
Limited to 5, Signed and Numbered Decanters
Each decanter is signed Lalique, numbered and filled with the exceptionally rare 155-year-old vintage Port, from an original Niepoort demijohn decanter, filled in 1905 with the first 1863 Port in the Niepoort cellar in Porto, Portugal.
Each decanter represents a generation of the Port wine dynasty from its foundation in 1842 by Franciscus Marius van der Niepoort up to Dirk van der Niepoort, the fifth generation, who runs the company today. Each generation has followed the other, working side by side, continuing to innovate whilst preserving the traditions and knowledge learned over centuries.
Heritage Design and Oldest Glass Production Method
The design of the decanter is based on the original 11-litre demijohn from 1905 created using one of the oldest
glass production methods – a nod to the heritage of both Lalique and Niepoort – cire perdue or ‘lost wax’, a
technique learned and passed down through the generations of skilled craftsmen and still used today at the Lalique factory in Alsace. The piece to be auctioned will be presented in a bespoke Macassar ebony wood cabinet with Lalique grape pattern crystal inlays created by Lalique Maison.
History of Collaborations with Sought-After Wines and Spirits
Lalique has a history of collaborating with the world’s most sought-after and collectable wine and spirits houses. Since 1925, it has produced exceptional decanters for, amongst others, Clos Saint Odile, Patrón Tequila, Beluga Vodka, Grand Marnier and Cognac Hardy. Its collaboration with The Macallan continued for more than a decade and resulted in the Guinness World Record for the most expensive whisky ever sold at auction in 2014 (The Macallan ‘M’ Imperiale in a Lalique six-litre decanter sold for US$628,000 in January 2014).
Dirk van der Niepoort: “We only have one demijohn from 1905, which contains one of our first wines, 1863. It is an incredibly rare port, the result of years of dedication and craftsmanship. A big wine, but very refined, not too sweet but highly concentrated – it is the oldest port we have ever bottled, and we wanted to do something very special with it. The collaboration with Lalique is a truly momentous occasion to commemorate our remarkable journey over five generations. Lalique mirrors our own values and commitment to creating only the exceptional and it provides connoisseurs and collectors with an opportunity to acknowledge the distinguished history of the two houses.”
Silvio Denz, Chairman and CEO of Lalique: “We have created a highly collectable work of art, which marries the two houses and is deserving of one of the greatest wines in the world. Masters in their respective fields, Lalique and Niepoort are joined by mutual respect and an unwavering commitment to craft, artistry and beauty and going beyond the ordinary. Our master craftsmen put all of their savoir-faire and passion into producing each piece.”
An Exceptional Decanter for an Exceptional Wine
Marc Larminaux, artistic and creative director of Lalique: “For me, there is always a parallel with the artisan work by our master craftsmen in Alsace and the final design. Inspiration came from the cellars of Niepoort and the original demijohn from 1905, which was refined, simple and elegant in shape with a masculine and weighty quality. The Niepoort in Lalique decanter has been created using one of the most ancient glassmaker’s techniques, the lostwax method. The end result is an exceptional piece for an exceptional wine.”
The 1863 Port was rated 100 points by James Suckling, the international wine critic in March 2017 and is an
integral part of Niepoort’s rarefied tawny blend known as “VV.”
In an industry dominated by large companies, the Port house of Niepoort is a specialist of high-quality fortified wines from its vineyards as well as surrounding areas. It built its name on fine-aged Port in very limited quantities, whether great vintage Ports or rare dated tawnies and other specialties. It also is considered one of the very best table wine producers in Portugal. The firm was founded in 1842, and it has remained ever since in the hands of the Van der Niepoort family, who originate from Holland. Dirk van der Niepoort is the current owner and head of the company. He is known as one of the most dynamic and unique individuals in the Portuguese wine business as well as the wine world at large.
Founded in 1888, Lalique is one of the crown jewels of France’s crystal glass industry. René Lalique, renowned as the inventor of modern jewellery, went on to become a master in the art of glassmaking. Over time, his name has become the powerful symbol of a unique expertise, a synonym for luxury, excellence, creativity and for a widely celebrated artistic style. Through its contemporary work in six areas, Lalique revives and pursues the creative, eclectic work of its founder: jewellery, decorative items, interior design, fragrances, art and hospitality. Lalique enters into exclusive collaborations with luxury brands, artists and designers to create stunning objects and exclusive collections based on both partners’ know-how and expertise. All crystal items are handcrafted in the company’s sole manufacturing site, which has been located in the Alsace region in France since 1921. Lalique continues to thrive as a truly timeless lifestyle brand. For more information please visit www.lalique.com.