Wine has long been considered an enticing alternative investment, offering delivering strong returns and outperforming many other traditional options. Over the years, the prices of certain wines, vintages and regions have skyrocketed, and many bottles now sell for tens or even hundreds of thousands at auctions all over the world.
To show you just how crazy prizes have gotten in the last few years, we’re going to take a look at 10 of the most expensive bottles of red wine sold at auction, from a few thousand right up to half a million dollars.
As you might expect, the majority of the wines come from France, which is not only the world’s most popular tourist destination, but is home to the world’s biggest wine chateaux, from the reds of Mouton Rothschild to the dessert wine of Yquem. But there are appearances from a couple of countries who are growing in popularity and acclaim as wine producers, notably Australia and the United States.
Chateau Margaux 2009
Margaux has long been considered a stunning producer of red wines, but their 2009 vintage is thought to be one of the best ever produced. To buy one of their 12-litre balthazars, of which only three are available (and all through exclusive wine merchant Le Clos), you will need to shell out $195,000. On the plus side it comes in a stunning oak case with gold engravings, but then for that price that’s the leas you might expect!
Chateau Lafite 1865
Another big name in the red wine world, Lafite consistently produces highly rated and valuable wines each and every year. One of the most sought-after is the 1865 vintage, which – as you might imagine – is exceptionally rare. In 2006 a double magnum of this vintage was sold at auction by Sotheby’s for an eye-watering $111,625
Chateau Mouton-Rothschild 1945
Generally considered one of the finest vintages of one of the finest chateaux in France (if not the world), the 45 Mouton Rothschild is rare, highly rated and extremely valuable. In 2007, a jeroboam of this vintage was sold at Sotheby’s in New York for an astonishing $310,700. That works out to over $75,000 per standard bottle (750ml).
Domaine de la Romanee-Conti 1990
Almost universally considered to be one of the world’s best Pinot Noir wines, Romanee Conti vintages are always valuable and highly prized, as the quality is excellent and they’re produced in extremely limited numbers. The 1990 is particularly highly thought of and always in demand, and in 1996 eight bottles were sold at auction for $224,900.
Cheval Blanc 1947
Another extremely well respected chateaux, Cheval Blanc wines always fetch decent valuations, but the 1947 is considered one of the best of the bunch, and was awarded Class A status in the Classification of Saint-Emilion wine (one of only two bottles to ever do so). In 2006 a 3-litre bottle of the 1947 vintage was sold in the US for over $135,000.
Penfolds Grange Hermitage 1951
Finally a wine from somewhere other than France, the 1951 Penfolds Grance Hermitage is the most expensive Australian wine ever produced, with a single bottle setting you back $38,500. However, as there are reported to be only 20 bottles in existence, the price is almost certain to continue to increase in the coming years.
Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 1992
Our only entry from the United States, it’s also probably the world’s most expensive red wine. Extremely rare and highly sought after, a single bottle of the 1992 Screaming Eagle cab sav sold at auction in 2000 for an incredible $500,000. Not one you’d want to drink with a take-away!