The SOMM Journal

April / May 2017

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Page 68 of 124

68 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } APRIL/MAY 2017 RARE LOTS DRAW REPEAT BUYERS TO PREMIERE NAPA VALLEY by Tricia Conover, DWS, CSS / photos by Alexander Rubin As the auctioneer Ursula Hermacinski banged her gavel for the last time, the final tally of bids at the 21st annual Premiere Napa Valley totaled $4.2 million. Top dollar went to Scarecrow, crafted by winemaker Celia Welch. Sixty-two successful trade industry bidders raised their paddles with proceeds supporting Napa Valley Vintners, a nonprofit organization. Scarecrow has not been offered at Premiere Napa Valley auction since it last won top-dollar honors in 2014. Winemaker Celia Welch describes this year's entry: "Scarecrow comes from the 'Old Men' Cabernet grapes. These are vines that were planted in 1945. We've got two acres of the oldest vines of Cabernet in California, as far as we know. I've got one barrel that I held back for extra aging [for the auction]. This is going to have a total of 29 months aging in new French oak. I've got five cases that are not only a piece of Napa Auctioneer Ursula Hermacinski. Wendy Heilmann, Director of Wine and Spirits for Pebble Beach Resorts, gets ready to bid. D'Lynn Proctor of Treasury Wine Estates, Ralph Hertelendy of Hertelendy Vineyards and Jason Moore of Modus Operandi Cellars. Going, Going, Gone!

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