Every wonder what $4,000 tastes like? How about $20,000, $50,000 or $100,000? While some might just long to make this amount in a year, others desire to contain that large sum of cash in a bottle of wine — which they may or may not be able to drink. Purchasing any one of the bottles on our list would cause most of us to declare bankruptcy.
#10 Chteau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac 1996 – app. $287
Talk about being at the right place at the right time. In the mid-18th century, a French political leader was about to be sent off overseas, only not before seeing a doctor. The doctor prescribed him some Lafite wine as a tonic. This politician enjoyed it so much that he offered some bottles to King Louis XV, and before long this wine became the star of Versailles and was nicknamed “the King’s wine. Remarkably dark, it sports mineral aromas of mint and black currant. Flavorful, its texture is silky and hangs around in the mouth.
#9 Chteau Margaux 1995 – app. $402
Containing passionate fragrances of blackberry and cassis, this smooth and racy vintage is powerful but yet manages to be succinct in its fruit structure. This vineyard goes back a thousand years and it has definitely mastered the artistic creation. The 1994 version is also quite expensive.
#8 Chteau Haut Brion Pessac-Lognan 1982 – app. $528
Founded in 1550, Jean de Pontac built everything from the ground up for the lone purpose of wine making. Soon after, he opened a tavern in London to serve his wine exclusively. It was an undeniable success. This red 1982 vintage is still young and quite spectacular, keeping its own against the best wines in the globe. It has grown considerably with time, but isn’t required to improve in years to come. So savor it soon!
#7 Chteau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac 1986 – app. $592
The Chteau Mouton originated from the English branch of the Lafite Rothsychild family in the mid-19th century. They were the foremost to launch special labels designed by renowned artists such as Chagall, Picasso and Warhol after World War II. Chosen as one of the top ten wines of 1986 by Wine Spectator magazine, this Chateau Mouton will recall memories of chocolate, raspberries and spices. This palatable vintage leaves an incredibly long lasting aftertaste.
#6 Chteau La Mondotte Saint-Emilion 1996 – app. $608
La Mondotte was purchased by the Neipperg family. Therefore, this tiny vineyard of little more than 11 acres was condemned to play second fiddle for a number of years. But in 1996, La Mondotte reached maturity and exploded on the wine scene. Fairly fruity and exotic, this vintage is lavish and has a prolonged ending. It is often compared to Le Pin.
#5 Chteau Valandraud Saint-Emilion 1995 – app. $668
This vineyard is one of the most important of the garage wines. Like La Mondotte, it uses up a modest piece of land and its owners pour their artistic hearts into it. This wine has been drawn with caution and is quite rare, thus the cost. Firm tannins define its rich and spicy structure; it is bolder than later vintages.
#4 Chteau Latour Pauillac 1990 – app. $774
Chateau Latour is one of the most reliable vineyards in France and gets one of the best three Pauillac on the marketplace. This reliable wine draws its force from the rich territory on which the grapevines produce. An everlasting finial is the masterstroke of this vintage, which favours caramel, coffee, licorice, black reddish and roasted fruits. The 1994 vintage is also highly sought after.
#3 Chteau Le Pin Pomerol 1999 – app. $908
The Thienpont family’s Chteau Le Pin in an average year produces about 6,000 bottles of the fine Pomerol on five acres of land. It is truly one of the most illustrious wines to come out of Bordeaux. Its fullness comes from the downy levels of mocha, black cherry and currant flavors. It’s a favorite of serious wine collectors.
#2 Petrus Pomerol 1998 – app. $1,459
This Merlot was one of the favorite wines at the White House during the Kennedy years. The official name is Chteau Petrus but even its label refers to it as simply “Petrus.” The grapes are usually harvested early and left to mature slowly. Extremely fruity, hints of berries, vanilla, mocha, and oak emanate from its deep purple robe. A truly exquisite vintage, it should reach maturity after the year 2012.
#1 Dom. Romane Conti 1997 – app. $1,540
This French red Burgundy smells of berries, spices and leather. Dark in color, it hints at flavors of soy sauce, flowers and licorice. The fragrance is deep and getting across without being too heavy. The Romane Conti is a rare wine that has carved a corner for itself along the years. At over fifteen hundred bucks a bottle, it no longer holds anything to prove. Systematically, the Romane Conti fetches prices around the thousand dollar mark no matter the time of origin.