10 of the most expensive bottles of Champagne in the world
From shipwreck discoveries to gold-plated giants, when it comes to pricy Champagne these bottles are top of the pops.
Champagne can be a highly lucrative investment, with demand rocketing as the hospitality industry reopens and people look to celebrate. But just how much should a good thing cost, and does rarity mean quality? While we can only dream of trying the fizz on this list, some of the entries may leave you thinking that many buyers have more money than sense (or taste).
10. 1990 Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Millesime Cuvée Methuselah – £5,800/US$6,875
Cristal’s distinctive bottle, but supersized to six litres. This example, aged for a decade rather than the usual six years, was released in time for the new millennium and was only available in the methuselah size. Then again, if you’re cracking open a bottle to celebrate the next 1,000 years of civilisation, go big or go home (or just save it and auction it off later). In truth, this bottle costs pocket change compared to what’s further down.
9. 1998 Dom Pérignon Rosé Jeroboam: David Lynch edition – £7,030/US$8,333
Twin Peaks viewers may associate the auteur more with black coffee than Champagne (though frequent collaborator Kyle MacLachlan is known for both), but Lynch has lent his artistry to Dom Pérignon both in terms of an advertising campaign and gift box design, with the Wild at Heart (1990) director creating the stars which the Benedictine monk claimed to taste when he first sampled his wine. If you can believe it, just ten of this edition of the 1998 rosé jeroboams were produced – hence the price tag.
8. 1937 Krug Collection Magnum – £26,123/US$31,000
You haven’t gotta be Krug to be fine Champagne, but the brand certainly has a prestige to it. This magnum has the signature of Rémi and Henri Krug. Though neither brother had a hand in making that particular wine, it does happen to be Henri’s vintage, being signed in 1987, coinciding with his 50th birthday.
7. 1841 Veuve Clicquot – £28,700/US$34,000
Blowing your average bottle of bubbles out of the water, this Champagne was lying at the bottom of the Baltic in a wrecked ship until it was brought up in 2010. At the time of its sale in 2011, it set a record for old Champagne at auction. The proceeds went to a charitable initiative concerning marine preservation set up by the government of the Åland Islands.
6. 1820 Juglar Cuvée – £36,700/US$43,500
95 of the 144 other bottles to be raised from that particular wreck were produced by a house no longer in existence. Although Champagne Juglar ceased to be in the 1829 when it merged with Champagne Jacquesson, the reputation of its wines live on at auction. The mystique surrounding the Juglar has certainly helped make the price a bit easier to swallow – it’s unclear whether the same can be said for the drink itself.
5. 1874 Perrier-Jouët – £42,800/US$50,735
The current Christie’s record holder for highest price for a bottle of Champagne, the 1874 previously broke the auction house’s records back in 1888 and held it until 1967 before returning generations later to reclaim the title. This bottle is so old that art nouveau was so new that it was yet to properly emerge, despite being inextricably associated with Perrier-Jouët. This particular example is made from Chardonnay blended by Charles Perrier himself. The bottle also came with a bespoke VIP experience at Maison Belle Epoque in Épernay.
4. NV Armand de Brignac Brut Gold Midas – £43,500/US$51,600
The biggest entry on this list, in terms of size if not price tag, clocks in at an intimidating 30 litres (that’s 40 regular bottles). Of course, with an owner like Jay-Z and the Cattier family producing, it’s a wine you buy to show what you got. It’s safe to say that is not an everyday tipple, though it could well prove to be the Ace up your sleeve when you really want to impress. Selfridges does sell a more manageable example for £300, if you’re trying to impress on a more modest budget.
3. 1907 Heidsieck – £232,000/US$275,000
It would seem that the Baltic seabed is better stocked than most people’s cellars – it also happens to be a rather good environment for preserving wine. Certainly a leap in price point, these bottles were en route to the Romanovs in 1916 but the Jönköping was sunk by a U-boat taking the Champagne cargo with it. The wreck was salvaged by divers in the late 90s (a bit too late for the Russian royal family). It is reported that the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow offers a bottle for more than a quarter of a million dollars – we can only speculate what Lenin would make of that.
2. 2013 Taste of Diamonds – £1.2 million/US$1.8m
There’s splashing the cash, and then there’s having your name engraved into an 18-karat gold tag on a bottle with a 19-karat diamond embossed into a second 18-karat gold tag. Alexander Amoso used the precious materials to upgrade the design by founder Shammi Shinh. The wine inside is from the Chapuy family estate and is made from Grand Cru grapes, as you would hope for something that will set you back the cost of a brand new Ferrari Monza.
1. 2017 Champagne Avenue Foch – £2.1m/US$2.5m
Fizzing ahead in first place is the newest entry on this list, and another one devised by Shammi Shinh. It doesn’t hold the record because it is spectacularly bejewelled or the contents inside are exquisite, but because it comes with an NFT of the Bored Mutant Ape found on the bottle. While most might find the aesthetic charms of the design to be questionable, successful bidders Giovanni and Piero Buono see it as a worthwhile crypto investment.
If you’re in the mood for something a tad stronger, here are 10 of the most expensive bottles of whisk(e)y of all time.