Massandra Lavidia Red Port 1945
Livadia Red Port, Label from Sotheby's
Provenance: Sotheby's Paris, 9/17/1997
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The early 1800s was a watershed era for the vintners of Portugal’s Douro Valley, On one hand, the grape harvest of 1820, after fermenting and aging for four years, presented connoisseurs with a wine of remarkable sweetness, with “plenty of crust and plenty of color…and a well-stained cork,” according to T.G. Shaw, who recorded his views in Wine, the Vine, and the Cellar (1863), The remarkable vintage established Portuguese wine as a favorite among the British.
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The Massandra Collection
In November 1920 the Red Army finally took control of the Crimea and the Collection was discovered intact shortly afterwards. In 1922 on Stalin’s orders all the wines to be found in any of the Tsar’s palaces including those at Moscow, St. Petersburg and Livadia were brought to Massandra. Some of these were sold off at this time but the majority were added to the Collection.
Upon Nazi invasion in 1941, the Collection was evacuated to three separate locations including Golitzin’s original cellars at Novy Svet, and was to remain there until after the liberation of Yalta by the Detached Seaboard Army in April 1944. Late in 1944, the entire Collection was returned to its original resting place.