Most Expensive French Wines

Demand + limited supply = grande prices

 


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Henri Bonneau

In the Southern Rhône, prices, while escalating, have generally remained at fairly modest levels in the grand scheme of things. Yes, the price of Châteauneuf has risen steeply, from about $20 a bottle to over $50 in many cases, but there is one producer whose wines have always been at the very top of the scale in the South, and that would be Henri Bonneau.

This is a small estate, and the production is split between a few wines. There are potentially four labels that can be used, each signifying a better level of quality than the one it follows. They are the Henri Bonneau, the Marie Beurrier, the Reserve des Célestins, and the ultra-rare Cuvée Speciale. A 2006 Reserve des Celestins will set you back a rather modest $225 a bottle, though if you search for a Cuvée Speciale you might track down a bottle of the 1998, the last vintage released, and feel lucky you found it for less than $400 a bottle!

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Comments

  • Snooth User: Martin E
    249368 16

    The problem with expensive French wines (besides the price tag) is that you either have to buy an old bottle (and often pay even more $$$) or wait 10-20 years till it matures. Otherwise, you would feel that you are wasting a precious product that haven't reached its potential. I think, it's worth it, but unless you are rich you must be real passionate about this stuff.

    Nov 29, 2010 at 10:37 PM


  • Snooth User: Stephen Harvey
    Hand of Snooth
    220753 1,449

    So why no Medocs?

    Nov 30, 2010 at 2:37 AM


  • I just don't understand this article. It's not really about price - because the top Bordeauxs (Lafite etc) are clearly more expensive than, say, Henri Bonneaux. But it's not about quality; there are no tasting notes or qualitative judgments in the article. So, what exactly is it trying to say?

    Nov 30, 2010 at 5:12 AM


  • There is something almost depressing about this article as it illustrates the extent to which the door to "fine" wines has been shut on the majority by the speculating and trophy hunting few. How else to explain the meteoric (and ultimately unsustainable) inflation in prices in recent decades. In retrospect the Dutch look pretty silly sinking their millions into tulips; future generations may think the same about the current obsession with Le Pin.

    I recall with bitter nostalgia my early years in New Jersey where, as a post-doctoral student, my new-found "wealth" enabled me indulge in some of the more exotic offerings. Trips to the local wine shop would yield bottles of DRC Echezeau and Grand Echezeau ($50 - $80), Petrus (around $40) and so on; they would just be sitting on the shelves like any other wine. Now, supposedly further along the arc of wealth, I am further from a Romanee-Conti than ever.

    Dec 02, 2010 at 3:46 PM


  • Snooth User: cadarais
    771592 9

    definition of a good wine?.......one u enjoy!!..and Ive enjoyed a 10 euro bottle of merlot just as much as a 50$ one.....so other than indulging in an enjoyable hobby , collecting and cellaring, I agree with Alywin-forbes that we can become addicted to the investment aspect of wines and like the Dutch be burned by tulip mania!....about 1992 I discovered a 1972 bottle of Spanish Rioja in my Dads cupboard..I opened it on christmas day 1993 and it tasted so foul.....pure vinegar nasty ..we were sooooo dissapointed!

    Feb 23, 2011 at 4:00 AM


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