Discover the 16 Most Expensive Wines Ever Sold

wine and cask with glass
© JirkaBursik/

Written by Patrick MacFarland

Updated: September 26, 2023

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When you have oenophilia, it means you love wine. A lot. Wine connoisseurs, as they are called, try to get their hands on good wine. They taste wine from all over the world, ensuring their palates get a drop of something delectable and exquisite. For those wine enthusiasts out there, there’s a list that potentially could be out of your price range (unless you have an extra million lying around).

Let’s take a look at the 16 most expensive wines ever sold. We’ll give you the name of the wine, where it comes from, and a little backstory of that particular wine. So, sit back and relax with a glass of delicious Cabernet while you read the list.

1. 2019 The Setting

This wine is one of the rarest wines ever produced. Hailing from California, The Setting winery Cabernet sold for a shocking $1 million. Business Don Steiner bought the bottle, which is six liters, in 2021.

2. 1945 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Grand Cru


Romanée-Conti wine is made in Vosne-Romanée, France.

©Arnaud 25, CC BY-SA 4.0 – Original / License

For wine enthusiasts out there, it’s not a surprise this makes it near the top of the list. Only 600 bottles of this particular red wine were ever produced. It sold at auction in 2018 for a whopping $558,000. Other Romanée-Conti wines from the French town of Vosne-Romanée are regularly extremely expensive, ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 per bottle.

3. 1992 Screaming Eagle

This Californian wine sold in 2000 for $500,000, which at the time made the record for one of the most expensive wines ever sold at auction. Who knew two others would surpass this wine? With a hint of oak and a blackcurrant aroma, this wine was a Cabernet Sauvignon.

4. 1945 Château Mouton-Rothschild

Mouton-Rothschild Vineyards

The Rothschild vineyards are located in Pauillac, France.

©Jack ma, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons – Original / License

The year 1945 was a good one. Not only did the war end, but France celebrated by coming out with good wine. The Rothschild family agreed with that because their 1945 wine, which was bought for $310,700 in 2007 had a “V” for Victory on the label. By the way, a glass of any Rothschild wine will cost you more than $8,000!

5. 1947 Château Cheval Blanc

Another French wine on the list. This time it’s a Bordeaux and it sold for $300,000 at auction in 2010. Furthermore, they are constantly ranked as the world’s best wines and according to the most knowledgeable wine connoisseurs, this particular wine is the best Bordeaux ever made.

6. 1907 Heidsieck (Shipwrecked)

We added “Shipwrecked” to the title for this champagne because this particular champagne is not ranked as the best of the best, but it sold for $275,000 in 1997 because of its interesting story. A German submarine torpedoed the ship carrying this champagne during World War I. Fortunately, in 1997, 2,000 bottles were recovered from the shipwreck. Let’s just hope it tastes just as good as the story sounds!

7. 1869 Château Lafite-Rothschild

Ah, the Rothschild family strikes again! This time with a delectable wine from the 19th century. Bought at auction in Hong Kong, the bidder who remained anonymous bought three bottles for $230,000 each. Luckily for this anonymous buyer, it is stated that 1869 was a very fine and rare year for wines in general.

8. 1787 Château Margaux

Grape vines at Château Margaux in the Bordeaux wine Médoc

Château Margaux wine hails from Margaux-Cantenac in the Bordeaux region of France.

©OceanProd/ via Getty Images

This wine is from 1787; over 230 years ago! Wow, this is wild! The bottle of wine belonged to the 3rd President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. Wine trader William Solokin bought this wine for $225,000. Unfortunately for Solokin, he never got to try the bottle that Jefferson famously kept in his wine cellar. While at dinner, a waiter accidentally bumped into the wine before he poured it. And to think the only lucky ones to try the wine were the restaurant’s carpet and the white tablecloth.

9. 2004 Penfolds Block 42

The reputation of this Australian wine made it cost a whopping $168,000 at auction. It consistently makes the list of the most expensive wines produced and sold. Interestingly enough, the Block 42 cabernets aren’t bottled with a cork like other wines. A small block of wood closes the wine bottle. Hence, this is why the wine bottle is more expensive than the rest.

10. 1787 Château Lafite

Located in Pauillac, France, the Rothschild family owns Château Lafite.

©Gilles Messian from Paris, France, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons – Original / License

This is the second wine bottle on the list that belonged to President Thomas Jefferson and his collection of delectable wines. The amazing part about this bottle is that the letters “ThJ” are carved into the glass. The lucky guy to own that bottle is none other than Malcolm Forbes, the owner of Forbes Magazine, who bought the bottle for $156,450 in 1985.

11. Domaine Leroy Musigny Grand Cru

This one doesn’t state the year, but it sold for $147,519 once at auction. These bottles consistently sell for more than $40,000 each. Hailing from Chambolle-Musigny, France, this is a delectable Pinot Noir.

12. 1947 Cheval Blanc St-Emilion

Typical vineyards (1er Grand Cru Classe A) near Chateau Cheval Blanc, Saint-Emilion, Aquitaine, France

Cheval Blanc St-Emilion wine come from Saint-Émilion in the Aquitane region of France

©phbcz/ via Getty Images

This wine sold at auction for $135,125 in 2006. The Cheval Blanc St-Emilion wines are Class A wines that are quite sought after. However, only 110,000 bottles were produced and only a few remain out there in the world, which is why wine collectors from all over are dying to get their hands on this particular bottle.

13. 1945 Romanée-Conti

We have another Romanée-Conti on the list. However, this one sold in 2007 for a much lower price: $123,900. Only 600 bottles of this particular wine were made and there was a culprit for why production was so low. Unfortunately, some pests destroyed the vineyards in 1946. Bad news, but hopefully good news to the person who bought the wine.

14. 1811 Château D’Yquem

Typical vineyards near Chateau d Yquem, Sauternes, Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France

Château D’Yquem wine comes from Sauternes, France.

©phbcz/ via Getty Images

So far, on this list, only red wines have taken the first twelve spots. Believe it or not, coming in at #14, the most expensive white wine ever sold is a Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon blend. Hailing from the Bordeaux region of France, the grapes from this wine were harvested over two hundred years ago. This wine sold for $117,000.

15. 1951 Penfolds Grange Hermitage

Let’s be honest here, the value of some of the wines drops substantially at #15. However, what makes this wine so amazing is that it is extremely rare. Only 20 bottles exist of this delectable Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon blend. This Australian wine sold for $38,000. 

16. 1990 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti Grand Cru

We all know the Domaine de la Romanée- Conti wines are expensive and sold for a hefty amount of money. But generally, these wines are quite expensive. Wine collectors really covet this particular year, which sold for $21,200. Compared to the other prices on this list, the price for this one sounds quite reasonable!


Some wines are just outrageously priced. But then again, someone out there chose to buy them. Those wine collectors may never try them and only have them in their wine cellars as a proud display. Of course, the fun of it all is to drink the bottle of wine and relish in its exquisiteness and deliciousness. After all, it may be good for your health. 

If you taste notes of birch and smell a dash of raspberries, then you’re quite adept at telling if that bottle of wine is a good one. Now, let’s hope you scrounge some money to buy one of these outrageously expensive bottles.

16 Most Expensive Wines Ever Sold

1The Setting2019$1 million
2Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Grand Cru1945$558,000
3Screaming Eagle1992$500,000
4Château Mouton-Rothschild1945$310,700
5Château Cheval Blanc1947$300,000
6Heidsieck (Shipwrecked)1907$275,000
7Château Lafite-Rothschild1869$230,000
8Château Margaux1787$225,000
9Penfolds Block 422004$168,000
10Château Lafite1787$156,450
11Domaine Leroy Musigny Grand CruN/A$147,519
12Cheval Blanc St-Emilion1947$135,125
14Château D’Yquem1811$117,000
15Penfolds Grange Hermitage1951$38,000
16Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti Grand Cru1990$21,200

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About the Author

Patrick Macfarland is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel, geography, and history. Patrick has been writing for more than 10 years. In the past, he has been a teacher and a political candidate. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from SDSU and a Master's Degree in European Union Studies from CIFE. From San Diego, California, Patrick loves to travel and try new recipes to cook.

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