Chateau Lafite 1787
most expensive wine ever sold is Chateau Lafite 1787
but not just any Chateau Lafite 1787
. Thomas Jefferson bought this particular Chateau Lafite 1787
in France. Some 200 years later,
(see his initials under "Lafite"?)
sold in 1985 in London for $156,000, for collection of course, since even fine
wines like Chateau Lafite
turn into vinegar after a few decades.
The price of drinkable wines depends on many factors but the amount of sunshine
plays a large role in determining its quality, which in turn drives its price.
In Europe, 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2010 were very sunny years that rewarded many
chateaux with wonderful vintages, as was 1787 apparently, for Chateau Lafite.
The price of fine wines also depends on the market conditions (the fine wine market crashed in 2001 after a bubble but has
since recovered), and of course the name of the chateau.
There once was a time when French chateaux dominated the world's
fine wines, and Premiers Crus or
Grands Crus like Petrus of Pomerol, Cheval Blanc
of Saint-Emilion, Lafite of Pauillac,
of Bourgogne and Yquem of Sauterne still live up to their
But the French appellation hasn't changed
in over two
centuries while many of the world's other producers have. Some
Grands Crus ceased being grand, retained their classification only by
tradition and now face fierce competition from newcomers, including from Chile, Australia and
the United States.
The most expensive drinkable wine ever
sold is the Romanee-Conti, whose 1978 vintage fetched $24,000 a bottle
at an auction in New York City only 23 years later, in 2001.
Along with his 1787 Chateau Lafite, Thomas Jefferson also bought
the 1787 Chateau Margaux, which has the distinction of being the most
expensive bottle NOT sold. In 1989, a waiter at an oenophile gathering in
New York City accidentally knocked over and broke a bottle of 1787 Chateau Margaux,
obligating the wine's insurer to pay $225,000 for the 75cl of vinegar.
So, how much should you spend on fine wines?
That depends on your perspectives.
if you believe that your wealth is yours, and on
if you believe it's a blessing from God.