Image: One bottle of the Grand Cru costs around A$26,453, with a case of the wine famously selling for A$629,700 at a Christie's Auction in 2013. Source: Christie's

Red Varieties: The Most Expensive Red Wines Ever Sold

Every now and then, it’s nice to spend a little extra on a good bottle of red wine. While some highly renowned bottles of wine can easily reach into the hundreds, and sometimes even thousands, many of these iconic bottles were sold for well over A$100,000. Whether it’s for their brand, grapes or history, these are the most expensive red wines ever sold.

Château Lafitte 1787

Sold for US$156,000 (A$206,424) in 1895, this historic bottle’s value is based on its alleged ownership. With the initials ThJ scrawled onto the bottle, many believe this bottle was owned by the former US President Thomas Jefferson. While it’s never been proven, many people, including the bottle’s 1985 buyer Malcolm Forbes, remain faithful to the belief. The bottle’s authenticity was so hotly debated that it became the subject of the book, The Billionaire’s Vinegar. As this expensive red wine is too old to drink, it remains a collector’s item in the Forbes Collection in New York.

Source: Tastingbook

Screaming Eagle 1992

One of the most expensive red wine sales of all time was a bottle of 1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon, that was sold for US$500,000 (A$661,395) in 2000. Sold at a Napa Valley auction, the sale price surpassed all expectations for the relatively young, 8-year-old bottle of wine. Founded by Jean Phillips, Screaming Eagle has a reputation for good quality wine. Napa Valley wine critic, Robert Parker, notably gave the 1992 bottle an almost perfect score of 99 out of 100, and later, rewarded newer bottles with the full 100 points.

Screaming Eagle wines

Penfolds Grange 1951

A bottle of this renowned Australian wine was sold for A$103,555 at the 24th Penfolds’ Rewards of Patience auction late last year. Bought by a Melbourne investor, the bottle belonged to a collection of fewer than 20 bottles of the first Penfolds’ Grange vintage in 1951. The sale achieved the highest price ever paid for Australian wine, and may be the reason that Langton’s head of auctions, Tamara Grischy, described Penfold’s wine as liquid gold.

Source: Decanter

Château Mouton-Rothschild 1945

Ten Château Mouton-Rothschild 1945 bottles were sold for US$343,000 (A$453,667) in one of the most expensive red wine lot sales of all time. The bottles came from the collection of an American billionaire, Bill Koch, and the final price greatly surpassed the original estimate of US$120,000. The bottle’s design notably commemorates the allied victory of 1945, and the subsequent return to peace. The wine’s history and famous owner attracted bidding from all around the world.

Source: Tastingbook

Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Grand Cru 1978

Burgundy wine producer, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, has a reputation for selling extortionately expensive bottles of wine. Out of all of their bottles, the Grand Cru is the most expensive. One bottle of the Grand Cru costs around US$20,000 (A$26,453), with a case of the wine famously selling for US$476,000 (A$629,700) at a Christie’s auction in 2013. Housed in a purpose-built underground cellar, many believe that these bottles are well worth the price.

Source: Christie’s

Château Margaux 1787

This expensive bottle of red wine has an amusing backstory. In the late 1980s, New York wine merchant, William Sokolin attempted to sell the bottle for U$500,000 (A$661,253), believing that this bottle had also been owned by Thomas Jefferson. However, before he could sell the wine, a waiter bumped into the bottle and broke it. While the wine was never sold, Sokolin received one of the largest insurance payouts for a bottle of wine, gaining U$225,000 (A$297,548) for the bottle. While this bottle was never technically sold, newer bottles of Château Margaux regularly sell for around A$2,500.

Source: New Arena

If you enjoyed reading about the most expensive red wines then you might be interested in our articles on the most expensive foods, plants and gins.

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