Czech aristocrats with Nazi links hastily flee their castle in the final days of World War II, first hiding their treasures including an extraordinary stash of 19th-century wines.

A rare Chateau d’Yquem 1896, Pedro Ximenez 1899 and Porto 189 are among the exquisite vintages in the 133-bottle collection creating a buzz in the wine world and questions over their fate.

The bottles sat for decades on simple wooden shelves in the castle in the western town of Becov nad Teplou.

Early estimates put the value of the collection at 20 million CZK (€740,000), but the price is likely to soar at auction.

The bottles will stay where they are and they will be accessible to experts in exceptional cases.

Dave Patterson is a content marketer. A writer by day and a reader by night. Coffee addict.