Wine connoisseurs will spend a lot to taste their favourite vintages. This list of the most expensive wines in the world demonstrates how high some bottles go for at auction. These record-breaking wine prices were achieved through charity auctions, which benefitted many great causes.
The Most Expensive Wine bottles
For the past twenty years, the world’s most expensive wine was only made from French vineyards. There are now some new contenders in the race for the most expensive wine bottles. These are ten exquisite wines that have sold at eye-wateringly expensive auction prices. The world’s most expensive wine
10. Chateau d’Yquem 1811
The Guinness World Record for the most expensive white wine is held by this vintage Chateau d’Yquem wine. The King of England was the owner of this estate in France’s Sauternes region.
Francoise Josephine d’Yquem established a vineyard here later. It flourished. It was loved by Thomas Jefferson, the US President of the time, and other connoisseurs.
1811 was a great harvest, and Chateau-Yquem wine is well-known for its long life span. Christian Vanneque, a wine sommelier and restaurateur, purchased this exceptional Sauternes wine. He drank it on his 50th anniversary in wine.
Price at Auction: $117,000
9. Chateau Lafite 1787
Chateau Lafite, France, is owned by the Rothschilds and is known for its Bordeaux wines. Thomas Jefferson loved this exceptional vintage.
Jefferson may have visited the estate and purchased this particular Bordeaux. The glass has the initials T.J. etched on it.
This Chateau Lafite wine was purchased by Malcolm Forbes, a publisher. It has been dubbed the Billionaire’s Vinegar because there is some doubt about whether it’s real or fake.
Auction Prices: $156,450
Year Sold 1985
8. Penfolds Kalimna Block42 Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
South Australia is the first non-French wine to make it onto our list of the top ten most expensive wines in the world. The renowned winery ordered a hand-blown glass ampule. It was housed in a wooden cabinet that was hand-tooled.
The Penfolds chief winemaker, who was also part of the sale visited each buyer’s home to assist them in opening the bottles using a specially-designed sterling silver scribe–snap that is similar to a cigar cutter. There were only 12 ampoules made.
This wine is made from 130-year-old vines. It is highly sought after. Barossa wines have a rich, complex flavor with notes of blackberries as well as macerated cherries.
Price at Auction: $168,000
7. Chateau Margaux 1787
This Bordeaux wine bottle holds the record for most expensive wine bottle ever. William Sokolin, a New York wine merchant owned this Chateau Margaux wine consignment.
The initials Th.J. were etched on the bottle, which suggests that it was once owned by Thomas Jefferson. The initials Th.J. were also etched on the bottle. Sokolin tried to sell the bottle at $500,000, but no buyers came forward. Instead, he had the bottle insured for $225,000.
The bottle was taken by him to Chateau Margaux, where he was served at the Four Seasons. The bottle was broken when a waiter stepped in front of him.
Insured for: $225,000
6. Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 1869
Three bottles of Chateau Lafite Rothschild were sold at a Sotheby’s Hong Kong wine auction in 2010 for $ 233972 each to an unknown Asian bidder. The wines were valued at $60,000 each and the subject of a bidding battle.
Chateau Lafite wines, which are highly sought after by wine collectors in Asia, are bottled at Lafite for the first time. These wines were also the first to be produced under Baron James de Rothschild’s ownership.
Many French vineyards were severely affected by phylloxera during the late 1800s. This wine is a pre-phylloxera rare vintage which explains its high price.
Auction Price $233,972
5. Chateau Cheval Blanc 1947
Chateau Cheval Blanc 1947, one of the finest clarets around the globe, is the only wine to be awarded the Premier Grand Cru Classe (A). This is the highest Saint-Emilion wine classification.
Chateau Cheval Blanc was only produced in a small number of cases. This Bordeaux wine is extremely rare because most of them were consumed within a few days after it was released.
An Imperial-sized Chateau Cheval Blanc bottle, equivalent to eight 750ml bottles, was sold at a Christie’s auction, Geneva, for $304,375 in 2010. This is the only bottle of this vintage in this Imperial format.
Auction Price $304,375
Year Sold 2010
4. Chateau Mouton-Rothschild 1945
A rare Chateau Mouton Rothschild wine bottle from 1945 was another over-sized wine container that sold at an auction for a record amount. The vintage was the smallest since 1915 due to the late frost.
The equivalent of six regular wine glasses, this jeroboam is 4.5 liters. Philippe Jullian designed the V to signify victory and hail the end of World War II.
Auction Price $310,700
3. The Setting Wines Alexander Val Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
A rare 2015 The Setting Wines Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was purchased for $350,000 at a charity dinner hosted by The Emeril Lagasse Foundation. In addition to the Foundation’s successful Boudin, Bourbon and Beer event, $3.5 Million was raised for children’s charities.
The Setting is an exclusive collection of premium wines that Jeff Cova, Noah McMahon and Jesse Katz have created. Jesse Katz is an award-winning winemaker and has worked with Chateau Petrus as well as Screaming Eagle.
Auction Price $350,000
Year Sold 2017
2. Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 1992
In Napa Valley, California, the iconic Screaming Eagle Winery was founded in 1992. It produced its first vintage. They have grown from strength to strength with a small production of 500 to 800 cases per year.
Jean Phillips, the original owner, was connected by Robert Mondavi to Heidi Peterson Barrett, winemaker. Rober Parker, a wine critic, awarded them 99 points for their 1992 Cabernet Sauvignon harvest.
Screaming Eagle 2007 and 1997 vintages have achieved a perfect 100 point score. The Screaming Eagle membership wait list is said to have over 4,000 members.
Prices for non-members to purchase the wine are extremely high. One bottle of Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 1993 is the most expensive wine from Napa Valley. It is also the most costly wine produced in the United States.
Price at Auction: $500,000
1. Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Grand Cru 1945
Domaine de la Romanee -Conti Grand Cru from Burgundy, France is the most expensive wine. This wine is a legend, and only 600 bottles were produced in 1945.
This is also the last year grapes were harvested from this particular vine. The vines were removed and newer vines were planted in its place.
Sotheby’s estimated auction price was $32,000, so $558,000 was not a surprise. Just a few minutes later, another bottle with the same vintage and wine was sold for $496,000.
Robert Drouhin was the owner of these rare vintage wines. He is a well-known winemaker. From 1928 to 1964, his father Maurice Drouhin was sole distributor for Romanee Conti in France & Belgium.
Maurice constructed a secret cellar wall in order to protect his wines when France was invaded from Germany in 1930s. Maurice, General Douglas McArthur’s liaison Officer, was a crucial member of the French Resistance movement.
Maurice was executed by the Gestapo after he was alerted. He was warned and managed to escape through the cellar vaults, the Door of Freedom and the Hospices de Beaunes. The nuns kept Maurice in the building until the Liberation of 1944.
Price at Auction: $558,000
Why are these the most expensive wines in the world?
We’ve seen that rare wines that have a connection with prominent figures like Thomas Jefferson can fetch extraordinary prices at auction. Grand Cru Bordeaux and Burgundy wines made from pinot noir are also highly sought after.
These expensive wines are very rare and create a shortage of supply. They are mostly aged in French oak. Unicorn wines are the rarest.
The term was first used on Instagram by New York’s top sommeliers. This term refers to extremely rare wines, such as Shipwreck Champagne.
According to reports, Heidsieck Monopole Gout Americain 1907 was sold at auction for $275,000 and was one of 2,500 bottles that were salvaged from the Jonkoping wreckage in 1997. In the first World War, the ship was torpedoed and destroyed by a German submarine. Champagne was preserved well in salt water at 4 degrees Celsius and protected from light.
However, wines older than 100 years will not taste as good.
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Here is a list of the most expensive wines in the world.
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Grand Cru 1945
- Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 1992
- The Setting Wines Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015.
- Chateau Mouton-Rothschild 1945
- Chateau Cheval Blanc 1947
- Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 1869
- Chateau Margaux 1787
- Penfolds Kalimna Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
- Chateau Lafite 1787
- Chateau d’Yquem 1811
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