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June 20, 2024

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The most expensive red wines in the world

Every year, World Wine Day gives us the perfect excuse to uncork a special bottle and toast to the rich history and artistry behind winemaking. This year, as we celebrated the craft, we took a journey through the crème de la crème of red wines. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a curious enthusiast, there’s something thrilling about discovering the stories and flavours behind the world’s most extravagant bottles. From legendary French vineyards to remarkable New World finds, here’s a look at the red wines that redefine luxury and prestige. So, pour yourself a glass and join us as we explore the pinnacle of vinous opulence.

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Domaine Leroy Richebourg Grand Cru 1949 (Côte de Nuits, France) $5,921

Côte de Nuits, France: This refers to a sub-region in Burgundy, France, known for producing some of the world’s best Pinot Noir wines.

Domaine Leroy, owned by Madame Leroy, produces outstanding Pinot Noir using biodynamic methods. This wine is very exclusive, with only about 700 bottles made each year. The Richebourg is known for its full-bodied and robust flavor, making it perfect for aging or impressing guests even on casual occasions. The 1949 vintage was produced during a particularly dry year, which was the driest since 1893. The weather during the growing season was unpredictable, with cold and wet conditions during flowering that reduced the yield. This vintage also has historical significance, adding to its allure and perceived value.

Domaine Leroy Chambertin Grand Cru 1990 (Côte de Nuits, France) $7,447

This wine is slightly more expensive than the 1949 vintage and comes from the prestigious Chambertin Grand Cru vineyards. Domaine Leroy’s red wines are celebrated for their rich aromas of red cherries, plums, earth, and sweet spices. This vintage has a deep, ruby hue that was favored by Napoleon himself. The estate also produces a regular vintage for $4,288, with around 900 bottles made each year.

Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier Musigny Grand Cru 1990 (Côte de Nuits, France) $11,720

This Pinot Noir from the Le Musigny vineyard in Burgundy has a charming history. The estate started in 1924 when a young man married a local girl and received vineyard sections as dowry. Only 380 bottles are produced each year. The 1990 vintage had a hot year with less flowering, resulting in concentrated grapes with thicker skins and plenty of tannin. This wine pairs excellently with goose, duck, or game birds.

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Domaine Leroy Musigny Grand Cru 2012 (Côte de Nuits, France) $14,436

The 2012 Musigny vintage is described as magical with layers of minerality, flowers, and silky tannins. Despite a challenging growing season with spring frosts and hailstorms, the hot summer produced a robust flavor. Domaine Leroy’s reputation ensures this wine is worth every drop. The estate’s owner left Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) years ago, making them direct rivals.

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Conti Grand Cru 1990 (Burgundy, France) $21,216

Burgundy, France: This is a broader wine-producing region in France, which includes Côte de Nuits and other sub-regions known for top-quality wines.

Widely regarded as one of the world’s best wine producers, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, or DRC, tops the list for expensive yet available vintage reds. The 1990 vintage had a well-balanced year with a dry but cool spring, a hot summer, and September rains, resulting in rich, healthy grapes with good yields. Over the last fifteen years, DRC has seen a 298% increase in value on the Burgundy 150 Index. Clive Coates, a renowned wine expert, considers DRC reds the “purest, most aristocratic, and most intense example of Pinot Noir.”

Most Expensive Collector’s Red Wines: These wines are priced uniquely per bottle; they are one of a kind and are therefore highly prized by collectors.

Cheval Blanc 1947 St-Émilion (Bordeaux, France) $135,125

Bordeaux, France: This is another famous wine-producing region in France, known for its red blends, especially those made from Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

This vintage is one of only two wines granted Class A status in the Saint-Émilion classification. A three-liter bottle was sold in 2006 for a record price. Only 110,000 bottles were produced, and few remain today. This wine, a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot, is considered the finest Cheval Blanc of the twentieth century, known for its rich acidity, lush texture, and sensual flavor. The 1947 harvest was marked by hot weather, leading to high natural sugar levels in the grapes.

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Penfolds Grange Hermitage 1951 $38,420

This is the most expensive Australian wine. A collector bought it in 2004 at an auction in Adelaide, South Australia. Only twenty bottles are known to exist. The wine is mainly Shiraz with a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon, and it is considered one of Australia’s finest wines.

Château Lafite 1787 $156,450

This bottle is believed to have come from Thomas Jefferson’s cellar, with his initials etched on the glass. Although some experts doubt this story, it didn’t stop Malcolm Forbes from buying it in 1985. Its age alone makes it one of the most expensive wines.

Château Margaux 1787 $225,000

Another wine from Jefferson’s collection, this bottle became famous when a waiter accidentally broke it. The owner valued it at $500,000, but it was insured for $225,000.

Screaming Eagle Cabernet 1992 $500,000

This young wine from Napa Valley holds the record for the most expensive red wine, fetching $500,000 at a charity auction in 2000. Known for its rich, oak-aged aroma with notes of blackcurrant, licorice, vanilla, boysenberry, and smoky dark chocolate, it remains a top collector’s item.

Zara Flavia Dmello


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