Unveils Winemaker Creativity
The varietals and blends created for Premiere Napa Valley by Napa Valley’s winemakers are nearly always a revelation. Those who primarily craft a specific variety, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir, are cut loose from their tried-and-true varietal bonds to create something out of the ordinary, and more often than not, the extraordinary. As a result, Premiere Napa Valley wines are some of the world’s most unique offerings. They are presented at the annual wine futures auction in February only to wine retailers and restaurateurs who curate and offer them to their clientele. And the highly anticipated annual Premiere Napa Valley Release Week (November 8 – 13 this year) marks the initial release of these wines in the market.
During Premiere Napa Valley Release Week, those who have purchased Premiere Napa Valley wines at auction now have the opportunity to share and present their prized vinous assets to the world, providing wine lovers the chance to sample these coveted creations. Consumers can find them in a variety of places: a private club, an intimate wine bar, a local retailer, or a nationwide wine store. This year’s release is of the 2018s, a vintage many retailers and vintners claim to be some of Napa Valley’s best. “The quality of the 2018 vintage is unbelievable,” said Gary Fisch, founder, and CEO of Gary’s Wine & Marketplace. “They range from bright, rich, fruity wines to wines that have good grit and structure.”
“We ended up with wines that are powerful and polished; they are collector’s wines,” said Renée Ary, winemaker at Duckhorn. They are going to show great 10 to 15 years down the road.”
“2018 was a magical combination of being a very big vintage and a perfect ripening season,” added Cathy Corison, proprietor of Corison Winery. “The wines are gorgeous.”
“I think the 2018 vintage is an epic vintage in Napa Valley,” said Wesley Steffens, winemaker at Vineyard 7 & 8. “I think you’re getting all the best that Napa Valley wants to give in a wine. Great structure, fruit-forward, with soft and polished tannins.”
Created 25 years ago by Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), the annual Premiere Napa Valley auction is the most important business event of the year for the Napa Valley winemaking community. Members of NVV participate by providing 60, 120, or 240 bottles of a unique wine made specifically for the auction. During a typical year, roughly 225 worldwide trade members attend, where they taste wines from the barrel and then bid.
Premiere Napa Valley wines tell the stories of the soils, microclimates, and remarkable personalities that make up the mosaic of Napa Valley. They are among the world’s rarest wines, and each represents the quality and innovation for which America’s leading wine region has become known. Examples of Premiere offerings include rare single-vineyard releases, unique varieties that a winery or winemaker doesn’t often make, and partnership blends created by two or more famed winemakers who do not typically work together.
“What I love about Premiere Napa Valley wines is that there really are no limits,” said Nate Weiss, Director of Winemaking at Silver Oak.
“For winemakers, this is a fantastic way for them to dive deep and focus on one micro-lot, really showcasing their art,” said Aaron Pott, owner of Pott wine.