These aren’t your Tuesday night, goes-well-with-pizza wines. No, these rare bottles have more in common with fine artwork, and serve as a clear reminder that wine collecting is serious business.
2009 Chateau Margaux Balthazar – $195,000
Regarded as one of the best vintages ever produced by the estate, just three of these 2009 Balthazar wines were made available to sell at a wine shop in the Dubai airport. The price? A whopping $195,000 – which gets you a first class ticket to France for a private vineyard tour and dinner at the Chateau hosted by head winemaker Paul Pontallier.
Chateau Lafite 1865 – $111,625
One of the oldest authenticated bottles of Lafite has been steadily rising in value for 150 years. At the most recent selling price that works out to about $4,650 per glass. If the six-figure price tag for the double-magnum is just too much, don’t worry, the 750ml bottle can be had for a much more reasonable $24,577.
Domaine de la Romanee-Conti 1990 – $20,975
This is arguably one of the world’s most sought-after bottles of Pinot Noir, and in 1996 a small collection went for $20,975 at Sotheby’s auction.
Chateau Mouton-Rothschild 1945 – $114,614
In 1997 an anonymous bidder at Christie’s bought a Jeroboam of for a whopping $114k.
Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon 1941 – $24,675
Owner Francis Ford Coppola said this was one of the best bottles he ever had and in 2001 Wine Spectator agreed, calling it one of the best wines ever produced in the Napa Valley.
Chateau d’Yquem 1811 – $117,000
While most of these bottles share one thing in common – they’re all red – this one is the exception. This is the most expensive white wine ever sold, and it’s the only Sauternes to receive a “Superior First Growth” rating under the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.
Cheval Blanc 1947 – $135,125
In the animated hit Ratatouille the feared critic Anton Ego visits the restaurant and orders a Cheval Blanc 1947. This is one of two wines to receive Class A status in the Classification of Saint-Emilion wine and this vintage is one of the highest rated for the producer from Robert Parker.
Penfolds Grange Hermitage 1951 – $38,420
This list wouldn’t be complete without a fine example from Penfolds, and this is perhaps their finest. Only 20 bottles exist, and after this Hermitage was sold at auction it became the most expensive Australian wine.
Henri Jayer Richebourg Grand Cru – $16,000
Compared to other bottles in this list, the $16,000 price tag seems affordable. This producer wins the award for having the highest average standard bottle price, year after year.
Chateau Lafite 1787 – $156,450
Malcom Forbes bought this bottle which is said to have originated from the late President Jefferson’s cellar and it has “ThJ” etched on it. Some people question whether it’s authentic or not, but it’s a fact that Jefferson collected wine and served as an ambassador to France where he frequented Bordeaux and Burgundy.
Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 1992 – $500,000
Although this was the most expensive wine ever bought, it’s often left off lists because the purchase took place at a charity auction.
Based on some of these prices it’s clear you could do a lot worse than investing in rare collectible wine, which has increased in value through two U.S. recessions. In fact, the Liv-Ex 100 has consistently matched or exceed the Dow Jones by a significant margin, with first growth Bordeaux leading the pack by a wide margin.
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