200-year-old bottle of Chateau d'Yquem sets record for most valuable bottle of white wine ever sold

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The Antique Wine Company
What could you buy with $117,000? A really nice luxury vehicle. Some sort of tricked-out boat. A home away from home.

Or one bottle of wine.

That's exactly what Bali-based sommelier Christian Vanneque paid for one bottle of Chateau d'Yquem procured by the Antique Wine Company. And with that one purchase, Vanneque broke the Guinness World Record for the most valuable bottle of wine ever purchased.

Chateau d'Yquem is the most famous -- and widely considered best -- producer of Sauternes, a Bordeaux dessert wine that's made from late-harvest semillon and sauvignon blanc grapes. Because of the quality of production of these sweet wines, they can age in the bottle for years, and the example Vanneque picked up was made in 1811, which experts have deemed one of the best vintages ever for the wine. It was also a comet vintage, since a comet was visible before the harvest, made when both Napoleon Bonaparte and Beethoven were alive -- and the United States was still mostly just vast wilderness.

And history aside, Wine Spectator and Robert Parker gave the wine 100 points, thanks to its exceptional longevity, complexity and finish; Parker even described it as "liquid creme brulee."

Vanneque will put the wine on display at the restaurant he's opening in September, SIP Sunset Grill. Average mark-up suggests a diner could buy it for a cool $300,000.


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