The world’s most expensive wines – and what they have in common (updated 2021)

by Jul 1, 2020News, Wine Trading Academy0 comments

Some of the most expensive wines ever, mostly from France. Which will come next?

Some of the most expensive wines ever, mostly from France. Which will come next?


Hi, everyone, how do you do?

I’m Breno, coming back with some curiosities you might enjoy about the world’s most expensive wines ever sold and the most sought-after on the market.

After all, fine and rare wines and their investment side are what we do best, right?

I had briefly talked about this in an earlier in this post on fun facts about the wine world, but decided to push it further.

* * *

What do the most expensive wines have in common?, some might ask.

Well, to be honest, there aren’t so many common traits between them, apart from the well-known notion that the French regions of Burgundy and Bordeaux command the highest prices. But there are some interesting points you’ll find interesting here.

To get it started, let’s define which are the most expensive wines in the world (updated 2021).

Below are the most expensive wines ever sold at auction – excluding, for example, bottles based on their historical value such as the French ones owned by an early famed American oenophile: founding father and former president Thomas Jefferson.

The most expensive wines in the world

(As of September 2020, the list is…)


1945 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Conti Grand Cru


US$ 558,000

romanee conti 1945 sothebys.png

In 2018, an auction at Sotheby’s broke every possible record with bottles of the ultra-rare 1945 vintage of this Burgundy. The highest bid for its bottle fetched 17 times more expensive than the auctioneer’s upper estimate of $32,000. Minutes later, a second bottle of the same vintage was sold for $496,000. And then three bottles of the 1937 vintage were sold for $310,000 each.


Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 1992

Napa Valley, California

US$ 500,000

screaming eagle 1992.jpg


1945 Château Mouton-Rothschild (4,5L/jeroboam)


US$ 310,700

1945 mouton rothschild.jpg


1947 Château Cheval Blanc



cheval blanc 1947.jpg


Château Lafite-Rothschild 1869


US$ 230,000

lafite rothschild 1869.jpg

Other quite expensive auctioned (or priced for auctioning) wines include:

  • 1787 Châteaux Margaux (Bordeaux, US$ 225,000);

  • 1990 Domaine Leroy Musigny Grand Cru (Burgundy, US$ 224,000);

  • 2004 Penfolds Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon (South Australia, ampoule-shaped, US$ 168,000);

  • 1811 Chateau d’Yquem (white blend from Sauternes, Bordeaux, US$ 117,000).

some of the most expensive wines ever

And now by average price…

According to, as of July 2020, these are the world’s most expensive wines by their average price, excluding single harvests:


Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Conti Grand Cru (Burgundy)

Average US$ 19,575, maximum US$ 81,854


Domaine Leroy Musigny Grand Cru (Burgundy)

Average US$ 17,470, maximum US$ 84,424


Henri Jayer Cros Parantoux, Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru (Burgundy)

Average US$ 14,654, maximum US$ 26,090


Egon Muller Scharzhofberger Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese (Mosel, Germany)

Average US$14,165, maximum US$33,207


Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier Musigny Grand Cru (Burgundy)

Average US$ 13,233, maximum US$ 24,961



Domaine Leflaive Montrachet Grand Cru (Burgundy)

Average US$ 10,880, maximum US$ 17,435


Domaine Leroy Chambertin Grand Cru (Burgundy)

Average US$ 8,867, maximum US$ 20,822


W & J Graham’s ‘Ne Oublie’ Tawny Port (Portugal)

Average US$ 8,141, maximum US$ 19,328


Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet Grand Cru (Burgundy)

Average US$ 7,845, maximum US$ 16,885


Leroy Domaine d’Auvenay Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru (Burgundy)

Average US$ 7,518, maximum US$11,335

What are their common traits?

First of all, as you may have seen, the leader here is an extremely classic region: Burgundy. The French region, which has been recently covered in details in this video and text series by Julien Miquel, has long been associated with the most prized and sought-after fine wines in the world.

Given this Burgundy lead, most of its Grand Cru wines featured here are made of pinot noir (the staple for the region’s reds) and chardonnay (for the whites).

Bordeaux is not really behind, as the cult vintages from its Chateaus have reached skyrocketing values over the years. From cabernet-based red blends to sauvignon blanc-sémillon whites, the finest Bordeaux are among the most valuable collector’s wines out there. Julien Miquel has also made a great series on what makes them so special.

* * *

Geographically aside, a few traits stand out.

First of all, rarity. The vintages that make these wines, apart from exceptional in terms of terroir and age-worthiness (or the potential to age finely), are also very limited in supply. Combined with their worldwide fame among high-net investors, the demand easily multiplies the value of the offers for them as time goes by.

If you want to understand more about how such supply-demand imbalance is crucial to become a fine wine investor like us, here you go. You won’t regret it.

Our latest initial bottle offerings -
chadwick hat.jpg

Also: as Wine Folly has pointed in a similar article, most of the most expensive wines are aged in oak, mostly French oak.

These wines are also usually made from grapes that were ripened when picked – early ripening wines such as tempranillos are nowhere to be seen here. Does this say anything about quality? Not really, mostly it is still a matter of consumer behavior.

All in all, this is what makes such wines be recognized as fine wines.

* * *

But by now you may be wondering: how can I become a wine investor to benefit from fantastic appreciations such as these in the future?

We work to bring the next finest and most valuable wines in the world.

Wines available on our marketplace -

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 (and if!) they’re sold. Fine and rare wines that you buy at the best possible price today and that are stored properly over the years (and even decades) 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 (Moscatel Roxo JMF 1918) and 2,700 euros (ABF Port 1888). 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.

How do we do that?

We offer the finest and rarest wines sourced straight from producers through our initial bottle offering (IBO) procedure. We work with their producers to source acclaimed bottles at an offering price which is negotiated to guarantee you get the best price available in the market.

The investment-grade wines we make available in every IBO are meant to be kept for many years in your portfolio or collection, and you can start investing from low.

Learn more about us here.

Until next time!


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