13 Standout Wines From the Premiere Napa Valley Auction
Every year, vintners from around Napa Valley create some of the most exclusive wines in the world. And every February, hundreds of members of the wine trade—retailers, restaurateurs—gather to barrel-taste the newest collection and bid at the Premiere Napa Valley auction for the right to take ownership of the lots that have impressed them the most. Eventually. Since this is a futures tasting, the wines generally won’t be bottled and released for more than a year, and sometimes longer. When they are, though, this relatively small number of Napa’s best bottles—unique, one-off wines—make up a rich cache for collectors averse to cookie-cutter cellars.
Here are 13 that would intrigue your most wine-steeped friends. (Bottle prices are rounded, but keep in mind this is what the retailer or restaurateur paid—there’s no formula for the markup after that for these rare bottles; sometimes, in fact, it’s very little.) They’ll be available under the unique Premiere Napa Valley label (signed by the vintner/winemaker) at a range of restaurants, private clubs and retailers, from high-end shops to Total Wine & More. The Napa Valley Vintners have helped out by putting a wine finder on the Premiere website, where you can pre-order the wines. Collectors will have the chance to experience the wines themselves at tastings and events across the country during the Premiere Napa Valley Release Week, this year November 9 to 14. Watch that site for details.
Viader Vineyards and Winery 2018 Block B2 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley – Mother and son winemakers Delia and Alan Viader (shown here) isolated their steepest block on sun-exposed west-facing slopes for this lot, then aged it in a 500-liter French oak barrel on the lees to tame its tannins. While powerful, the wine is ripe and beautifully balanced for a long life. Winning bid: $42,000 for 240 bottles or $175 per bottle.