To celebrate its new status as a Saint-Émilion grand cru classé, Bordeaux estate Château Fombrauge has launched a limited edition of its 2008 magnum housed in an original Stradivarius violin case.
The edition is limited to five cases. Dating from the late-18th century, they have been adapted to provide a perfect fit for the bottles, the château says.
A layer of oak-leaf plating has been added to parts of the cases, and the existing gold details have received an extra layer of 23-carat gold. The bottle itself comes nestled in vintage velvet that has been re-purposed from costumes used for the Venice Carnival.
The five numbered cases will each sell for 9,900 euros ($12,578) on site at Château Fombrauge, which overlooks France's Dordogne valley. A 75-cl bottle of the 2008 vintage has an average listing of $32 ex-tax on Wine-Searcher.
Château Fombrauge is owned by billionaire Bernard Magrez, who describes himself as "a composer of rare wines." His decision to offer the latest limited edition is linked to the fact that Château Fombrauge owns a Stradivarius violin, said to have been made during the "golden age" of Antonio Stradivari’s production. The château hosts violinists as artists in residence, providing them with the opportunity to play the “Château Fombrauge” Stradivarius.
As part of his stated philosophy that "when you are lucky enough to have been successful, you owe it to yourself to share this success," Magrez opened a cultural institute at Bordeaux's Château Labottière in 2010.
His viticultural empire includes 35 estates, mainly in France but also in the Napa Valley, Argentina, Spain, Portugal, Japan and Morocco. As well as Château Fombrauge he owns two other grands crus: Château Pape Clément and Château La Tour Carnet.
On his Château Fombrauge blog, Magrez give details of the estate's 2012 harvest, describing the first juices tasted from the white grapes as "simply sublime." The red grapes were left to ripen longer after some light thinning of the leaves to let more sunlight on to the fruit.
"This painstaking work enabled the grapes to reach their peak, thus allowing us to harvest the red varieties in optimal conditions," reports Magrez, adding that the 2012 vintage "is looking very special indeed."