Fine Living Top 10 : Expensive Wines

Fine Living Top 10: Expensive Wines
Fine Living Top 10 : Expensive Wines

Collecting expensive wines

That said, this is not a list of the most expensive bottles of wine ever, but of the most expensive wines that are still commercially available, if not a little difficult to find.

Note: All amounts of money are in U.S. dollars and were evaluated on the basis of a 750 ml bottle.

Number 10

The joy of collecting wine at auction -- and paying well over $100,000 for a bottle -- doesn’t come from the anticipation of drinking the world’s oldest and finest vintages, but from the pride and joy of collecting some of the rarest bottles in the world. It should be noted that very few bottles of excellent wine are still drinkable beyond the 50-year mark, so if you do purchase an old bottle, it might be purely for the benefit of your collection.

1996 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Priced from: $2,249

The only Napa Valley wine on this list, the 1996 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich and dense wine with flavors of cassis, mint and tobacco that properly emerge when the bottle is left to breathe. A complex bouquet is backed with flavors of plum, berry, cherry, and floral tastes. The finish is long, with strong tannins.

Pair this expensive wine with: Charred and roasted pork tenderloin with black trumpet emulsion.

Number 9
1999 Domaine de la Romanee Conti La Tache
Priced from: $2,499

Our next expensive wine is a full-bodied Burgundy Pinot Noir with a nose of raspberries, strawberries, oak, and spice. This one is very expressive on the tongue, with bright acidity, a silky texture, and fine tannins that leave a long, lingering finish.

Pair this expensive wine with: This gem is succulent with chicken breasts stuffed with prosciutto, Parmesan and sun-dried tomatoes.

Number 8
1961 Chateau La Mission Haut Brion Pessac Leognan
Priced from: $2,795

This winning Bordeaux starts with aromas of mocha, chestnut and tobacco. It’s rich and voluptuous on the tongue, with a compelling sweetness. You’ll detect cedar, tobacco and chocolate flavors and strong, smooth tannins. You can drink this wonderful wine through 2020.

Pair this expensive wine with: Beef carpaccio served on a bed of arugula with pomegranate and Grana Padano shavings.

Number 7
1961 Chateau Palmer Margaux
Priced from: $2,999

Another stunning wine from the 1961 vintage, this medium red wine opens with a mature bouquet. You’ll pick up notes of currant, truffle and underbrush. From there, it starts sweet and concentrated on the tongue, with a powerful finish. This one is good through 2015.

Pair this expensive wine with: Crown roast of lamb with a Dijon mustard rub.

Number 6
2000 Chateau Petrus Pomerol
Priced from: $3,949

The youngest wine on our list, the 2000 Chateau Petrus Pomerol is a high-end red that Connoisseurs’ Guide To California Wine calls the “preeminent expression of merlot by which all others must be measured.” This highly praised wine bursts with notes of red cherries and oak, and comes to life with complex notes of olives, smoke and violets. It starts big and rich on the palate and finishes with the ripe tannins and gamey flavors that are commonly associated with merlot: roasted meats, truffle and berry liquor. This one is expected to improve with age -- store it for 30 to 40 years in the cellar.

Pair this expensive wine with: The fruity notes of the wine go well with game. We suggest pairing it with stewed elk with juniper and cranberry reduction.

1961 continues to impress, and No. 1 is surprisingly young…

Number 5
1961 Chateau Trotanoy Pomerol

Priced from:

1961 was a strong year for a number of French vintages, and this wine is no exception. The 1961 Chateau Trotanoy Pomerol is not as bold as some on this list, but it has a big taste nonetheless. Its bouquet is characterized by cherry, raspberry, plum, and caramel aromas, and you’ll detect jammy fruits on the tongue. This bottle is flexible -- drink it now or cellar it for a few years.

Pair this expensive wine with: Pasta with a bold red sauce -- such as a spaghetti with Neapolitan ragu -- is a fantastic match to this one.

Number 4
1997 Diamond Creek Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Lake Vineyard
Priced from: $4,999.99

Here is a bold, dark and dense wine with notes of cedar, currant, anise, sage, leather, and minerals. It’s hard to find, compared to the other expensive wines on this list, but look for it because it will soon be at its best.

Pair this expensive wine with: A bold wine is best paired with bold flavors. Serve it with a rack of venison with forest mushrooms.

Number 3
1996 Chateau La Mondotte Saint Emilion
Priced from: $5,400

Another young wine and one that will improve with age, the 1996 Chateau La Mondotte Saint Emilion is rated among the best for its sweetness and its powerful taste. You’ll detect hints of raspberry, minerals and toffee on the nose of this well-balanced wine with a bold finish. All in all, the 1996 Chateau La Mondotte Saint Emilion is an impressive debut from this estate.

Pair this expensive wine with: A meaty blackened fish will stand up well to this one. Consider blackened catfish or red snapper served with sage butter.

Number 2
1982 Chateau Lafleur Pomerol
Priced from: $5,850

This 25-year-old wine starts with aromas of cherries, minerals, truffle, sweet berries, and tobacco, but in the end its taste profile is very complex. This is a concentrated wine with a very long, fruity finish that is almost port-like in its body. Wine Spectator rates this one very highly and recommends that you drink it now for best enjoyment.

Pair this expensive wine with: Since this is a heavier wine, it’s best to pair it with some sharp, aged cheeses. Try a wheel of Stilton or another robust blue cheese.

Number 1
1997 Domaine de la Romanee Conti Romanee Conti
Priced from: $6,999

The 1997 Domaine de la Romanee Conti is a full, rich red from Burgundy made with Pinot Noir grapes. It starts with aromas of plum, currant, tar, and smoke, hits big on the tongue and finishes long and smooth as silk. The experts say it will improve with age, but it’s best if you quaff this one before 2009.

Pair this expensive wine with: Roast prime rib of beef, served with wild mushroom risotto.

Proud palate
You can expect to pay top dollar for some of the world’s finest wines, but so many of them are worth it. There are many classic bottles out there that will do your collection -- and your palate -- proud if you take the time to cultivate an appreciation, do a little research and spend some green.

Fine Living Top 10 : Expensive Wines


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