• Country ranking ?

  • Producer ranking ?

  • Decanting time

  • When to drink

    from 2020
  • Food Pairing

    Lamb Stew with Root Vegetables

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Little-known Burgundy is world’s priciest wine at €14,254

A rare Burgundy has been named the world’s most expensive wine at an average price of more than €14,254 ($15,000) and, in a surprise to wine connoisseurs, it is not a Romanee-Conti.

Instead, the title of the priciest drop went to the 1985 Richebourg Grand Cru, from the Côtes de Nuit range, at €14,254 for a 75ml bottle, according to UK website WineSearcher, which released its annual list of the world’s most expensive wines. It was created by Henri Jayer, a winemaker widely considered a visionary in the business who died in 2006 at the age of 84.

A Romanee-Conti, Burgundy's most famous fine wine, took second place, with the vineyard’s Grand Cru coming in at an average price $13,314 (€12,141) a bottle. There were two other Romanee-Conti’s on the list, in 17th and 30th place. Another Henri Jayer wine, his Cros-Parantoux, Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru, took third place at $8,832 a bottle.

In fact, Burgundy wines were astoundingly dominant in the rankings, based on price lists from nearly 55,000 wine merchants concerning more than seven million wines of all vintages. Not only did wines from the Burgundy region take the top three spots, they accounted for 40 of the 50 wines on the list.

Bordeaux, known as France’s most prestigious wine region, has only two items on the list, both Pomerols: the Petrus and a Le Pin.

Unsurprisingly, nearly all the wines on the list were French. Two German winemakers, Egon Mueller and Joh. Jos. Pruem, each have two bottles on the list, including Mueller's Scharzhofberger Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese demi-sec selling for $6,630 at fourth place.

The only other non-French wine is Californian vintner Stanley Kroenke's Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon, coming in at 14th place with a $2,884 price tag.



The Story

Richebourg is a king of a wine: the colonnade of the Louvre, the Château of Versailles. You are impressed by its finesse, its length and its delicate sensations, endlessly changing. The fact that no element dominates the others enables you to appreciate all of its aromas, on the nose and on the palate. In any given vintage, Richebourg is always one of the last wines to be drunk. Not because it is too aggressive when young; simply because it needs time to reveal its full complexity.


Average Bottle Price

2017 2015 2014 2012 2010 2005 2000
14 320€ -20.5% 18 009€ +8.9% 16 540€ +0.6% 16 434€ +51.5% 10 845€ +290.1% 2 780€ +107.2% 1 342€

This data comes from the FINE Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions in 20 countries. The average prices from each year have been collected since 1990. This chart plots the index value of the average price of the wines.

Tasting note


Deep, Brick red and Healthy


Long and Extensive


Vanilla, Voluptuous, Earthy and Truffles


Open, Ripe and Seductive




Concentrated, Multi-dimensional, Well-structured, Full-bodied, Focused, Vigor and Elegant

Written Notes

This 1985 Richebourg was served together with Jayer’s famous 1978 Richebourg. The 1978 seemed surprisingly the younger of the two, but the 1985 was superior in many ways. 1978 was harder with the tannins more apparent and chewy, tasting meatier. The 1985 was fatter and had additional layers of fruit that were lacking in the 1978. The 1985 has a definitely better balance and longer aftertaste as well. Somehow this bottle of 1978 was now much more closed and ‘undrinkable’ than some previous ones. Nevertheless, this beautiful 1985 Richebourg is a very full-bodied wine with tannins fully resolved, and as it opens it becomes even more mouth-coating and rich, with denser fruit flavours and another long, long finish. Great wine from a great Man!
  • 100p

Amazing from first sip to last, remarkably complex, layered and textured, smooth and supple, with a seductive creamy mocha oak presence to the long, expansive aftertaste, where the flavors cascade on top of one another.

  • 100p
Moderately intense, cherry red colour. Pronounced, opulent and complex nose delivers tempting aromas of wild strawberries, licorice, forest floor, cepes, root vegetables, and flowers. Medium-bodied palate is vivid and intense delivering loads of sweet red fruits. The structure is immensely silky and rich touch of alcohol is so well-integrated into the concetrated wine. The wine is not only lingering - it gets under the skin and seduces like a seirene. Highly irresistable wine.
  • 98p
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Beaune, Burgundy

Vintage Quality


Value For Money


Investment potential


Fake factory

Be Cautious

Glass time


Drinking temperature


Inside Information

Burgundy Book 
Jan 1990
Robert M. Parker, Jr. 96 Drink: N/A  
The Richebourg should reach its full potential around 1994-1995, and the staggering concentration of fruit, tight structure, and smashing length of this wine are the sorts of things that make great burgundy legendary.

When asked why his wines are so consistently great, Jayer simply responds, "I make the kind of wine I like." His wines are aged in 100% new oak, are never filtered, and are bottled directly from the barrel. The excellent color and well-delineated, intense Pinot Noir fruit he gets could well come from his special "cold maceration," which involves totally destemming the grapes after picking and putting them in tanks where they stay before the fermentation starts. 

Modern oenologists would no doubt be horrified at such a process as the risk of oxidation is high, but never, ever have I tasted a volatile or oxidized bottle of wine from Jayer. As he says, to make great wine, one must assume certain risks. Jayer feels his finest vintages are 1978, 1985, 1980, and 1986. The 1985s are all quite profound, deeply colored, and packed with fruit. They should last and improve until at least 1997-2003. They are more tannic than many other 1985s.
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