If you are a connoisseur of fine wines, then you know that a rare bottle of the finest wine can go for thousands of dollars. It doesn’t take a wine expert to be able to tell that there is a difference between premium wines and those sold in bulk or in boxes for low prices. Wine making is a complex process and the finer wines employ a variety of unique ingredients and methods to get a one of a kind wine in its presentation, aroma, flavor and personality. We’re researched the 20 most expensive wines ever sold to give you an idea of what collectors are willing to pay to own the best.
20. 1975 Egon Müller Scharzhofberger / Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese – $9,700
The vintages for this wine from 1975, 2003 and 2005 are set at $9,700 per bottle with no negotiation. This wine is from the Mosel, Rheinland-Pfalz region of Germany. The wine is made of Reisling grapes and is considered to be one of the more expensive wines on the list in fine dining establishments. If you think this is expensive, just wait until you see the rest because it’s only the 20th most expensive wine ever sold.
19. 2012 Domaine Leroy Musigny Grand Cru – $14,436
This wine is from Cote de Nuits, France and the price that you’re seeing above is the regular selling price. This is a Musigny vintage that is said to offer a layered ambiance with a mineral quality. A silky and smooth wine, it’s one of the more expensive wines you can buy at this price every day without the need to bid on the item through auctions.
18. 2010 AurumRed GoldSeries – $17,000
The AurumRed Winery of Cuenca, La Mancha, Spain is made from Tempranillo grapes. It is one of the more expensive wines offered on exclusive wine lists at upscale restaurants. At $17,000 per bottle it had better be some of the best wine that you can buy for the money. Although not a collectible, it’s considered to be one of the better wines available at select retail outlets.
17. 1990 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti Grand Cru – $21,216
This is a fine wine that is offered by the Romanee-Conti winery, which is considered to be one of the favored high end wine producers. This vintage is offered for sale at a price of $21,216 per bottle. Although a bottle of wine that is valued at $21,000 may seem expensive, the price is on the low end for the brand. The wine is made in Burgundy, France and it’s a fine collectible.
16. 1951 Penfolds Grange Hermitage – $38,420
This is an Australian wine and the most expensive vintage of the brand. It was sold at an auction which was held at MW Wines, in Adelaide, located in the Southern part of Australia. It went for $38,420 in an auction held in May of 2004, as a rare bottle with only twenty bottles which are known to still be in existence today.
15. 1775 Massandra’s Sherry de la Fronter – $43,500
Simply called Massandra Sherry 1775 and it is one of the oldest wines in existence on the list, coming in at well over two centuries in age. This bottle of wine was produced in Ukraine, at the Massandra Winery, which is known to maintain a sizable collection of vintage wines.
14. Chateau d’Yquem 1787 – $100,000
This extremely rare bottle of Chateau d’Yquem was made in 1787.It was sold to Julian LeCraw, an American collector n 2006, for the auction price of $100,000. This was at one time regarded as the most expensive bottle of wine in the world, but there have been rumors that the wine inside turned sour and it has since become to a bone of contention and the subject of a lawsuit over its authenticity.
13. 1945 Chateau Mouton Rothschild – $114,000
This rare bottle of Chateau Mouton Rothschild was auctioned in 1997 at a Christie’s acution in London and it went for $114,000 to an anonymous bidder. The wine was made near the end of the second World War and is among the more rare collectible wines in the world.
12. 1811 Chateau d’Yquem – $117,000
This exceptionally rare bottle of Chateau d’Yquem is over 200 years old and is among the most rare white wines on the planet. It was sold to a restaurateur named Christian Vanneque in 2011, by the Antique Wine Company. The new owner put the wine on display at his establishment behind bullet proof glass. There are only ten bottles of this vintage known to still exist out of the 3,000 which were originally made.
11. 1947 Cheval Blanc St-Emilion – $135,125
This vintage wine was made in Bordeaux, France and it is one of just two wines to be granted class A recognition of the Saint-Emilion wines. There were 110,000 bottles of the 1947 vintage produced, but very few are still in existence currently. It’s a blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Franc. This example sold in 2006 at a sale held at San Francisco’s Vinfolio for a remarkable $135,125.
10. 1787 Chateau Lafite Bordeaux – $156,000
This bottle of wine was reputed to be owned at one time by Thomas Jefferson. It was sold at auction for $156,000. There have been contentions over the authenticity of this wine. Experts who have examined the bottle of wine are divided on whether or not it is the real thing but whether it’s the real thing or not, it still sold for $156,000 at a 1985 auction to Malcolm Forbes, of Forbes magazine fame.
9. 1787 Chateau Margaux – $225,000
Here is another rare wine that was sold for a high sum at auction, but had negative consequences associated with the sale. This bottle was authenticated and was found to truly be from the Thomas Jefferson collection. This wasn’t the problem. The real issue happened when a waiter dropped the rare wine and it shattered into bits all over the floor. The wine valued at $500,000 which was lost resulted in an insurance payment to the buyer in the amount of $225,000.
8. 1869 Chateau Lafite – $230,000
Three bottles of this rare 1869 vintage wine were sold at auction in 2010 for $230,000 each. The rare wine was sold at a Sotheby’s auction which was held in Hong Kong in 2010. The same buyer bought all three bottles to add to their collection. .
7. 1907 Shipwrecked Heidsieck – $275,000
A rare bottle of 1907 Heidsieck was sold at auction for $275,000. This is a champagne that is so very rare because it was rescued from a wrecked Swedish Freightliner in 1998 off of the coast of Finland. It was rare prior to this event but the circumstances under which it was recovered gave the bottle of wine a very interesting story to go along with its previous valuation. There were 2,000 of the rare bottles of wine recovered, however, the ship carrying them was bombed during World War I, making this fine collectible an amazing conversation piece as well.
6. 1947 Cheval Blanc – 304,375
A bottle of 1947 Cheval Blanc was sold for $304,375 at an auction in Geneva in 2010. This is a highly prized collectible rare wine that has been sold at multiple auctions in a variety of countries for figures into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, but this is the highest that the vintage year has gone for at auction. In a similar vein, there were three bottles sold from the 1937 vintage that went for $930,000 for all three.
5. 1945 Mouton-Rothschild – $310,000
A bottle of 1945 Mouton-Rothschild sold for an amazing $310,000, setting the record for the vintage year at a Sotheby’s auction held in New York in 2007. Other auctions for Chateau Lafite Rothschild such as the Hong Kong auction in 2010 brought in $233,000 per bottle, which was much less than this rare collectible. The 2007 sale which topped the others was offered in a large format bottle which is 3 liters, making it one of the most expensive rare wine to be sold in this format.
4. 1937 Romanee-Conti – $310,000
The 1937 Romanee-Conti is a rare wine which tied with the 1945 Mouton-Rothschild, selling for $310,000 each. Three of these rare wines from the same vintage were sold at the same time. The wines will make an excellent addition to the buyer’s collection.
3. 1945 Romanee-Conti – $496,000
The third most expensive wine to ever be sold in the world is a 1945 Romanee-Conti vintage. This bottle sold right behind the next most expensive auctioned wine from the same year. This wine is said to have an exotic and concentrated quality. It was a night for wine collectors at the auction as several rare wines valued in the hundreds of thousands apiece were auctioned off, but this, along with two others held the podium. Romanee-Conti- wines are some of the most expensive in the world and this one was sold at a Sotheby’s auction, but if you think that this is expensive, just wait until you see how much the second and first most expensive wines have gone for .
2. 1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon – $500,000
As we’re approaching the most expensive wine ever sold in the world as of this time, the second highest auctioned is the Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon from the 1992 vintage. It’s not a particularly old bottle of wine when you compare it with many of the others which have sold for far less, but its one of the highly prized wines for collectors. This bottle was auctioned at a Napa Valley charity auction in 2000. At the time of the sale it was the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold at an auction. The size of the bottle is a six liter which is an extremely large format. What makes this wine so rare is that it was only made available on a limited basis in the year 1995 and you can’t just run down to your local grocery store and pick up a bottle.
1. 1945 Romanee-Conti – $558,000
We’ve finally come to the number one most expensive wine ever sold in the world and in history. This bottle of 1945 Romanee-Conti is a French Burgundy which sold for an amazing $558,000 at a Sotheby’s auction. What is even more amazing about this more than half a million dollar sale is that prior to the starting of the auction, there was an estimated value of just $32,000 placed on this wine. It sold for over seventeen times its original estimated worth. In an interesting vein, a few moments after this sale completed, a bottle of the same vintage wine sold for an amazing $496,000.. When it comes to selling high value assets and collectibles such as this very expensive wine, it’s difficult to determine whether the auction will meet or exceed the starting bid on an item. This sale just goes to prove the old saying that an item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. It’s highly unlikely that this gem will ever be uncorked.