Ever wondered what the most expensive wine is?
Imagine paying the equivalent of two Alfa Romeos for just one bottle of wine.
Well, the thought of finding a rare bottle and paying exorbitant amounts for 750ml of the precious liquid is a thrill that an avid wine collector looks forward to!
This article looks into what drives wine prices and looks at some of the most expensive wines in the world that you can invest in - red, white, sparkling, and dessert wines. If those price tags don’t make your jaw drop, we’ll also take you through wines that broke world records at auctions.
We’ll also show you out a hassle-free way to build a portfolio of expensive wine.
In This Article, We Will Cover
- 2015 Domaine Leroy Musigny Grand Cru
- 1937 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti Grand Cru
- 2015 Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier Musigny Grand Cru
- 1992 Domaine Leflaive Montrachet Grand Cru
- 2007 Leroy Domaine d'Auvenay Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru
- 1994 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet Grand Cru
- 1996 Dom Perignon Rose Gold
- 2002 Louis Roederer Cristal 'Gold Medalion' Orfevres Limited Edition Brut Millesime
- Armand De Brignac Ace of Spades La Collection
- Royal Tokaji limited edition Essencia 2008
- 1959 Egon Muller Scharzhofberger Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese
- W & J Graham’s Ne Oublie' Tawny Port
- 1945 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Conti Grand Cru
- 1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1945 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild (Jeroboam)
- 1947 Chateau Cheval Blanc
- 1869 Chateau Lafite Rothschild
- 1787 Chateau Margaux
- 2004 Penfolds Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1811 Chateau d’Yquem
What Makes Wine Expensive?
Not all wines start out as expensive, although there are a few that do.
A portion of the wine’s price tag includes the production costs itself. But, what’s the reason for the huge difference between a $200 wine and a $7,000 wine?
Besides raw material costs, wine making costs, bottling, branding and marketing costs, there are several other tangible and intangible factors that dictate the price and “perceived value” of good wine.
Let’s take a closer look.
- Scarcity: If a winery only produces 300 bottles a year, the wine would be more expensive compared to a production of 4000 bottles.
Also, if a particular vintage has a lower yield than in earlier years, there’ll be a decreased supply of that wine in the market. This would in turn lead to higher prices.
And if it's a limited edition wine, the more bottles are opened for consumption, the rarer the remaining ones become.
- Grapes and Vintages: Grapes from exceptional vintages naturally lead to higher wine prices. The vineyard where the grape is harvested matters - as this affects the taste and age-ability of the wine.
- Age: Wines that can age well for decades in the bottle, improve in taste and value over time.
- Novelty: Unique packaging or the fact you have to be on a waiting list to receive a bottle of wine affects the price of a wine.
- Brand: Well-known brands that have been around for ages and consistently produce high-quality wines can command super-high prices.
- Prestige: The more prestigious the brand is, or the more attention it gets at auctions, the higher their prices will be.
- Critics rating: If a wine receives high scores from wine critics like Robert Parker or James Suckling, chances are it’s prices skyrocket.
- Handling: The wine’s storage and provenance (origin and storage history) can also make the difference between a $200 wine and a $10,000 wine.
Ready to discover some of the most expensive wines in the market?
Most Expensive Red Wines (2021)
Certain red wines have commanded high prices and have stolen headlines over the years.
Let’s look at the three most expensive bottles available in the market.
1. 2015 Domaine Leroy Musigny Grand Cru
Domaine Leroy is a wine producer from Cote de Nuits, Burgundy making a range of wines from Pinot Noir grapes grown in the world’s most iconic vineyards. (The winery is also known for its exquisite Chambertin Grand cru wines, or the Domaine Leroy Chambertin Grand Cru.)
The 2015 Domaine Leroy Musigny Grand Cru is a truly spectacular wine with aromas of raspberry, rose, cherry, and spice. This red wine has a multidimensional palate with satiny tannins.
Price for a bottle of 2015 Domaine Leroy Musigny Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits, France: $101,260
2. 1937 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti Grand Cru
In 2012, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti was named the most important wine producer by the Acker, Merrall & Condit wine auction house.
This 1937 Pinot Noir wine has aromas of garden, mint, rose, jasmine, and spice. The palate retains its flavors of mint, anise, wax, menthol, and citrus.
Price for a bottle of 1937 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits, France:$73,228
3. 2015 Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier Musigny Grand Cru
Domaine Georges Roumier produces some of Burgundy’s most expensive and highly rated wines.
The 2015 Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier Musigny Grand Cru has aromas that burst forward with fruity notes. This wine has soft, velvety tannins on the palate and requires at least 5-10 years of cellaring.
Price for a bottle of 2015 Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier Musigny Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits, France: $20,829
Most Expensive White Wines
Whether you are having a night in by yourself or a lovely gathering with friends, it is never complete without a bottle of white wine. No wonder, when it comes to wine, white wine is the most versatile of the lot.
Ready to discover the three most expensive white wines?
1. 1992 Domaine Leflaive Montrachet Grand Cru
Domaine Leflaive makes Chardonnay wines from four premier cru and four grand cru sites.
The 1992 Domaine Leflaive Montrachet Grand Cru has a fantastic nose that gives off citrus, butter, and yeast notes. It has a fresh acidity which leads you to a long-lasting finish.
Price for a bottle of 1992 Domaine Leflaive Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune, France: $14,105
2. 2007 Leroy Domaine d'Auvenay Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru
Domaine d’Auvenay is a wine estate based in Cote de Beaune, France.
The 2007 vintage has a beautiful balance of ripe fruit, acidity, and minerality. It has notes of stone and tropical fruit, white pepper, sugar, butter, and citrus.
Price for a bottle of 2007 Leroy Domaine d'Auvenay Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune, France: $12,765
3. 1994 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet Grand Cru
The Romanee-Conti Montrachet is the only white wine in the DRC stable. DRC only produces a small quantity of this wine, bottling 250 cases annually.
The 1994 Montrachet has aromas of deep mineral spice with hints of orange blossoms and star anise. This full-bodied white wine has a silky texture and good length, with flavors of nuts and spices.
Price for a bottle of 1994 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune, France: $10,911
Most Expensive Sparkling Wines
Champagne is the mark of extreme refinement, with many bubblies from prominent makers commanding high prices.
Look out for these three sparklers:
1. 1996 Dom Perignon Rose Gold
Dom Perignon is one of the most celebrated Champagne brands. The Rose Gold is only produced in the most exceptional years and in minimal quantities, and it is a Champagne fit for any wine connoisseur.
This rich and complex wine has fruity aromas complemented by smokey accents. The bubbles of this Champagne help the dark fruit flavors bounce around your palate.
Price for a bottle of 1996 Dom Perignon Rose Gold, Champagne, France: $56,679
2. 2002 Louis Roederer Cristal 'Gold Medalion' Orfevres Limited Edition Brut Millesime
Cristal is the flagship wine from the Louis Roederer Champagne House. This house style Cuvee is made with equal amounts of the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grape varietals and a small amount of Pinot Meunier.
The 2002 limited edition has delicate aromas of honey, toasted hazelnuts, citrus fruit, and cocoa. On the palate, enjoy ripe red fruit, caramel, Danish pastry, and chocolate flavors.
Price for a bottle of 2002 Louis Roederer Cristal 'Gold Medalion' Orfevres Limited Edition Brut Millesime, Champagne, France: $4,938
3. Armand De Brignac Ace of Spades La Collection
Each of these collector’s edition boxes contains six Armand de Brignac cuvees. Only 300 units of this collection were released, and it includes one of Blanc de Noirs’ rarest bottles.
This box includes the Brut Gold, Brut Green, Rose, Demi-Sec, Blanc de Blancs and the Blanc de Noirs Champagnes.
Price for the Armand De Brignac Ace of Spades La Collection: $3,559
Most Expensive Dessert Wines
What could be better than enjoying a sweet wine after a hearty meal, right?
Sweet wine is probably not known to be expensive, but some of them can be super-expensive and investment-worthy as well. Here are three of them:
1. Royal Tokaji limited edition Essencia 2008
This dessert wine is absolutely delicious and can be cellared until the year 2300. This wine is made from grapes affected by the noble rot fungus (botrytis cinerea) that lends depth and character to the aszu berries.
It has aromas of ripe peach, honey, spice, and ginger notes. This is a rich dessert wine with a concentrated palate and a balanced and taut acidity.
Price for a bottle of Royal Tokaji limited edition Essencia 2008, Tokaj-Hegyalja, Hungary: $40,000
2. 1959 Egon Muller Scharzhofberger Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese
Weingut Egon Muller works exclusively with Riesling and is based in the Saar valley in Mosel, Germany.
This sweet wine has sublime aromas of ripe lemon, rock, minerality, and spices. It has an airy texture on the palate and many flavors that lead to an infinite finish.
Price for a bottle of 1959 Egon Muller Scharzhofberger Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese, Mosel, Germany: $27,346
3. W & J Graham’s Ne Oublie' Tawny Port
Made from barrels that date back to 1882, this is one of the most notable releases from W & J Graham’s.
The sweetness of this good wine intensifies over time with layers of caramel, honey, sugar, orange zest, marzipan, apricot, and almond flavors.
Price for a bottle of W & J Graham’s Ne Oublie' Tawny Port, Portugal: $8,239
Now, it’s time to look at the wines that came out with flying colors at auctions!
8 Wines That Exceeded Expectations At Auctions
One of the perks that come with being a wine enthusiast and investor is seeing how your favorite wines perform at auctions. Here are eight instances where wines exceeded all expectations at auction.
1. 1945 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Conti Grand Cru: $558,000
In 2018, two bottles of 1945 Romanee-Conti went up for sale at a Sotheby’s auction. With just 600 bottles of this 1945 vintage produced, this was already a rare wine straight out the vineyard.
The one bottle from the Robert Drouhin collection fetched an astounding $558,000 - making it the most expensive bottle of wine sold at auction.
2. 1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon: $500,000
The wine produced from the Screaming Eagle winery in Napa Valley, California (Oakville appellation) has achieved cult status, thanks to the small quantities of the Screaming Eagle Cabernet produced.
At a charity auction in 2000, the 1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon left wine drinkers stunned after going under the hammer for $500,000.
3. 1945 Château Mouton-Rothschild (Jeroboam): $310,700
Chateau Lafite Rothschild produces some of the most valued and sought-after wines.
In a 1997 Christie’s auction, a wine lover bought a Jeroboam of this fantastic vintage for a whopping $310,700. Notably, the “V” on the 1945 vintage bottle is to pay homage to the Allied Forces during the Second World War.
4. 1947 Chateau Cheval Blanc: $304,375
Some wine connoisseurs consider the Chateau Cheval Blanc to be the best Bordeaux ever made. Chateau Cheval Blanc has the Premier Grand Cru Classe (A) rank in the Classification of Saint Emilion wine.
So it is no surprise that the 1947 vintage sold for $304,375 at a Christie’s auction in 2010.
5. 1869 Château Lafite-Rothschild: $230,000
Chateau Lafite continues to impress with it’s sought-after wines. At a Hong Kong auction, a private bidder bought three bottles of the 1869 vintage for $230,000 each!
6. 1787 Chateau Margaux: $225,000
The story of the 1787 Chateau Margaux doesn’t end the way wine collectors would hope. Owned by US President Thomas Jefferson, this Chateau Margaux found itself in the hands of wine trader William Sokolin, who valued it at $225,000.
He took it to a Bordeaux dinner, and a waiter accidentally bumped the table, causing the bottle to shatter. Even though insurance reimbursed Solokin, he will never fulfill the dream of tasting this stunning wine.
7. 2004 Penfolds Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon: $168,000
The 2004 Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon from Penfolds, one of the oldest wineries in South Australia, comes in at $168,000 a bottle. The packaging of this Cabernet Sauvignon is unique.
The ampoules of Cabernet Sauvignon come in a glass container that can only open by breaking off the end. To make sure it is opened correctly, a winemaker will accompany the buyer to open the ampoule of Cabernet Sauvignon.
8. 1811 Chateau d’Yquem: $117,000
In 2011, Chateau d’Yquem became the most expensive bottle of white wine at an auction in London. The buyer, sommelier Christian Vanneque, who paid the enormous amount of $117,000, plans to enjoy the wine on the 50th anniversary of his career in wine.
The previous record-holder, the 1787 vintage from Chateau d’Yquem, sold for $100,000 in 2006.
All of these wines are also perfect examples of how exciting wine investment can be.
But, how do you make sure the wines you buy are authentic and will appreciate over time?
Instead of searching through the endless lists on sites like Forbes or trying your luck at a wine auction, you’d be better off enlisting the services of a world-class online wine investment company like Vinovest.
This way, you will have access to all the resources you need to make your wine investment journey a success.
Buy And Store Expensive Wine Perfectly Through Vinovest
Vinovest is an online wine investment company that lets you buy and store sought-after collectible wines.
And, if you ever choose to sell a bottle for profit, Vinovest will match you to a buyer and help you find the best price for it.
How It Works
Building a high-performing wine investment portfolio through Vinovest is as easy as enjoying a glass of well-aged whiskey.
- Sign up on the website with your email and full name.
- Answer an easy questionnaire to reveal your investment style.
- Top up your account with a minimum of $1000.
- Browse through the wines and add them to your portfolio.
Sit back with your favorite glass of Sauvignon Blanc and watch your wine collection grow in real-time.
Benefits of buying and storing your wine through Vinovest
Not only do you get to own the most sought-after wines in the world, but you can also enjoy these fantastic benefits.
A. Best Wine Prices
When you buy wines through Vinovest, you can purchase investment-grade wines without having to pay retailer markups.
B. Easy Buying, Selling, And Delivery
Want to purchase sought-after Cabernet Sauvignon red wine? You can use Vinovest’s easy-to-use online platform to buy wines with just a few clicks.
If you want to sell your bottle, Vinovest will ensure it is delivered in perfect condition.
C. Secured Optimal Storage
As an avid wine collector, you can let your wines age gracefully in the state-of-the-art storage facilities at Vinovest. Every bottle of wine you own will also be under 24/7 monitoring.
D. Insurance Coverage
Your wine is insured with an FDIC equivalent, meaning that all of your wine is fully insured at market value.
E. Provenance And Authenticity
Got your eye on an expensive bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape or a rare wine from Napa Valley?
When you work with Vinovest, they do all the hard work of authenticating your expensive wine.
F. Low Overall Costs
You could enjoy the world of fine wine investment and all the Vinovest benefits for an annual fee of 2.85% (2.5% for portfolios of $50,000 and above.)
Even though Vinovest stores your wine and helps you find it, every bottle you buy is 100% yours.
Start Building Your Most Expensive Wine Collection
You can dive headfirst into the wine investment world and buy the most expensive Cabernet you can find today. But, it might be more conducive for your investment goals to find the right wines that will perform well over time.
By working with the Master Sommelier team at Vinovest, no investment will be too risky.
So, sign up with Vinovest and start building your high-performing wine portfolio.