Winemaking is an old art that started in the modern country of Georgia in 6000 BCE. During the Roman Empire, it quickly spread to the rest of Europe. In theory, making wine is very easy. All you have to do is crush grapes and let them ferment over time.
Still, wine is one of the most respected and sophisticated alcoholic drinks. Beer is made in a much more complicated way and has been around longer than wine, but the most expensive bottles of beer don't even cost a quarter as much as the most expensive bottles of wine.
Unlike beer, wine has always been associated with the upper classes, whether it was royalty or clergymen. Wine is made during certain times of the year, and unlike beer, it gets better as it ages. Every region has its own unique species of wine grapes that are used to make the best fine wines. In the list below, I'll talk about the most expensive wines.
Chateau Margaux 1787
Chateau Margaux comes from the Bordeaux wine region in France. It is made by a winery that has been around since the 12th century. In the 1600s, when the Lestonnac Family owned the Chateau Margaux, making wine was the most important thing.
When it came out in 1787, Thomas Jefferson liked the Chateau Margaux grand vin, which is a red wine. Forbes said in 2003 that it cost a whopping $225,000, making it one of the most expensive bottles of wine in the world. Since wine only gets better with age, it's likely to cost even more now.
The Domaine de la Romanee-Conti made the vintage wine Romanee-Conti in 1945. It has four red and one white grape. The grapes that go into the Romanee Conti 1945 come from a small, 4-hectare grand cru vineyard. Each grape is carefully picked and sorted by hand.
Because this bottle is so rare, wine experts call it a “unicorn wine.” In 1945, only 600 bottles were made, and many of them have already been drunk. Also, you can't just go to your local liquor store or the vineyard and buy a vintage wine. Bloomberg said that in 2018, a buyer paid $558,000 for a single bottle of this very rare wine at an auction.
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Screaming Eagle Cabernet 1992
Stan Kroenke owns the vineyards Jonata and The Hilt in Napa Valley, where Screaming Eagle Cabernet 1992 comes from. This exclusive, small-batch winemaker made sure that there were only 225 cases of this rare cab made in 1992.
The price of a bottle of Screaming Eagle Cabernet 1992 is about $23,500. There are 2013 bottles for sale at wine shops for a fraction of the price, but even those still cost more than $7,000. Because it ages in oak barrels, this cab has hints of oak, as well as black currants, black cherries, and berries.
Chateau Cheval Blanc 1947
Chateau Cheval Blanc 1947 is a blend of equal parts Cabernet Franc and merlot from the Bordeaux region and vineyards of the historic Fourcard-Laussac wine-making family. Chateau Cheval is now owned by someone else.
The 1947 bottle was different from other Bordeaux wines of the time because it had more alcohol, acidity, and a richness-like port. Historians agree that Chateau Cheval Blanc was a happy accident. The harvest and fermentation happened during an unusually hot summer.
Buyers of wine still think it was one of the best of the 20th century. From private sellers, a bottle of Chateau Cheval Blanc 1947 can cost up to $300,000.
Chateau D’Yquem 1811
Chateau D'Yquem in Bordeaux is one of the most famous wineries in the world. It has been making wine since the 1500s. Chateau D'Yquem makes white wines that taste very sweet.
Because of this, they have the highest rating of any white wine in the world, which is called premier cru Superieur. The Chateau D'Yquem wines are so rare because they use a natural process called noble rot, in which a certain bacterium takes over a certain type of grape.
The grapes dry up and make a few drops of delicious wine nectar, which goes into the bottles that are so highly sought after today. A bottle of Chateau D'Yquem from the year 1811 recently sold at an auction for $117,000.
Cheval Blanc St-Emilion 1947
Cheval Blac St-Emilion 1947 is a red Bordeaux from the Cheval Blanc estate. It is a 50/50 blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The weather during an unusually hot summer made the Cheval Blanc St-Emilion taste sweeter and more like Port, just like the Chateau Cheval Blanc 1947.
Only 110,000 bottles were made, which makes them rare and raises their market value. It is also a Grand cru, just like the Chateau Cheval Blanc. The grapes and soil in the two wines are different. Cheval Blanc St. Emilion 1947 was priced anywhere from $15,000 to $35,000.
Ampoule from Penfolds
The ampoule is a limited-edition bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon wine from the South Australian winery Penfolds, which is run by Chief Winemaker Peter Gago. This good wine is only in twelve bottles. Each bottle is signed, and a well-known artist blows the glass.
The Penfolds winery just celebrated its 175th anniversary of making wine. Penfolds says that this special edition wine comes from a single vineyard with the oldest grape vines that have been producing grapes for the longest amount of time.
Also, each bottle doesn't have a cork or screw cap, and there are only 12 of them, making it the rarest wine on my list. About $170,000 can be paid for one bottle of Ampoule.
Jeroboam of Chateau Mouton-Rothschild 1945
Jeroboam of Chateau Mouton-Rothschild is important not just because it is a great wine, but also because it is a sign of victory. The letter “V” is written on the label of this Pauillac Bordeaux from the Rothschild's Mouton vineyard to celebrate the defeat of the Axis powers and the end of World War II.
The Rothschild family is one of the wealthiest wine families in the world, but they are also Jewish, which makes this wine even more meaningful. During the war, the family had to hide and could finally go back to their famous vineyards. The last time it was sold at auction, it went for $310,000.
Penfolds Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
The Penfolds Block 42 2004 wine is another limited edition Ampoule vessel Cabernet Sauvignon. It comes from a small 10-acre vineyard in Barossa Valley, Australia, which is a wine region.
The grapes have been coming from the vines themselves for 130 years. When you buy a case of 12 Ampoules of Penfolds Block 42 for 170,000 dollars, you get VIP service.
The winemaker will fly the case to you, with each ampoule being a unique work of art made by three different artists. The winemaker uses a special tool to open the ampoule. Inside is a corked bottle of wine that sells for about $500 each.
There are a lot of things that make the most expensive wine bottles in the world so expensive. Most of them come from wine estates that have been around for hundreds of years and have prized vineyards that only grow a certain number of grapes each year.
There aren't many of them left, and many of them will never be opened. Instead, wine collectors will keep them in their cellars as pieces of wine history. Which wine would you want to buy if you had the chance?