Pinot Noir from the 2014 vintage led the line in the inaugural Sonoma Barrel Auction, with a collaboration between Williams Selyem, Joseph Swan and Kosta Brown taking joint top lot.

Bidders gear up for the auction. Image credit: Sonoma County Vintners

Around 250 wine trade and media attended the first Sonoma Barrel Auction, which saw 71 lots of rare wines representing 14 out of Sonoma’s 17 appellations go under the hammer.

While it is perhaps too soon to set the event up as a rival to the more established Premiere Napa Valley auction across the county border, organiser Sonoma County Vintners said the trade-only sale helped to reinforce Sonoma’s credentials for wine quality.

Pinot Noir from the 2014 vintage spearheaded the auction, which raised $461,700 in total.

A 20-case haul of the not-yet-bottled Williams Selyem ‘Reverence’ Pinot Noir 2014 from Russian River Valley was joint top lot, fetching $24,000.

The estate also had a hand in the other highest-selling lot, also from Russian River; 20 cases of ‘the father, the son and the holy ghost’ 2014 Pinot Noir, which is a collaboration between Selyem, Joseph Swan and Kosta Brown.

Glen Knight, the senior wine buyer for The Wine House in Los Angeles, was reported by local paper the Press Democrat as the buyer of the Selyem, Swan and Brown lot.

Coming in third was 10 cases of Kinsella Estates’ Proprietor’s Reserve 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, from Dry Creek Valley, which sold for $16,000. The wine is set to be bottled in June this year.

‘The results of this first ever trade auction demonstrate the value of our beautiful wines,’ said the trade body’s executive director, Carolyn Stark.

Joint fourth top selling lot was five cases of Martinelli Winery’s ‘Pioneers in Pinot: a unique blend of young and old’ – a Pinot Noir 2014 from Russian River and a blend of the Moonshine Ranch and Reserve vineyards. It fetched $13,000, as did 20 cases of West Sonoma Coast Vintners’ ‘West Sonoma Coast’ 2014 Pinot Noir.

Written by Chris Mercer