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02.24.2008

The Best Cabernet in Napa: Tasting Premiere Napa Valley 2008

One of my favorite events each year involves the opportunity to sample some of the best wines that Napa produces in a given vintage. At Premiere Napa Valley, an auction that serves as the world's most expensive "bake sale" to support the efforts of the non-profit Napa Valley Vintners Association, journalists like me get a chance to sneak a taste of hundreds of unique wines that are purchased by the nation's top wine retailers at staggeringly high prices.

This year, as every year, 200 member wineries each crafted a unique auction lot of wine that in most cases represents the very best wine that they are capable of producing. Some bottle five or ten cases of wine from their best barrel and some make a unique blend from their two best vineyard blocks. No matter what premiere_08.jpgtheir composition, each auction lot must be a unique wine that will never be available anywhere else, and implicitly, it must be as good as possible, to ultimately fetch the highest price.

So what's the good in me tasting wines that neither you nor I will ever get a chance to taste again, let alone purchase one day? As I swoon over some of these wines, I often ask myself the same question.

Some of these wines can actually be purchased by the public, though they require persistence to track down, plus a cavalier attitude towards wine pricing. I wonder what this year's top lot ($62,000 for five cases of Shafer Sunspot Cabernet -- that's $1033.33 per bottle) will actually retail for, when it comes time to sell?

Many of the lots, however, are sold before the gavel falls -- purchased by wine retailers and brokers who essentially take orders (and bundles of cash) from their best customers, and then show up to invest like they manage a wine hedge fund (which essentially they do).

For the rest of us, apart from offering a ringside view on the uppermost echelon of California wine buying, the Premiere Napa Valley auction provides three main insights:

1. The measure of demand strength for the luxury end of the Napa wine industry
2. A gauge of the quality of wine that a large number of Napa producers can make when they really try
3. A broad sense of the qualities of a particular vintage -- in this case, 2006

I attend every year for these insights, along with the fantastic food and laid-back camaraderie that accompanies the event.

The 2006 vintage looks to be a very good one, though not without its challenges. In brief, "tannic," best describes the thread that ran through many of the 200 wines I tasted on Saturday. Putting aside the fact that these were barrel samples, most nearly a year from being released, the vintage does seem to have premiere_08-2.jpgproduced conditions that challenged winemakers with the potential for extremely tenacious tannic structures. Many managed them well, yielding supple, powerhouses of wine. Those who did not, however, ended up with wines that clawed at the insides of the mouth, fighting the fruit at every turn.

Most wines were beautifully ripe, and only a few suffered from excessive sweetness or raisin-like qualities that indicate extremes of hang-time and extraction, or the alcoholic heat that so often accompanies these qualities.

The Premiere barrel tasting is quite a marathon, especially for a guy like me who sets out to taste literally every single one of the 200 wines on offer. They keep increasing the number of lots, without expanding the length of the tasting, which means I have to work my ass off for four hours in order to get through them all. Such work doesn't leave much time for chitchat or musing, nor much reflection at the time on anything other than the individual qualities of each wine, one after another.

I do, however, get the opportunity to enjoy the fabulous work of 200 master craftsmen and women, and the occasional surprises and inventiveness that they produce. This year included several such occasions for wonder: Von Strasser's barrel of (to everyone's best knowledge) the first Gruner Veltliner produced in California -- true to varietal form with grassy, mineral notes, though with a slightly more lush apple fruit quality than its Continental cousins; a gorgeous, late harvest Sauvignon Blanc from Honig; several surprisingly good Zinfandel/Cabernet blends; and to the sweet relief of my tannin-scraped mouth, a phenomenal late-disgorged sparkler from Schramsberg.

Apart from these not-for-sale-to-the-general-public barrels, and an occasional offering to mailing list customers, most Napa Valley wineries don't offer wine futures for sale. Which means that all we can do is wait, knowing that at least one future vintage will likely have some real winners.

Click the winery name to find and purchase other wines from that producer.

WINES SCORING BETWEEN 9.5 and 10
2006 Laird Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 BOND Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 9.5
2006 Amuse Bouche Winery "Pomerol blend--Merlot/Cabernet Franc" Merlot, Napa Valley
2006 Lail Vineyards "Heimark Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Peacock Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain District
2006 Blackbird Vineyards Red Table Wine, Napa Valley
2006 Parallel Napa Valley "Parallel Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Shafer Vineyards" Sunspot Vineyard "Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
2006 Chappellet Winery and Vineyard "Heaven on the Hill" Red Wine, Napa Valley
2005 Schramsberg Vineyards "1993 Late Disgorged J. Schram" Sparkling Wine - Brut, Napa Valley
2006 Diamond Terrace "Two Mountains" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 D.R. Stephens Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Jones Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 RUDD Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder
2006 Spencer Roloson Winery "La Herradura Vineyard Le Ferrieur" Syrah, Napa Valley
2006 Robert Foley Vineyards and Switchback Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Carter Cellars Red Wine, Atlas Peak
2006 La Jota Vineyard Co. "Winery Vineyard" Cabernet Franc, Howell Mountain
2006 Narsai David "Cuvee Venus" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Dyer Vineyard "Meteor Vineyard Clone 4" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Hourglass "36-24-36" Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena

WINES SCORING BETWEEN 9 and 9.5
2006 Farella-Park Vineyards "Terrace Reserve" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Reynolds Family Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
2007 Honig Vineyard & Winery "Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc" Sauvignon Blanc, Rutherford
2006 Joseph Phelps Vineyards "Backus Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
2006 Twomey Cellars Merlot, Napa Valley
2007 Saintsbury "Brown Ranch" Pinot Noir, Los Carneros
2006 Anomaly Vineyards "Ashby's Reserve" Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena
2006 Ladera Vineyards "Two Mountains" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 The Hess Collection Winery "Elevation 1492" Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder
2006 Burgess Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Hartwell Vineyards "Highland Cuvee" Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
2006 Bighorn Cellars "Bill's Barrel" Red Table Wine, Napa Valley
2006 TOR Kenward Family Wines Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Soñador Cellars "The Dreamer" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Swanson Vineyards & Winery "Gold Coast" Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
2006 Erba Mountainside Vineyards "Premiere Selection" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Louis M. Martini Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Flora Springs Winery & Vineyards "Heritage Trilogy" Red Wine, Napa Valley
NV Schweiger Vineyards "Lab Test" Red Table Wine, Napa Valley
2006 Rocca Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot, Napa Valley
2006 William Cole Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Beaulieu Vineyard "Cabernet Clone Blend with Petit Verdot" Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford
2006 Spring Mountain Vineyard "Gobelet" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Cliff Lede Vineyards "Bohemian Devil" Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
2006 Corison Winery "Premiere Reserve" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Steltzner Vineyards "RMS Block 3.66" Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
2006 Chimney Rock Winery "Première Cuvée" Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
2006 Revana Family Vineyard "Premiere Cuvee" Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena
2006 O'Shaughnessy Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain
2006 Arietta "Best of H" Red Wine, Napa Valley
2006 Markham Vineyards Petite Sirah, Napa Valley
2006 Pride Mountain Vineyards "Summit Ranch" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery "Spottswoode Estate Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena
2005 Lang & Reed Wine Company Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley
2006 Vineyard 7 & 8 "Two-For-One = 7" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Pine Ridge Winery "Milestone" Red Table Wine, Rutherford
2006 The Terraces "Quarry Cuvee" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Baldacci Family Vineyards "First Born" Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
2006 Broman Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Cardinale Red Wine, Napa Valley
2006 HALL "Exzellenz - Sacrashe Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Wolf Family Vineyards "Decade" Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena
2006 Rutherford Hill Winery "Première Blend" Merlot, Napa Valley
2006 Rombauer Vineyards "Proprietors Diamond Selection" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Mi Sueño Winery "Selección Herrera" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Cain Vineyard & Winery "Françoise™ Pick" 75% Cabernet Sauvignon/25% Cabernet Franc, Spring Mountain District
2006 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars "Founder's Fancy" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Jericho Canyon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Thirteen Appellations (FOURTEEN) "Meritage" Red Table Wine, Napa Valley
2006 Artesa Winery "Granite Hill" Cabernet Sauvignon, Atlas Peak
2006 PlumpJack Winery "I Block" Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
2006 Viader Vineyards & Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Truchard Vineyards "Carneros" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Ehlers Estate "Lunar Opposition" Red Wine, St. Helena

WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 9
2006 Silver Oak Cellars "Ernie's Pretty Girl" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Stewart Cellars "Trio" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Ristow Estate "PEDRAS" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Lewis Cellars" Premiere Blend "Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Monticello Vineyards "State Lane Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, Yountville
2006 Silverado Vineyards "SOLO Double Block" Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
2006 Judd's Hill"Bodacious Barrel" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Newton Vineyard "The Puzzle" Red Wine, Spring Mountain District
2005 Sterling Vineyards "Reserve Select" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Seavey Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2007 Rutherford Ranch Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford
2006 Signorello Vineyards "Big Rock Cuvee" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Round Pond Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford
2006 Grgich Hills Estate Petit Verdot, Napa Valley
2006 Schrader Cellars, LLC "Hell Hole Cuvee" Zinfandel, Napa Valley
2007 Storybook Mountain Vineyards/Seps Estate Petit Verdot/Zinfandel, Napa Valley
2006 Juslyn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain District
2006 Miner Family Vineyards "Premiere Cuvee" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Vineyard 29 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Kuleto Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2005 Conn Creek Winery "Stagecoach Vineyard" Merlot, Atlas Peak
2006 Larkmead Vineyards "Solari Diamond" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Emilio's Terrace Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
2006 Bravante Vineyards Red Table Wine, Howell Mountain
2006 Sawyer Cellars "Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford
2006 Paradigm Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Raymond Vineyard & Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Spelletich Cellars "True Reserve" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Cakebread Cellars "Dancing Bear Ranch" Red Table Wine, Howell Mountain
2006 Livingston Moffett Wines, LLC "Aidan's Blend" Red Wine, Napa Valley
2006 Atalon Winery "The Peers" 50% Cabernet Sauvignon/50% Merlot, Napa Valley
2005 Tom Eddy Winery "Three-Mountain Reserve" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Roy Estate "Roy Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Tamber Bey Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
2006 Ceja Vineyards Pinot Noir, Los Carneros
2006 Sequoia Grove Vineyards "22 acres" Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford
2006 Coho "Michael Black Vineyard" Merlot, Napa Valley
2006 Renteria Wines "Special Barrel Selection" Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
2006 Clos Pegase "Palisades Vineyard "The Caterpillar"" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Far Niente "Martin Stelling Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Krupp Brothers Estates Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Darioush "Hillside Block-Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder
2006 Barnett Vineyards "Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2005 XTANT Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Realm Cellars "Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Oakville East Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville

WINES SCORING BETWEEN 8.5 and 9
2006 PEJU "ASV - Cabernet Sauvignon 50% -Cabernet Franc 50%" Red Wine, Napa Valley
2006 Long Meadow Ranch "Right Bank Blend" Merlot, Napa Valley
2006 Paoletti Estates Winery Nero d'Avola, Napa Valley
2006 Ahnfeldt Wines, LLC "QUID PRO QUO II" Red Wine, Napa Valley
2006 Oakville Ranch Vineyards "Justine's Juice" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Groth Vineyards & Winery "OX" Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
2006 J. Davies Vineyards "McEachran Tierra Luna" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Pillar Rock Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
2007 Frias Family Vineyard "Señor Frias' Hilltop Select" Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain District
2006 Provenance Vineyards "Estate Grown Private Reserve" Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford
2006 Tres Sabores "Fifth Anniversary Cuvee" Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford
2007 Reverie on Diamond Mountain "The First Harvest" Malbec, Diamond Mountain District
2006 Clos Du Val Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
2006 Rubicon Estate "CLONE 29" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
NV ZD Wines "Petit Abacus" Red Table Wine, Napa Valley
2006 Etude" Vine Hill Ranch "Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
2006 John Anthony Vineyards "Bordeaux Blend" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Barlow Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Stags' Leap Winery "Estate Vineyard - Block 7" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Cafaro Cellars "Cafaro Family Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 St. Clement Vineyards "Star Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford
2006 Howell Mountain Vineyards Red Table Wine, Napa Valley
2006 Clark-Claudon Vineyards "'06 Serendipity" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Frazier Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Harris Estate Vineyards "Magique" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Yates Family Vineyard/Napa Redwoods Estate" Premiers Grands Cuvee de Premiere" Red Wine, Mount Veeder
2006 Fantesca Estate & Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Amici Cellars "Jericho Canyon" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Hendry "Vintner's Barrel Selection" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Terra Valentine "Super Spring Mountain" Red Wine, Napa Valley
2006 Buehler Vineyards "Turkey Feed" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2005 Ghost Block "Ghost Block" Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
2006 Oberon Wines "Hillside Reserve Michael Mondavi Selection" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Hill Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Atlas Peak
2006 Mount Veeder Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder
2006 Merryvale Vineyards "Chairman's Selection" Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
2006 William Hill Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Keenan Winery "Tribute" Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain District
2006 Alpha Omega Red Wine, Napa Valley
2006 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain
2006 Domaine Chandon "Winemaker's Barrel Select" Pinot Noir, Los Carneros
2006 Trefethen Family Vineyards "40th Anniversary Cuvee" Red Table Wine, Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley
2007 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
2006 Nickel & Nickel "Copper Streak Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
2006 Paraduxx Red Wine, Napa Valley
2006 Cloud View Vineyards "Pritchard Hill Red Estate Wine" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 JAX Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Ardente Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Dominari "Promiscuus" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 8.5
2006 Bressler Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena
2007 Bouchaine Vineyards "Auction Select/Best Barrel" Pinot Noir, Napa Valley
2006 O'Brien Estate "Lovestruck" Red Wine, Napa Valley
2006 Jocelyn Lonen Winery "Bennett Ranch" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Zahtila Vineyards "Oat Hill Estate Barrel Select" Zinfandel, Napa Valley
2006 Volker Eisele Family Estate Red Table Wine, Chiles Valley District
2005 Summers Estate Wines Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Cosentino Winery Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley
2006 Napa Cellars "Dyer Vineyard" Syrah, Los Carneros
2006 Source-Napa "Old Vine Blend" Red Wine, St. Helena
2007 von Strasser Winery Gruner Veltliner, Diamond Mountain District
2006 Bennett Lane Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2005 Eagle & Rose Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Turnbull Wine Cellars "Red Soils Red" Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
2006 Flying Horse Winery "The War Horse" Red Wine, Napa Valley
2005 Benessere Sangiovese Vin Santo, St. Helena
2006 Palmaz Vineyards "Best of 40 Barrels" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2006 Rockledge Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena
2006 Rutherford Grove Winery & Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain
2006 Cornerstone Cellars Red Wine, Howell Mountain

WINES SCORING BETWEEN 8 and 8.5
2006 St. Supery Vineyards & Winery "Limited Edition Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford
2005 Freemark Abbey" Seven "Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2005 The Gabrielle Collection "Estate Grown Creek Block" Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley

WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 8 OR BELOW
2007 Robert Pecota Winery Petite Sirah, Napa Valley
2006 Frog's Leap "Red Barn" Merlot, Rutherford
NV Page Wine Cellars "Touts Dans Le Garage" Red Table Wine, Napa Valley
2006 Helena View Johnston Vineyards "Helena View Johnston Vineyards" Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley
2006 Elyse Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2005 Martin Estate Rutherford "Puerta Dorada Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford

Comments (10)

Kirstin wrote:
02.25.08 at 11:05 AM

Such good notes (point-taking) for a such a decadent conference!
Do many people from abroad come to this tasting? Did the big tannins of 06 speak to their palates?

Alder wrote:
02.25.08 at 11:25 AM

Kirstin,

People definitely come from all over -- there are always a number of prominent buyers from Japan, China, and Taiwan, among other places. Given that the auction set a new record, I'd say people were pretty excited about the wines.

JohnG wrote:
02.25.08 at 2:30 PM

I don't know how the heck you taste so many big tannic cabernets like that without mixing in a dozen pinots now and then!

Alder wrote:
02.25.08 at 2:52 PM

John,

The answer is.... very carefully. I stop for water and food often.

tomfar wrote:
02.25.08 at 6:27 PM

I can vouch for Alder. He works pretty hard at staying focused, though I'm sure he would love to dig in at every stop. I was gone for a few minutes and missed him but see the results here. This is such a great event since it's the ultimate level playing field in the big, nasty wine biz. Maybe some day there will be a public version which would be great.

Morton Leslie wrote:
02.25.08 at 9:42 PM

It's a tremendous athletic achievement, tasting all those young intense wines. Enjoy it while you're young. You would think by now I would be used to these wine prices, but I had to do the math a half dozen times on the big bidder, Gary Fisch of Gary's Wine and Marketplace and the purchase of 200 cases for $429,000 That's only 2400 bottles and it works out to $175 a bottle for futures and at wholesale! When I arrived in the valley BV Reserve 1968 was selling for $4.75, one of the last wines by Andre, one of the best in the valley, and I bought a few cases. I got an estimate from an auction house the other day to reduce the cellar, among it some of the 1968, and they estimated $175 before their commissions. I don't understand wine pricing anymore.

Sheppy wrote:
02.28.08 at 1:23 PM

Some retailers do buy barrels and case lots at PNV to sell publicly. I have bought PNV bottles from Bounty Hunter Wines in Napa in the past, they make excellent gifts for the cork dork in you life as the bottles from PNV all have special labels, etc.

Cindy Tyler wrote:
03.01.08 at 5:29 PM

Whatever happened to Screaming Eagle? I guess I live in la-la land (Florida), but I would expect to hear something about this vineyard every now and then.

Alder wrote:
03.01.08 at 6:10 PM

Cindy,

Screaming Eagle is not a member of the Napa Valley Vintners Association, and to my knowledge the wine has never been poured at a public tasting like this. When you can sell every bottle you make for $800 to people on your mailing list, you generally have no use for public tastings, even those targeted at the trade like this one.

George Ronay wrote:
03.04.08 at 3:51 PM

Morton: I'd love to have a bottle (or 2!) of that 1968, and I'd give you more than $175!! Yes, pricing has gotten ridiculous, but when you compare California Cabernet to First-Growth Bordeauxs 2005 at $500 - $2,000 per BOTTLE, even Screaming Eagle at $800 sounds (almost) resonable!!

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