Wine Searcher Has Named Its Most Expensive Italian Wine

Diversity is the key word when we think of the Italian wine industry. No matter what you’re looking for, you’re sure to find an Italian producer who has created a wine that meets your need.

You may be searching for an affordable table wine to share with friends.

Italy can provide.

Perhaps you want to experience an experimental wine or purchase something organic.

Many Italian producers can serve your needs.

Of course, you may also wish to experience the finer things in life. And as long as you have the bank balance, Italy can absolutely provide you with a selection of fine wines that you’re sure to fall in love with.

Let’s assume you fall into the latter category. You have money to spend and you’re looking for an Italian wine to spend it on. The brilliant Wine Searcher website has recently unveiled its Top 10 list of the most expensive Italian wines. This article takes a look at those wines and reveals what we can take away from the list.

Introducing the List

Let’s start by jumping straight into the Wine Searcher’s list. Here are the Top 10 Italian wines based on their average price:

  1. Giacomo Conterno Monfortino, Barolo Riserva DOCG – $1309
  2. Case Basse di Gianfranco Soldera Brunello di Montalcino, Riserva DOCG – $1093
  3. Roagna Crichet Paje, Barbaresco DOCG – $979
  4. Masseto, Toscana IGT – $954
  5. Cappellano Otin Fiorin Pie Franco – Michet, Barolo DOCG – $920
  6. Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Brunate Riserva, Barolo DOCG – $838
  7. Case Basse di Gianfranco Soldera, Toscana IGT – $736
  8. Roagna Pira Riserva, Barolo DOCG – $731
  9. Miani Calvari Refosco Colli Orientali del Friuli – $671
  10. Falleto di Bruno Giacosa Le Rocche di Castiglione Falletto Barolo DOCG – $650

There are some very interesting choices here and you’re likely spotting a few trends already. Let’s take a deeper dive into the list by looking at what this may tell us about the high end of the Italian wine industry.

Trend No. 1 – Barolo is Still King

The King of Wines has earned its moniker due to the many years that it has been considered one of Italy’s foremost wines. The fact that different Barolo wines occupy a stunning five of the 10 spots on this list only cements its reputation. This includes the Giacomo Conterno Monfortino, Barolo Riserva DOCG, which is currently selling for a staggering $1,309.

If nothing else, this list shows us that investors still have a deep love for the Nebbiolo grape and the traditions of Barolo. The King of Wines naturally offers the most expensive vintage in Italy right now, with that fact leading us into our second trend.

Trend No. 2 – Tradition Over Innovation

Those who were around for the introduction of the Super Tuscans will remember just how ferocious the battles between innovators and traditionalists can become in the Italian wine industry. When some winemakers started experimenting with the Chianti formula that had been recognized for decades, those who value tradition were up in arms.

In that instance, the Super Tuscans eventually carved their own niche in the Italian wine industry, helped in large part by their popularity abroad.

But interestingly, this Top 10 list shows that investors are currently looking at traditional wines ahead of innovative ones. The list contains only a single Super Tuscan, and only two IGT wines in general. The rest are DOCG wines, which are bound by extremely strict production rules.

So, why the focus on the traditional over the innovative in 2022?

We believe that safety is the key influencer in these wine prices. Investors are sticking with wines that they know and already love, leading to a lack of desire to pay top dollar for wines that try something new. Giacomo Conterno Monfortino, Barolo Riserva DOCG being the most expensive wine is both recognition of its quality and something of a safe bet for investors during turbulent times.

Trend No. 3 – Most Expensive Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Best

It’s natural to assume that the most expensive wine on a list like this would also be the most popular. But that isn’t the case. Wine Searcher has provided ratings out of 100 for every wine in its Top 10. And while each wine achieves a score over 90, there are some interesting findings if you’re looking at quality alone.

Take the Roagna Pira Riserva, Barolo DOCG as an example. Though this wine costs a comparatively low $731 compared to Giacomo Conterno Monfortino, Barolo Riserva DOCG’s $1,309, it’s also the highest-rated wine on the list. It comes in with a score of 97/100, though this appears to only be enough to get it to eighth place while the most expensive wine on the list reaches the top spot despite having a rating of 96/100.

Case Basse di Gianfranco Soldera Brunello di Montalcino, Riserva DOCG is also an interesting example. It’s the second most expensive wine on the list with an average price of $1,093. But it’s also the lowest rated with a score of 93/100.

Of course, we’re talking about minor quality differences in the scores Wine Searcher presents. The fact that each wine is above a 90 tells us that you’ll have an amazing experience with all of them. Still, it’s interesting to see how little independent ratings influence the amount of money investors are willing to spend on Italy’s most expensive wines.

The Safe Bets

While the prices of these Italian wines are certainly steep, they’re not at the eye-watering levels you may have seen some French wines sell for at auction. And it’s true that Burgundy, Bordeaux, and several other French wines can attract thousands more dollars from investors than even the most expensive Italian wines.

Still, steadiness is the name of the game with this list. These wines represent safe investments because they steadily increase in price. Even though the gains aren’t dramatic, there’s a constant uptick. To us, it’s interesting to see wines selling for such enormous sums. But even if you don’t have the money required to pick up one of the wines on this list, we’re sure you’ll find something to love in the enormous Xtrawine collection.


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