The Friday List - 1/27/2023

California Legends

Hello Collectors,

It’s been a few months since our last California list, so today we’re ending that drought and kicking off a new year of Napa offers with a bang. This parcel is the first of many from a single consignor, and it’s a thrilling list top to bottom. Our own Ian Dorin has known this client for 22 years and can attest to their longtime habits of meticulous buying and storing. Lovers of both large formats and small are going to lose it over this incredible string of offers, as this collector buys deeply across all sizes, from 375s to 6-liters. His is a dynamic and sophisticated cellar that frankly demands more than a passing glance; this is the kind of list you pore over and break the bank for.

Because this list is such an iconic portrait of Napa Valley over the last thirty years, we’ll open with our tiny lone disappointment: that there isn’t more Abreu. Easily our favorite place to taste in Napa, these wines are simply stunning, not only among the very best made in California, but in the New World. If you’re not familiar, grab at least one today before they’re inevitably gone. Fortunately, to make up for the dearth of Abreu, we have a considerable amount of Dominus, with a staggering number of large formats. The same goes for Opus One, Pride Mountain’s Reserve Cabernet, as well as their Reserve Claret. Looking for impeccably stored Maiden that’s in its prime? Plenty of that today as well.

We’re also thrilled by how far back in time this list goes. For those with palates nostalgic for Old Napa Valley, there are a dozen time capsule wines here today. The 1994 Araujo (Eisele Vineyard) is unreal to begin with, a total throwback to what Cali Cabs used to be, so to also find this in magnum is like striking gold. Also available are the 1997, 1998 (mag), and the awesome 2005. The 1997 Montelena is holding strong, and somehow only getting better with each passing year. Other favorites of ours include the small but mighty selections of Colgin, Scarecrow, and the epic 2010 Spottswoode. There are also smatterings each of Alban, Bevan, Dunn, Fairchild, Maybach, and 2002 Phelps Insignia.

Finally, did we mention how impeccably well this collection was stored? Provenance is the name of the game with older wines, and when it’s as pristine as this parcel’s, our only piece of advice is: act quickly. If you don’t claim something here for your cellar, it’ll end up in someone else’s instead.