Monday, July 24, 2006

The Price of Coping With Cult Cabernet Sauvignon Subscriptions

The new owners of Oakville's cult Cabernet Sauvignon producer, Screaming Eagle, just announced a big jump in price of their famous wine from $300 a bottle to $500 a bottle, a record release price for a California wine. Undoubtedly, the new owners' confidence in jacking up the price so heftily and so soon after they just acquired the property springs from the soaring prices of Bordeaux 2005 classed growths, as first growths like Lafite have hit $700 a bottle. Also, it must be noted that secondary market pricing for Screaming Eagle ranges from $1,000 to over $2,000 a bottle.

Knowing how Napa wine producers keep close tabs of their neighbors' pricing, it won't be long now until other top labels ratchet up their prices. Wineries with equally serious claims for cult wine status like Harlan, Bryant, Colgin, Araujo, and Sloan are likely to almost double their price tags if not this year then by next year.

Folks lucky enough to be in the subscription lists of these cult labels, however, would be scratching their heads when they receive their next offer letters in the mail. Coping with their allocations and, therefore, staying in the subscription lists would mean coughing up a lot of dough. Hopefully, many would not opt sending their kids to public schools, instead. Hey, maybe wineries, just like car dealerships, would tie up with banks to offer innovative financing schemes. A Screaming Eagle Visa card maybe?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Grgich Fund-Raiser Dinner

Grgich Hills' Mike Grgich, who first became famous as winemaker for Chateau Montelena where he made the 1973 Chardonnay that won the celebrated 1976 Paris Tasting, is being honored with a tribute dinner to raise funds for the scholarship progarm under his name at the CIA Greystone.


To be auctioned at the dinner is a case of the winning 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay. For the winning bidder, let's just hope this Chardonnay is still drinkable.

The date for the event is August 18th at CIA Greystone in St. Helena, Napa. Dinner cost is $250 per. For more info contact Pam Harter at 707.963.2784 by no later than Aug. 1st.

Monday, July 3, 2006

A Fun Summer Read


This is a great, little book to to read if you just want to escape into a world of Proven├žal adventure filled with colorful local characters; detailed descriptions of food, wine, and vineyards; and harmless cloak-and-dagger intrigue as only Peter Mayle could concoct. To say more is to give something away as this is a book you can finish non-stop in just a few hours.

If you're always promising to yourself that you would finish reading at least one novel a year, then this is the book to start with. And, oh, may I suggest a nice glass of red Bordeaux to accompany it, as you will definitely work up a thirst flipping through the pages.

A Good Year by Peter Mayle. Published 2004 by Alfred A. Knopf. 287 pages.