Top 25 Most Expensive Napa Valley Wines
When it comes to wine, the Napa brand seems to be as strong as ever, with both grapes and wine prices invariably shooting upwards in recent years.
October 2017s wildfires in Napa and Sonoma will only increase the trend in all likelihood, while the overall demand for Napa Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and wines is as substantial as ever, at all price tags.
Collectibles and cult bottlings are a category of their own, often mainly available at auctions and top restaurants and therefore commanding even higher prices.
Unlike some top Bordeaux wines, high-end Napa wines are very scarce. As an example, consider the production of first-growth Chateau Margaux, about 10,000-17,000 cases of its Grand Vin alone, to Screaming Eagles total production of 500-900 cases.
Yet, comparing prices of the Top 25 Most-Expensive Bordeaux wines, to our list of the most expensive bottles from Napa, you will find that Napas are still a tiny bit behind still, but not far off
I have gathered below the list of the Top 25 Most Expensive Napa wines with a short description of what theyre about, an interesting wine video when I could find one, and link to the winery website for practicality, and further information for the curious geeks in the crowd.
Top 10 Most Expensive Wine Bottles Of All Time
It seems that the term aged like fine wine is not exclusive to taste but to investment as well. Wine bottles are in that special category of investment assets that, much like colored diamonds and premium whiskeys, dont seem to be significantly affected by the economic environment. Conversely, much like their taste and quality, their investment potential and wealth retention only seems to grow over time.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 most expensive wines of all time:
The 1945 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Conti Grand Cru shattered all previous records in 2018 when it was sold for $558,000 during Sothebys New York sale. With that price tag, it not only became the most expensive 750ml bottle of Burgundy, it was now the most expensive bottle of wine in the world. A title which it holds even to this day.
But what made this particular bottle so expensive? The short answer is quality and rarity. The 1945 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Conti Grand Cru comes from the 4.5-acre Romanée-Conti vineyard said to produce the highest of quality red and white wines. Moreover, due to the weather conditions during that particular year, wines were very concentrated and production was really low. This means that only 600 bottles were ever produced, and most of them have been consumed today.
Screaming Eagle Cabernet 1992 $500000
Costing a whopping $500,000 dollars for a single bottle, the most expensive wine in the world costs more than an average home!
Over the years the cabernet has topped several of the worlds most expensive wine lists. It eventually sold at a charity auction in 2000.
The wine is aged in 60% new oak and has an aroma of blackcurrants, a subtle trace of oak and an opaque purple appearance.
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Domaine Leroy Musigny Grand Cru 2012
Place: Cote de Nuits, FrancePrice: $14,436
The Domain Leroy Musigny often described as something magical which is rich in minerals. There are some describes it as a cornucopia of flowers which are extremely delicate with silky tannins.
2012 is regarded as one of the least favourable harvesting season in Cote de Nuits due to inconsistent flowering and hot summer. However, it created the robust flavour of this vintage wine. As the wine is produced by one of the famous vineyard, there is no doubt that every drop of this wine is worth the money spent.
Domaine Leroy Chambertin Grand Cru 1990
Place: Cote de Nuits, FrancePrice: $7,447
The producers are the same as the wine listed #10. Domaine Leroy is a well-known brand within the expensive wine space. Although a little pricier compared to its 1949 counterpart, 1990 is harvested from the exclusive vineyard of Pinot Noir of Chambertin Grand Cru.
Domaine Leroys red wines are known for their extraordinary scent of red cherries, plums and sweet and earthy spice. The Chambertin Wine is proven to be rich in flavour with its rich ruby colour. It is absolutely mindblowing in what the 1990 has to offer.
The vineyard also produces regular vintage for only $42,88 with 900 bottle production per year.
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Champagne Heidsieck 1907 189750
One of the most expensive Champagne sales ever recorded was from a consignment of Heidsieck 1907 rescued in 1998 from a ship which was torpedoed during WW1. It achieved £189,750 at auction.
An online publication ranked the ten most expensive Champagnes in 2019 earlier this year and the top five of these featured a bottle which may have been described as all style and no substance as the 18-carat gold embellished label adorned with a 19 carat diamond raised the overall value to US$2.07M, from US$299 for a standard bottle. Wines made by Armand de Brignac, owned by probably the worlds most famous rap artist, Jay Z made the ranking. A 30-litre of their 2013 Rose sold for US$275,000 and a 15 litre 2011 for US$90,000.
In terms of Champagne more recognised for investment purposes, Dom Perignon Rose 1996 led the way. Only 35 of these were produced and should you be lucky enough to get hold of one you can expect to hand over US$49,000.
These wines are the record-breakers that attract media attention worldwide. When it comes to your wine investment you dont have to invest six or even five figure sums to see good returns from investing in fine wine and a portfolio can be started with a case of a blue-chip Bordeaux such as Chateau Lafite Rothschild for as little as circa £3,000.
For more information about fine wine and our wine investment service contact the Vin-X team on .
Average Price: $505 361 408
Grape Variety/Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon
What is it about? Named after the main dish in a French meal, Pièce de Resistance in its current release )vintage 2013) is a special selection of the winerys finest five barrels of Cabernet Sauvignon from that year. The only 100% Napa Cabernet Sauvignon produced byPahlmeyer, Pièce de Résistance aims at at representing an experience of this varietal in its purest form.
After awarding the wine a perfect 100-point score, this is what Robert Parker aka The Wine Advocate said about it December 2016: The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Pièce De Résistance is a selection of the five best barrels in the wine cellar, aged in 100% Taransaud cooperage. The first perfect score Ive given to Pahlmeyer but highly deserving this is a masterpiece of gorgeous crème de cassis, blackberry liqueur, forest floor, camphor, charcoal and white flowers, magnificent concentration, wonderfully subtle oak, and a finish of close to a minute. In short, Cabernet Sauvignon rarely gets any better than this, but latching onto a bottle or two will not be easy. Drink it over the next 30-40 years.
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And Now By Average Price
According to wine-searcher.com, as of July 2020, these are the worlds most expensive wines by their average price, excluding single harvests:
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Conti Grand Cru
Average US$ 19,575, maximum US$ 81,854
Domaine Leroy Musigny Grand Cru
Average US$ 17,470, maximum US$ 84,424
Henri Jayer Cros Parantoux, Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru
Average US$ 14,654, maximum US$ 26,090
Egon Muller Scharzhofberger Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese
Average US$14,165, maximum US$33,207
Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier Musigny Grand Cru
Average US$ 13,233, maximum US$ 24,961
Domaine Leflaive Montrachet Grand Cru
Average US$ 10,880, maximum US$ 17,435
Domaine Leroy Chambertin Grand Cru
Average US$ 8,867, maximum US$ 20,822
W & J Grahams Ne Oublie Tawny Port
Average US$ 8,141, maximum US$ 19,328
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet Grand Cru
Average US$ 7,845, maximum US$ 16,885
Leroy Domaine dAuvenay Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru
Average US$ 7,518, maximum US$11,335
Domaine Leroy Musigny Grand Cru
Michel Bettane, one of the best-known French wine critics, once described this bottle of wine as the difference between good and great. Besides its hefty price tag, this bottle is also widely considered one of the best in the world in terms of taste.
The bottles rarity and layered subtlety make it worth every penny.
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Average Price: $706 504 570
Grape Variety/Blend: Cabernet Franc Merlot
What is it about? As its name indicates, Second Flight is the second label of cult California winery Screaming Eagle. First released in 2012 , the grapes Second Flight is made from come from younger wines whose fruit are not yet quite concentrated or refined enough to be blended in Screaming Eagles Grand Vin. Fun fact: the first release of Second Flight was sold on allocation to mailing list customers only, for $225 only!
Grape Variety/Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon
What is it about? As told by H. William Harlan: In the early 1980s while hiking along Oakvilles southwestern ridge, H. William Harlan discovered an isolated territory. The hidden expanse ancient and untamed moved him deeply, but remained elusive until the Harlan family finally captured it in 2008. As the second generation explored and worked with the land, they began to make discoveries of their own. At the core of this wild terrain they found a powerful geologic convergence, which had shaped its steep, rugged topography, and created the conditions for an altogether exotic winegrowing environment. Over time they found that the dramatic landscape just beyond the edge of the known would slowly change them, and ultimately inspire a new endeavor: Promontory.
Average Price: $525 375 424
Grape Variety/Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon
What is it about? Woodbridges vineyard tucked away near the famous Eisele Vineyard, now owned by Château Latour, produces the wine known as the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Few and Far Between Vineyard. This is another luxurious, exceptionally concentrated and loaded wine with great intensity, a multi-dimensional mouthfeel, unbelievable amounts of blackberry, cassis and blueberry fruit, crushed rock minerality, and a floral note. It is easily the most backward of the five Cabernet Sauvignons I tasted from Woodbridge in 2012. The wine is super-intense, displays plenty of tannin, but is silky and well-integrated. This wine needs at least 4-5 years of cellaring, and should keep for 30-50 years, as it promises to be one of the modern-day legends from Napa. Robert M. Parker, Jr. The Wine Advocate, 28th Aug 2015
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Which Year Wine Is The Best
In looking at French Pinot Noirs, the vintages considered the best include 2014, 2010, 2008 and 1996. 2010, in particular, is exemplified by a very clean and pure grape that still exudes ripe fruit flavors that are perfectly balanced, without being too rich or powerful.
Vinedo Chadwick Maipo Valley
Vinedo Chadwick is situated in Puente Alto at the foot of the Andes Mountains on the north bank of the Maipo River. The grapes for Vinedo Chadwick are hand sorted and then fermented into small, stainless steels tanks with a higher proportion of skins and three pump-overs depending on the degree of extraction required. The wine is racked into new French barrels and is aged for 22 months. The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in the barrels which helps integration with the oak.
Average price: $267
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Marques De Murrieta Cast Ygay Bl
A Spanish white wine blend that is not too badly priced at $549.97. Standing unique from the French wines that have taken over this list, the Marques De Murrieta Cast Ygay Bl is a exquisite white wine with just enough bite. It has hints of verbena and mushrooms, and just enough acidity to give it sharpness. While it is not as sweet as some of the other white wines above, its earthier tones set it apart and make it a delicious, powerful, unique white wine. It is certainly a bold wine that will leave your taste buds tingling for more.
We Work To Bring The Next Finest And Most Valuable Wines In The World
The aim of Alti Wine Exchange is to provide investors, using a long-term approach, the next most collectible bottles that will multiply their gains in the future whenever theyre sold. Fine and rare wines that you buy at the best possible price today and that are stored properly over the years until you feel like re-selling them for multiple times their value.
Just so you know, we made this statemente quite evident when we launched our activities with an ultra-rare Port wine from 1888 and two Moscatels from 1911 and 1918. As of July 2020, they are respectively valued at 4,000 euros and 2,700 euros . What an appreciation.
And we have been steadily bringing our investors bottles rated 90 to 100 points by Parker, Suckling and other great critics of the fine wine world, as you can see here.
For example: merely out of France, we are happy to have already launched outstanding vintages by Château Mouton-Rothschild, Böerl & Kroff, Château Coutet and Chapoutier.
Much more is coming.
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Average Price: 427 $489 368
Grape Variety: Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Colorino IGT Wine
What Is It About? Bibi Graetz is a Tuscan winery located near the town Fiesole, in the hills northeast of Florence. The most famous label by Graetz is Testamatta , an IGT Toscana made from Sangiovese.
Bibi Graetz, the owner and winemaker started cultivating the family vineyard in the 1990s, mainly for family consumption. But in the early 2000s, Graetz started producing quality wines and acquiring plots of vineyards around the property. The estate now covers about 30 hectares of vines in 20 small vineyards grown using organic practices.
The colore cuvée is made from 1/3 Sangiovese, 1/3 Canaiolo, 1/3 Colorino grapes from the first and oldest vineyard cultivated by Bibi Graetz whose vines are around 60 years of age, on a clay and galestro soil. Fermentation takes place in open top barriques of 225 liters with 6-8 manual punch-downs per day.
The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 21 months followed by 12 months further ageing in the bottle before release.
Bibi Graetz Talks about Colore in Video :
An Imperial Sized Bottle Of Cheval Blanc 1947 From A Secret Cellar Collection
In 2010 a wine auction held in Geneva caused a stir when it sold a bottle of the mythical Cheval Blanc 1947 for $304,375. The bottle was part of a secret Swiss collection, which had been held in a cellar for a number of years. It is the only known bottle in an Imperial format for this vintage. According to the auction house Christies, it took two years to convince the collector that it was the right time to consign the collection, based on the strength of the market conditions.
The vintage is hailed as one of the greatest Bordeaux wines of all time, based on its rarity and longevity. In the same sale, another collector auctioned off a collection amounting to more than 460 bottles, which helped to really put this auction on the map.
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Average Price: $994 710 802
Grape Variety/Blend: Bordeaux Blend Red
What is it about?With the founding of Harlan Estate in 1984, we embarked upon our mission of creating a first growth of California. The estates early vineyard development began with just six acres. Today our planting is essentially complete, with nearly forty acres under vine to the classic varietals: cabernet sauvignon , merlot , cabernet franc , and petit verdot .
Invariably, the finished wine is predominately cabernet sauvignon, which we blend with varying amounts of the other three varietals as we seek to express faithfully the unique and distinctive character of the site. Modest quantities of wine were produced in 1987, 1988, and 1989 from grapes that represented the second, third, and fourth leaf of our estate vineyard. In each of those years a small number of barrels were produced in the hope of gaining a prescient glimpse into what the character of the landnever before cultivatedmight have to offer.
The wines were blended, bottled, and labeled with a special designation. Though charming in their own way, these first wines fell short of our standards and aspirations, so were never released. They continue to serve as humble reminders of where we began the journey.
What Makes A Bottle Of Wine So Expensive
While it may seem impossible to many of us, it really is the flavor that gives a wine its price tag. But in order to get to a layered and complex wine, there are several factors to consider. This is where that extra price tag comes in.
First off, the grapes have to be grown. Grapes dont just grow anywhere, there are certain conditions that need to be met. To grow the best grapes to make the best wine, these limited conditions become even more exacting.
A truly expensive wine will have come from a vineyard that grows the very best grapes. Once youve found the right terrain , it isnt just a case of sitting back and letting things grow.
An excellent vineyard will aim to have as few grapes as possible on the vine. Why? Those couple of grapes will have a more intense flavor than an entire bunch.
Then, the wine needs to be aged. To do this in the optimal way, oak barrels are necessary. Oak allows oxygen to reach the wine while imparting a desirable oak taste.
When the tannins in wine are exposed to oxygen, they lose some of their intensity. This allows the wine to take on a richer, deeper flavor.
Finally, an expensive wine takes time. At least, a red one does. A red needs to sit and mature so that the flavorings can grow body. Aging a red wine reduces the impact of tannins and acids, for a smoother tasting experience.
Of course, the bottles of wine that go for tens of thousands tend to have a history attached to them for extra desirability.
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