Most of us “everyday wine drinkers” drink wines from California and generally spend between $15.00 and $60.00 on a bottle of wine. We also know that some expensive bottles of wine can cost thousands of dollars per bottle. Each and every wine region has its own class of expensive wines. In California’s Napa Valley you will find:
- 2017 Shafer Hillside Select: $338.00
- 2018 Schrader Cellars “Old Sparky:” $537.00
- 2017 Colgin Cellars IX Estate: $608.00
- 2018 Harlan Estate: $1,263.00
- 2018 Screaming Eagle Cabernet: $3,879.00
In France, the world’s number one producer of wine, they also have their high-end wines. Some of the most well-known come from the famous Bordeaux Region. The top wines are referred to as First Growth Wines.
The term First Growth was first used during The Exposition Universelle of 1855. This was an international wine exhibition that began under the reign of Napoleon III. According to the wine blog Wine Frog, Napoleon III wanted a venue where the best wines of France could be showcased. He also wanted a system by which the wines could be classified. The wines were ranked by chateau reputation and by the price the wines were sold for on the open market. From the Exposition came the Bordeaux wine official classification of 1855, which was made up of the top wines, also known as the Grand Cru classes. The wines were ranked in five divisions within this Grand Cru classification: from First Growth through Fifth Growth.
First Growth wines are the best wines of the five classifications. The original classification included four-first growth wines:
In 1973 Mouton-Rothschild was given first growth or, premier cru, status. In today’s world, the ranking has a big influence on the perfection of quality. It is also not unusual today to see a second-growth wine getting as high of a score or as high of a price as first growth wines.
Let us take a look at what these famous first growth wines cost and what they score at. I need to mention the prices are average market prices in the U.S., less any tax.
- 2018 Lafite-Rothschild: $932.00 – 96/100 points
- 2018 Mouton-Rothschild: $695.00 – 96/100 points
- 2017 Latour: $504.00 – 95/100 points
- 2018 Margaux: $692.00 – 96/100 points
- 2018 Haut-Brion: $618.00 – 95/100 points
Just for the fun of it, let us look at what some of France’s most expensive wines are. I think you will be amazed. The prices shown are from my favorite app, wine-searcher.com (I highly recommend you download it right away) and are priced per 750 ml bottle.
- Dom Perignon Rose Gold Champagne: $56,978.00 per bottle
- 2015 Domaine Leroy Musigny Grand Cru: $100,548.00 price per bottle – 96/100 points
- 2017 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti Grand Cru: $18,648.00 price per bottle – 46/100 points
- Henri Jayer Cros Parantoux: $15,956.00 price per bottle – 93/100 points
The most expensive wine listed in the U.S. was:
2017 Screaming Eagle Sauvignon Blanc: $5,033.00 – 93/100 points.
The story of the Bordeaux first growth wines is quite amazing. For nearly 166 years these five wines are still considered to be among the most famous wines and the most expensive wines in the world.
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Upcoming Events – Mark Your Calendar For the Entire Year!
3/12/2021 March Wine Dinner
Our next LEX 530 Wine Dinner will be held on Friday, March 12, 2021, at the LEX 530 Event Center in Elkhart. This wine dinner will feature premium wines selected by LEX 530 Wine Director, Stan Minden, to pair with Executive Chef Chad Coryn’s delectable four-course dinner. The wines have not yet been finalized. The evening will feature music by Decker-Ridout (Double Deal) with Paul Decker and Craig Ridout!
RECEPTION: Passed hors d’oeuvres. Paired with an assortment of different wine options.
1st Course: Leek and Yukon Gold potato soup, crispy pancetta, Vermont white cheddar.
2nd Course: Pan-seared sea scallops, cauliflower, caper beurre blanc.
3rd Course: Maple Leaf Farms duck breast, sweet potato, sprout salad, cherry gastrique.
4th Course: Chocolate and chile pot de crème, Mezcal whipped cream, cinnamon palmier.
Cost (includes 20% service charge): $100 (plus tax)
If you are a LEX 530 Dinner Club Member call Courtney at 574-296-1314 to purchase your tickets.
3/26/21 Wine Talk & Taste Event — Buy Your Tickets Here for this special evening featuring Jules Martin, a native from Bordeaux, France, who will be discussing various Bordeaux wines
4/9/21 April Wine Dinner featuring music by Patti Lightfoot – CANCELLED
4/23/21 Wine Talk & Taste Event
5/7/21 May Wine Dinner featuring music by Jesse’s Gurl
5/21/21 Wine Talk & Taste Event
6/11/21 June Wine Dinner featuring music by Julia James
6/25/21 Wine Talk & Taste Event
7/16/21 July Wine Dinner featuring music by Checkmark Sallie
7/30/21 Wine Talk & Taste Event
8/13/21 August Wine Dinner featuring music by Jesse’s Gurl
8/27/21 Wine Talk & Taste Event
9/10/21 September Wine Dinner featuring music by Julia James
9/24/21 Wine Talk & Taste Event
10/5/21 Oktoberfest Dinner with Iechyd Da Brewing Co. with music by Patti Lightfoot
10/22/21 Wine Talk & Taste Event
11/5/21 November Wine Dinner featuring music by Checkmark Sallie
11/19/21 Wine Talk & Taste Event