What Makes A Wine Expensive?

Several factors often contribute to the final price of a wine, either in isolation or combination. Factors include but are not limited to critic scores, scarcity, and the reputation of the region and/or the producer.

Critic scores, scarcity, and reputation all influence the price of wine.

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How Critic Scores Make A Wine More Expensive

Wine critics rate wine on a scale of either 20 points or more commonly 100 points. Retailers report that it can be difficult to sell a wine rated below 90/100 points, but wines rated 95/100 points and above are almost impossible to keep in stock, regardless of their sale price.

How Scarcity Makes Wines More Expensive

Some cult wineries like California’s Sine Qua Non make limited amounts, producing just over 3,500 cases per year and selling everything to a mailing list of clients. The waiting time to join the mailing list is currently over 9 years, and limited access causes the wines to sell for high prices on the secondary market.

How Reputation Makes A Wine More Expensive

Some wine regions or wineries are more famous than others. Woorl Yallock is largely unknown, but the wines of Burgundy are famous enough that the name of the region is even used to describe a wine-like shade of red. People are willing to pay more for a well-known commodity.

Producers also have different levels of fame. In 2022, St. Emilion estate Chateau Cheval Blanc withdrew from the Saint Emilion classification, in part because its own reputation exceeded that of the classification. Losing their top Grand Cru Classe A rating only solidified demand, with prices trending upward.

Some famous St Emilion Chateaux have left their regional classification because their strong reputation can command higher prices without it.

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Whilst prices change over time and vary across the different vintages of an individual wine, here are some of the most expensive wines on VinoVoss:

One Of The Most Expensive White Wines

Coche Dury Bourgogne Aligoté

Aligoté is a white grape grown in the Burgundy region of France, where it usually plays second fiddle to Chardonnay. However, Aligote from the most esteemed producers, such as Coche Dury, sees great demand as drinkers jump at the chance to sample any wine available from the estate. The rich phenolic texture of this wine and its smoky minerality are perfectly balanced by the grape’s vibrant acidity.

One Of The Most Expensive Red Wines

Henschke Hill Of Roses Shiraz

Henschke is one of the most revered names in Australian wine. The Hill Of Roses vineyard was planted in the 1980s using cuttings from 125-year-old vines from the neighboring Hill of Grace vineyard. One day, these vines will be mature enough for their grapes to be included in the Hill of Grace wine. Until then, Hill of Roses offers the average drinker a chance to get closer to one of the rarest wines in Australia, for a price.

Based on vines grown from cuttings from the Hill of Grace vineyard, Heschhke’s Hill of Roses Shiraz is as close as many people will get to the iconic Hill of Grace Shiraz due to its availability and price.

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One Of The Most Expensive Sweet Wines

Disznókó Tokaji Aszú Eszencia

Tokaji Aszu Eszencia is made exclusively from the free-run juice of predominantly furmint grapes that have been shriveled by the fungus Botrytis cinerea. This highly concentrated wine can have a sugar level that exceeds 18 oz/L (550 g/L). It is so sweet that it is often served by the spoonful and not by the glass. It is made in such limited quantities that the price exceeds the price per g/L of sugar, even for a half bottle!

Navigating Price On VinoVoss

There are two ways of filtering prices on VinoVoss:

  1. You can set the desired price range before or after your search.
    In the results page, you can find the “Price Range” filter on the left side. The bar chart of the filter is a dynamic price representation of the wines applicable to your search.
  2. You can use the “Sort by” filters at the top left of the results page on VinoVoss to order results by price, either from High-to-Low or Low-to-High.

Matthew Cocks

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