Most Expensive Wine in the World

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007 at 12:00 am

Auction houses make interesting venues to look for the world’s most expensive wines. The world’s most expensive wines consist of several rare and very old wines that may not even be drinkable at all.

Instead, such wines are being sought after by collectors by the piece of history and nostalgia that they bring with them. Such wines become more of a memorabilia instead of being praised for its contents (although this case may be true during the wine’s heydays). For the record, here are five of the most expensive wines that have fetched incredible prices from a number of avid wine collectors.

5. 1945 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild. $28,750 per bottle (a 6 magnum case was bought for $345,000), Christie’s Los Angeles, September 2006

There are quite a number of Chateau Mouton-Rothschild wines still out there, but it seems that it’s a specific 1945 vintage that is considered most valuable by quite a number of avid wine collectors. It is because the 1945 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild that is considered as one of the great vintages of the 20th Century, the reason why it still fetches so great a price among wine collectors. The 1945 label is famous for its "V" print for "Victory", indicating the end of the Second World War. On September of 2006 at Christie’s in Los Angeles, a case of six bottles of this wine was sold for $345,000, going at about $28,750 per bottle.

4. 1947 Cheval Blanc. $33,781.25 per 750 ml bottle (from $135,125 for the 3 liter bottle),Vinfolio, San Francisco, July 2006

The Cheval Blanc enjoys the status of being one of only two wines that have been given the Class A status in the Classification of Saint-Emilion wine. That is why it is considered as one of the prized bottles of wine today. They are so prized that on July of 2006, a three-liter bottle of a 1947 Cheval Blanc was bought at Vinfolio in San Francisco for $135,125. If recalculated at $33,781 per 750 ml bottle, it is enough to take the top four spot for the world’s most expensive wines.

3. 1951 Penfolds Grange Hermitage.  AUS$50,200 (roughly $38,420 US), May 2004, Melbourne, Australia

An Australian wine considered to be one of the rarest today, the 1951 Penfolds Grange Hermitage is known to have only about 20 other bottles left in existence today. On May of 2004, a wine collector in Adelaide paid AUS$50,200 for a bottle of 1951 Penfolds Grange Hermitage at an Australian auction house. Aside from being considered as the third most expensive wine in the world, it is also considered as the highest price ever paid for a bottle of wine in Australia.

2. 1787 Chateau d’Yquem.  $100,000, February 2006, Antique Wine Company in London

The 1787 Chateau d’Yquem is considered as the world’s most expensive white wine. An American wine collector bought a bottle on February, 2006 to the tune of $100,000. What gave the said wine esteemed with such high value may rest on the nostalgia that is associated with the said bottle. When the grapes were being harvested for the 1787 Chateau d’Yquem, George III was the King of England, George Washington was the President of the United States and James Watt was developing the first steam engine.

1. 1787 Chateau Lafitte. $156,450, December 1985, Christie’s, London

The 1787 Château Lafitte has stood for 22 years as the world’s most expensive wine. It first took the distinction when in 1985, Christopher Forbes won an auction to be honored of having this valuable piece of memorabilia for about $150,000 at the Christie’s auction house in London. This valuable bottle was brought to the US and became a part of the Forbes Collection. Its price may have gone considerably so high due to the initials etched on its bottle, "Th J". It was said to stand for Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States and an avid wine collector himself.