Top 10 Most Expensive Wines in the World
Punt: The indentation found at the base of the wine bottle
Vintner: A seller or manufacturer of wine
Oenophile: A person who has learned to appreciate wine and is fond of it
Yup, she has her own dictionary, she’s known as poetry in a bottle, she gets classier with age and with this list of the crazy amount of money people are willing to spend on her, wine just got snobbier!
Here’s a list of some of the whopping prices that people have paid for 750 milliliters of bottled ecstasy.
10. Chateau Margaux 2009
STRIKING FEATURE: First bottled Bordeaux wine in a 12-liter bottle
Next time you happen to be at the Dubai International Airport, do remember to stop by at the Le Clos wine shop in Terminal 3, where you will see three limited edition Balthazars (12-liter bottles) of this exquisite red wine from the Midoc region of France, just north of Bordeaux.
Only three out of the six bottles ever made are available on sale, at approximately $195,000 each. Each Balthazar is housed in an intricate oak case and engraved with master craftsmanship. Along with the vintage Balthazar, the 3 buyers will be flown first class to France to visit the Chateau Margaux estate, where they will enjoy a private tour of its cellars and vineyard and be treated to a lavish dinner with the chief winemaker and managing director, Paul Pontallier. This 2009 vintage can be aged for over a century and is proposed to be a fresh, balanced and long lasting experience for the palate.
9. 2010 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir
STRIKING FEATURE: 9 liter bottle auctioned for $205,000
The 2010 Williams Selyem Westside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir won the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Reserve Grand Champion and Best of Show award. Having achieved the prize, the 9 liter bottle known as a Salmanazar was promptly auctioned off at a wine dinner in Houston, where it fetched $205,000. The bottle holds an equivalent of 12 bottles of wine.
8. Chateau Cheval Blanc 1947
STRIKING FEATURE: Still drinkable today and for the next 50 years
The Chateau Cheval Blanc 1947 will cost you a whopping $304,375 for a 6 liter bottle. This wine from France is known to be one of the greatest Bordeaux of all time. It was previously owned by a Swiss collector, who requested anonymity, and was sold at an auction at Christie’s in Geneva on November 16, 2010 to a private collector. The wine expert at Christie’s, Michael Ganne, has vouched for the 1947 Cheval-Blanc to be “without a doubt one of the greatest Bordeaux of all time, not only for its rare quality but its longevity, in that it can still be kept for another 50 years without any problem.”
7. Chateau D’Yquem 1811
STRIKING FEATURE: Holds a Guinness World Record for the most expensive bottle of white wine
The Antique Wine Company sold a bottle of this rare vintage for $117,000. It is claimed to be one of the greatest wines in the history of Bordeaux and one of the most supreme vintages ever produced. Christian Vanneque, a wine connoisseur and private collector, is the rich guy who purchased this rare bottle to keep on display at his new establishment, SIP Sunset Grill in Bali, Indonesia.
6. Romanee Conti 1945
STRIKING FEATURE: Produced during WWII
Phylloxera, a pest of commercial grapevines, is capable of destroying an entire vineyard. During WWII, and just before the outbreak of phylloxera, 600 bottles of this end-of-war Romanée-Conti were created. The entire Romanée-Conti vineyard was uprooted in 1946 and did not produce wine again until the 1952 vintage. The Romanee Conti 1945, which represents the final harvest from the pre-phylloxera vines, bottles a taste of history. It was bought by a U.S. collector at Christie’s fine-wine auction.
5. Chateau Lafitte 1787
STRIKING FEATURE: Believed to have originated from the late President Thomas Jefferson’s cellar
“I wish Jefferson had bloody drunk the thing.”
This is what Malcolm Forbes (Publisher: Forbes Magazine) said after his $156,450 turned to $0!
This was one of the bottles discovered after two centuries in a Parisian cellar where Thomas Jefferson (known to be the first wine connoisseur of America) had himself stored it. It had “Th. J.” etched on it and its’ authenticity was vouched for by great wine connoisseurs.
In 1985, the publishing magnate Malcolm Forbes put his prized new possession on a pedestal in a glass case under halogen spotlights so it could bask in all its glory. As a result of being under these strong lights and at a wrong angle, the cork eventually dried out and dropped into the bottle, rendering it valueless.
4. Penfolds 2004 Kalimna Cabernet Sauvignon Ampoule
STRIKING FEATURE: Not the normal European wine; produced at the Australian Penfolds Winery
This wine was made in an ampoule created from blown glass and housed in a cabinet made of Jarrah, a eucalyptus tree native to Western Australia. There have only been 12 such ampoules of this 750 ml red wine ever made. The ‘exquisite quality’ Penfolds Limited Edition 2004 Block 42 Kalimna Cabernet Sauvignon Ampoulhfe was made from hand-picked grapes from one of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in the world, and fermented in oak hogshead barrels since 2004.
The first of this ‘beyond premium’ ampoule was purchased by a restaurateur from Hong Kong-Mr. Wong Wing Chee of Dragon Seal Restaurant. He encased it in a bullet-proof glass in his Cantonese restaurant on the 101st floor of the International Commerce Centre.
3. Chateau Margaux 1787
STRIKING FEATURE: It was the most expensive bottle of wine ever broken
The Chateau Margaux 1787 was another vintage from Thomas Jefferson’s collection to be discovered from behind the Parisian cellar wall in 1985 with his initials. It was valued at $500,000 by its owner, a New York wine merchant called William Sokolin.
In 1989, after Sokolin sat down to dinner at the Four Seasons restaurant, he realized that the guests of honor were the owners of the wine that he was trying to sell on their behalf. He wondered to himself why the wine should be in a dark cellar when it could be at the party. He took a taxi back to his apartment, retrieved the wine, and rushed back to the restaurant where he began to show it around.
At the end of the evening, a waiter bumped into the table, causing the bottle to fall to the ground and smash. Fortunately, it was insured for $225,000 and sum was paid out by the insurance company. This is equivalent to about $390,000 today.
2. Chateau Lafitte 1869
STRIKING FEATURE: Estimated to auction for a mere $8,000; sold for $233,972
The Lafitte is considered to be a luxury purchase and coveted gift item in Asia. In 2012, an auction house was stunned when this bottle, estimated to reach $8,000 in value, ended up selling for $233,972 to an anonymous Asian bidder.
1. Heidsieck 1907
STRIKING FEATURE: Discovered after 80 years of being under the sea, off the Finland coast
In 1916, 200 bottles of this champagne were a part of a shipment to the Russian Imperial family, when they got lost in a shipwreck. 80 years later, they were discovered by a ship driver and each bottle sold $275,000. For 80 years, the ship lay at the bottom of the sea, 63 meters deep—a depth that happens to be the perfect resting place for a bottle of Champagne, with six atmospheres of pressure (the same as inside the bottle) at constant near-freezing temperatures, undisturbed and shielded from any source of light. These reasons led to the fame and perfection of the 1907 Heidsieck & Co. Monopole Diamant Bleu “Shipwrecked” Champagne.
A gentleman named Chris Hoel, who happened to be attending a private wine-tasting event has described the wine to have intense aromas of gunflint and black rifle powder mixed with a briny note like roasted oysters. He has accounted for notes of graham cracker, burnt lemon oil, and flamed oranges along with massive flavors of caramelized bananas, burnt citrus, and kerosene with a touch of bubbles remaining on the tongue.