Trophy Wines

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

trophy wines, small group of wines more expensive than any others and becoming more so under sustained attack from the world’s best-heeled collectors, investors, and drinkers. A Bordeaux first growth, petrus or Le pin from a fine vintage is a trophy wine. Most wines from domaine de la romanée-conti and Domaine leroy count, as do the single-vineyard bottlings of guigal, most prestige cuvées from Champagne, trockenbeerenauslesen from top German growers and Austrians such as Kracher, vega sicilia, L’Ermita of priorat, Dominio de Pingus, and the most lauded supertuscans and gaja bottlings. New World trophy wines include penfolds Grange and all the california cult wines. The key to identifying trophy wines is their international fame (often determined by a particularly high score, notably from the American wine critic Robert parker) and, especially, price. Their prices rose markedly in the late 1990s because of the dramatic increase, particularly in asia, in the number of potential buyers of these ‘limited edition’ wines prepared to acquire them at any price.