Premiere Napa Valley Auction doubles sales record

  • Monday 24 February 2014

High expectations surrounding Napa Valley's 2012 vintage have seen the annual Premiere Napa Valley wine auction double its sales record to almost $6m.

Napa Premiere Auction 2014

Co-auctioneer Fritz Hatton wields the auction hammer. Image: Bob McClenahan via Napa Valley Vintners

Many 2012 wines have not yet been released, but that didn't deter trade buyers from across the US who gathered in St Helena over the weekend to vie for cases of the critically-acclaimed vintage from some of Napa's biggest names.

Total auction sales reached $5.9m, nearly doubling the previous record of $3.1m set in 2012.

'We are overwhelmed by the response we saw today,' said Russ Weis, chairman of trade body Napa Valley Vintners and general manager of Silverado Vineyards. There were 225 lots, of which 90% were from the 2012 vintage.

'It shows there is a renewed confidence in the fine wine market in general and in Napa Valley wines specifically.'

Bidders roared after five cases Scarecrow 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon sold for $260,000, making it top lot for the day and the previous $125,000 sale record for a single lot.

In what is often a raucous affair, there was also some heckling after co-auctioneer Fritz Hatton nearly dropped the hammer while selling five cases of Roy Estate's own 2012 Cabernet Suavignon, named 'Voix Basse - a Whisper', according to local paper the Napa Valley Register. The lot sold for $32,000.

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