BORDEAUX, France — A New York collector paid $30,000 Friday for a half-bottle of 1784 Chateau Margaux wine that Thomas Jefferson bought for about $4, saying it was "very expensive."
Collector Marvin Shanken telephoned from New York to an auction in Bordeaux to place the winning bid for the bottle, engraved with Jefferson's initials.
Jefferson bought the bottle, of an unusually squat shape, in May, 1787, while he was U.S. ambassador to France. He had asked that the year, the name of the chateau and his initials be engraved on it.
Jefferson, in a letter found in his archives, had written that the Chateau Margaux wine had cost him 3 pounds and noted, "That's very expensive."