Yesterday, a friend pointed out this article to me. It is concerning the Premier Napa Valley Wine Auction that happened in February, 2014.
We were talking about Cameron Hughes wine (we’d both just been discussing what we were ordering for our holiday Cabernet cases). He has been purchasing CH wines for years but doesn’t consider the previous offerings as impressive as the new ones that have been available during 2014. “There were, of course, exceptions; however these current Cabernet lots have reached a higher level of quality.”
It’s a commonly accepted understanding in the wine (consumer) community, that CH Lot 385 is likely Odette’s 2011 vintage (i.e. it has been referenced on both cellartracker & the wineberserkers community forum several times; among other online references).
Of course, to be clear, no one has any proof (except CH and Odette), therefore it is just an assumption and not a fact; but to consumer thinking, using the comments Cameron made in his video and his CH exclusive comments, as well the fact that Odette was the only new vineyard that year along the Silverado Trail (note that this wine was made by the wine makers & CH bought up the entire 2011 vintage) most people were ready to accept that this wine is Odette’s pre-inaugural vintage (and having tasted it myself, I can say, some excellent Stags Leap wine regardless of its unknown origin).
So with that in mind, as my friend and I discussed our holiday purchases, he asked me if I’d seen that Odette’s actual 2012 inaugural vintage sold at the Premier Napa Valley Wine auction for $1000 a bottle? I said no, so he sent me the above article. In addition, he mentioned that I should note, another winemaker from Pritchard Hill sold theirs for $1167 a bottle. That wouldn’t seem so impressive (given the exorbitant prices in this auction) except for the fact that we’d just been discussing Pritchard Hill (the non-AVA, that is one of the new “rising star” locations in winemaking) & CH Lot 525 (Blocks M5/M6 Stagecoach Vineyard, Pritchard Hill) and how impressive that wine drinks. I reminded him that I’d recently featured those two wines as my “Favorites of 2014”. Do I think that these wines taste like $1000 bottles? No, but quite honestly, I don’t think any wine tastes good enough to spend $1000 on it. 🙂 However, I do think they drink far above their price points.
For my reviews, I do a lot of wine tasting. I taste good wine, bad wine, sometimes really excellent wine…more often than not, mediocre/drinkable wine. I find wine bargains that I consider “good wine at a great price” and I find bargains that I consider “exceptional wine at a good price”. So, I’m just providing you with some information (as well as some hearsay 😉 ) and letting you decide for yourself. Happy Holidays.
Note: CH Coupon “drinkup” for new orders gives you 20% off and free shipping.