Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Napa's Ne Plus Ultra at Premiere Napa Valley: The Organic Among Them

Credit: Decanter
Premiere Napa Valley set new records this year selling $6 million worth of one of kind wines, up from $5.9 million in 2014.

While 2015 was not a repeat of the high drama of 2014, during which a buyer paid $260,000 for the Scarecrow lot, the average price of a bottle did not change much. The average bottle price in 2014 was $283; in 2015, it was $286.

This year's highest price lot sold for $115,000.

The wine auction benefits the Napa Valley Vintners, the trade association many (but not all) area wineries belong to, providing more than half of its annual revenue.

The wines presented are one of a kind wines, not available outside of the event, and are sought after by collectors and their wine merchants.

Because it's not a charity auction, it sends a signal to the marketplace about the value of Napa's fine wine prices.

Last year I attended the auction and, as luck would have it, sat next to Sasha Vaynerchuk of Wine Library (in NJ), father of the YouTube and social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk. That year Wine Library won only two of his bids. "Prices were too high," Sasha told me. This year Sasha came with Gary, whose picture was plastered over every available social media channel, and Wine Library came home with four (well publicized) lots from Premiere.

To learn more about the event, and to hear from Phillipe Melka (pictured below), one of Napa's top tier winemaking consultants (and one who prefers to use organic grapes in his own as well as his clients' wines), enjoy the Napa Valley Vintners' video below.

Below is a list of the organically grown wines from Premiere Napa Valley 2015, with prices listed for some wineries. (More prices may be added later). Lots that sold for $20,000 or more are in bold type.

Personally, I've become fascinated by the buyers at this event - of that, more later (tomorrow's post).


Grgich Hills Estate, 10 cases, $22,000
AVA: Carneros


Chappellet, 5 cases, $26,000
(Pritchard Hill)

Ehler's Estate, 5 cases, $16,000
AVA: St. Helena

Hall, 5 cases, $26,000
AVA: St. Helena

Inglenook, 5 cases
AVA: Rutherford

Long Meadow Ranch Winery, $12,000
AVA: Rutherford

Rocca Family Vineyards, 5 cases, $20,000
AVA: Coombsville

Spottswoode, 5 cases, $48,000
AVA: St. Helena

Volker Eisele Family Estate, 5 cases, $12,000
AVA: Chiles Valley District


Madonna Estate, 5 cases, $8,000
AVA: Carneros


Lateral, 5 cases
AVA: Carneros

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