Search Articles

Please Share

FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousStumbleuponGoogle BookmarksRedditTechnoratiLinkedin

Subscribe to Blog via RSS

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


Search for Events


Most Read Articles

Napa Valley Premiere - Competitive Juices Yield Record Prices

On Saturday, February 22, 225 one-of-a-kind lots of meticulously produced Napa Valley wine were offered at auction to some of the world’s most passionate and well-moneyed wine sellers and restauranteurs. Four-and-a-half hours later the last gavel fell and a record $5.9 million had been realized, nearly doubling last year’s take which had been an all-time record itself.

The gavel falls on the last lot at the 2014 Premiere Napa Valley Auction.
Photo Bob McClenahan.

The proceeds of Napa Valley Premiere go to support the efforts of the Napa Valley Vintners in promoting, preserving and improving that AVA, but there’s much more on the line. There is pride. There’s reputation. And, to some extent, there’s the promise of winery revenue. Stratospheric auction results aren’t an abstract number. They are to some degree a measure of the winery’s reputation, the star-power of the winemaker. Top results mean a press release and the opportunity to edge the price of all wines upward.

One particularly competitive winemaker stumbled toward me, crestfallen. “I’m a loser!” he said. This from a guy who was actually among the top sellers. But a handful of lots had gone for more than his best. Moments later when the 60-bottle lot of Scarecrow made by Celia Welch sold for a mind-blowing $260,000, he looked like he wanted to throw up. He was now “loser” by an order of magnitude.

For the most part though, Napa Valley Premiere was an “all smiles” event. Dozens of winery-hosted events earlier in the week had drawn trade buyers, top sommeliers and press to the valley. New releases, library wines and the auction cuvees were poured side-by-side. There were big dinners, quiet meetings, cocktail parties, dancing and more.

The after-lunch auction itself was preceded by a tasting of all the lots that morning in the historic barrel room of the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. It’s the best meet-and-greet-and-taste that this country’s most important wine region offers with samples poured by the winemakers, proprietors or both for a crowd small enough to enable friendly conversation and detailed questions.

I didn’t taste every wine this time, opting instead for deeper conversations and very detailed notes on a select number of wines which I was reviewing for the St. Helena Star. Alder Yarrow did make it to nearly every barrel though, so keep an eye on Vinography for his commentary.

Of the wines I did taste, I found much to love. There was the savory complexity of the Mt. Brave and the dynamically fruited Ovid. Oakville Ranch offered yet another supple, stunningly gorgeous Cabernet Franc. Inglenook’s wine is showing heightened sophistication under estate manager Philippe Bascaules. New label Pulido-Walker debuted with a wine made by Thomas Brown that offered amazingly pure aromas of freshly crushed black currants. Another wine by Brown, for THE GRADE, offered mineral-laden scents and a beautifully creamy mouthfeel. Schramsberg refreshed and delighted with a late-disgorged sparkling wine from the 1993 vintage. I taste thousands of wines every year. Many of them are truly excellent. Nonetheless my pen was shocked to be writing scores such as 95, 96 and 97 with such frequency. 

Quick Stats for the 2014 Premiere Napa Valley Auction

Auction lots - 225
Total revenue - $5.9 million
Average bottle price - $283
Highest-selling debut offering - Pulido-Walker for $65,000

Top Ten Lots
$260,000 from The Wine House for 60 bottles of Scarecrow made by Celia Welch
$100,000 from Beverage Warehouse for 60 bottles of ZD Wines made by Brandon deLeuze and Chris Pisani
$100,000 from Zoes Restaurant for 60 bottles of Shafer made by Elias Fernandez
$100,000 from Bounty Hunter for 60 bottles of Schrader made by Thomas Brown
$90,000 from Wine Library for 240 bottles of Robert Mondavi Winery made by Genevieve Janssens
$90,000 from Wine Library for 240 bottles of Cakebread Cellars made by Julianne Laks
$85,000 from Wine Library for 120 bottles of Bevan Cellars & Chateau Boswell made by Russell Bevan
$80,000 from Cliffewood Wine Syndicate for 240 bottles of Reynolds Family, Constant and David Arthur made by Steve Reynolds
$80,000 from Imbibe Wine & Spirits for 60 bottles of VHR Vine Hill Ranch made by Francoise Peschon
$80,000 from Total Wine for 240 bottles of Silver Oak made by Daniel Baron

Top Five Bottle Prices
$4,333 for Scarecrow
$1,666 for ZD Wines
$1,666 for Shafer
$1,666 for Schrader
$1,333 for VHR Vine Hill Ranch

Most Represented Winemakers
Thomas Brown - eight wineries
Philippe Melka - seven wineries
Aaron Pott - four wineries

Top Grossing Winemakers
$340,000 - Celia Welch
$302,000 - Philippe Melka
$255,000 - Thomas Brown
$113.000 - Russell Bevan 

Top Buyers
Total Wine & More of Potomac, MD
Bounty Hunter of Napa, CA
Cliffewood Wine Syndicate of Little Rock, AR
Wine Library of Springfield, NJ
The Wine House of Los Angeles, CA
Gary’s Wine & Marketplace of Madison, NJ
Nakagawa Wine Company of Tokyo, Japan
Beverage Warehouse of Los Angeles, CA
Yakiniku Hiroshi of Honolulu, HI
Meritage Wine Market of Encinitas, CA
Zoes Restaurant of Virginia Beach, VA
HEB of San Antonio, TX.

Specifics on each wine can be found at

Download a Full List of 2014 Premiere Napa Valley Auction Wines & Realized Prices

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for wine news, information on events and more, or friend me on Facebook. This article is original to Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.


Pam Strayer
#1 Pam Strayer 2014-02-25 17:49
Wow - what a great count. Thanks for publishing the top buyers and lots along with the other stats.
Fred Swan
#2 Fred Swan 2014-02-25 19:42
It was quite a day, Pam, and amazing by how much this year's event surpassed all of those in the past.
Kathy Merchant
#3 Kathy Merchant 2014-02-25 21:22
Fred, thanks for doing this, and for sharing the information!
premium themes
#4 premium themes 2014-04-06 00:07
Ԝhat's Τaking ƿlace i ɑm ոew tο tɦis, I stumbled uρon tjis Ӏ've found It abolutely usefսl aոd it has
helped me oսt loads. ӏ'm hoping tߋ givе a contribution & Һelp diffeгent usedrs liҡe its helped mе.
Good job.

my site ... premium themes
best weight loss
#5 best weight loss 2014-04-11 14:28
Wow, this paragraph is nice, my sister is analyzing these kinds
of things, so I am going to convey her.

My web blog ... best weight loss plan
flexwell review
#6 flexwell review 2014-04-24 17:58
Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions
on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I've been trying for a while but I never
seem to get there! Thank you

my weblog - flexwell review
#7 quebec 2014-04-26 04:17
Hello, I log on to your blog like every week. Your humoristic style is awesome, keep it up!
#8 Domenic 2014-05-09 13:08
Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and I find
It really useful & it helped me out a lot.
I hope to give something back and aid others like you helped me.
alat pembesar penis
#9 alat pembesar penis 2014-05-15 00:54
Today, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a 25 foot drop, just so she can
be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has
83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!
#10 http://www. 2014-05-17 03:57
Heya i am for the primary time here. I found this board
and I to find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot.
I hope to present one thing back and help others like you aided
#11 2014-05-24 01:37
I loved as much as you will receive carried out
right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish.
nonetheless, you command get got an nervousness over
that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since
exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.

Look at my page;
go now
#12 go now 2014-07-21 18:02
Hey there! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be okay.
I'm undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

Also visit my page: go now
scarpe louboutin
#13 scarpe louboutin 2014-07-22 11:58
Howdy! I could have sworn I've been to this website before but after checking through some of the
post I realized it's new to me. Anyways, I'm definitely happy
I found it and I'll be book-marking and checking back often!
Investigate This
#14 Investigate This 2014-08-04 21:25
Thanks for sharfing yohr thoughts on philippe melka.
Click Here For More
#15 Click Here For More 2014-08-08 13:29
5 mg daily (in case of bothersome felodipine side effects) in some vital circumstances.
On a gift best-known for essential venture
and containing, conquering dna workouts continue to be a fischer exposure: The blue pill Smooth Currently Has.
It may be harmful to apply Differin (Generic Adapalene) on wind burned
or sunburned skin or on open wounds. The discovery of many wonderful drugs allows many men suffering from impotence
achieve proper treatment and live a normal sex life forever.

Also visit my site - Click Here
For More Info
#16 generic 2014-08-09 03:59
The facts are quite different and go with the interest of the consumers
very well. Much more so just like the prior Call of Duty,
Modern Warfare 2's plot tended to veer uncontrollable for much of the adventure.
Generic versions are
approved by the Food and Drug Administration only after they match up with the
standard guidelines. In general, for every one hundred
cover letters one sends out, they will only receive a response to
ten percent.
#17 backpacks 2014-08-13 13:22
Have you ever thought about publishing an ebook or
guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog based
upon on the same information you discuss and would love to
have you share some stories/informa tion. I know my viewers would appreciate your work.
If you're even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.
best vacuum for pet
#18 best vacuum for pet 2014-08-15 11:12
They are also easier to move around than uprights, which are very
heavy and require moving the entire body to vacuum a surface.

The dry setting consists of conventional cleanup designed specifically
for wood flooring. Pets and children determine
the frequency of the cleaning process and how hard it should work.

my page; best vacuum for pet hair and can lice live on hard surfaces
vimax boston
#19 vimax boston 2014-08-17 07:38
It's impressive that you are getting ideas from this piece of writing aas well
ass from oour discussion made at this place.

My blog - vimax boston marathon 2013
results pictures
jelqing zumba
#20 jelqing zumba 2014-08-17 09:14
Hi tto all, how iis the whole thing, I think every one is getting
more from this web page, and your views are nice designed for
new users.

My homepage ... jelqing zumba
before and after results
penis starts
#21 penis starts 2014-08-17 10:55
You ought to take part in a contest for one of the best websites on thhe net.
I am going to recommend this website!

Feel free to surf to mmy blolg post :: penis starts
vimax what sells on
#22 vimax what sells on 2014-08-18 20:57
After going over a few of the blog posts on your blog, I seriously like your way of writing a blog.
I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark website list and will
be checking back soon. Take a look att my
website as well and llet me know how you feel.

my web site - vimax what
sells on ebay the most
#23 2014-08-18 23:42
Please let mme know if you'relooking for a writer
for your blog. You have some really good articles
and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I'd love to write some articles for your
blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast me
an e-mail if interested. Thanks!

my website :: jelqing iui success stories (
unique office
#24 unique office 2014-09-10 11:24
All you have to do before ordering your office furniture cubicles is to measure the length and the width of your
office area and count the number of employees. Quiet
Time: It is not necessary to step into your office and become involved in the first task on hand immediately.
At Maispace, we also know that, in the office cubicle
systems, floor plan is everything.
el poder de la mente
#25 el poder de la mente 2014-09-11 07:38
In fact, a 2005 monthly release of Wine Business Monthly graded Graceland Cellars (the manufacturer) as the greatest of all
the small wine brandmark of that year in the wine industry.
'pues tal vez es mejor que deje las cartas de las historias para mas adelante.
a, para identificar a Dios, diciendo: Dios es amor, las actividades de Dios han nacido
por amor.
#26 hipnosis 2014-09-12 10:16
Having read this I believed it was really enlightening.
I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this short article together.
I once again find myself personally spending a lot of
time both reading and commenting. But so
what, it was still worth it!
#27 talesrunner 2014-09-15 04:17
As the admin of this site is working, no question very soon it will be famous,
due to its quality contents.
#28 ผ้าปูท 2014-09-15 04:59
Hi, i feel that i saw you visited my website so i got here to return the prefer?.I'm attempting to to find issues to improve my site!I suppose
its adequate to use a few of your ideas!!

Add comment

Security code