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Screaming Eagle, Harlan, Opus One feature as rare Napa auction begins

Bidding has started in an all-star online auction of 'extremely rare' Napa Valley library wines, including six-litre bottles of Opus One spanning five decades and magnums of Screaming Eagle.

Some of the region’s best-known names have supplied rare bottles direct from their cellars for the Napa Valley Library Wine Auction, hosted by Zachys.

A ‘flurry’ of bids kick-started the online auction yesterday (11 February), said organiser Napa Valley Vintners (NVV).

Lots include six decades of Charles Krug dating back to 1964, five vintages of top-scoring Harlan Estate in magnum, a collection of five, six-litre ‘imperials’ from Opus One and three magnums of Screaming Eagle, one for each of its wines from the 2015 vintage.

The 96 lots will also include a 12-litre ‘balthazar’ bottle of Sloan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2012; only three bottles of this size are made by Sloan in each vintage. They are normally never released to the market, according to the auction catalogue, published by Zachys.

Other lots include 15 magnums of Shafer Vineyards’ Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon, from 2000 to 2014 vintages inclusive, plus five magnums of BOND Cabernet Sauvignon from the inaugural single-vineyard vintage from each of its five vineyards.

Bidding will culminate in a live-streamed online sale at 3pm PST on 20 February (6pm in New York, 11pm in London and 7am on 21 February in Hong Kong).

There will be no buyer’s premium for the auction, said Zachys.

‘The assemblage of wines going to auction is an amazing opportunity for wine collectors to invest in rare and valuable wines coming out of America’s most prestigious wine region,’ said Jeff Zacharia, president of Zachys.

‘We are thrilled to partner with Napa Valley Vintners to present this collection to our top bidders.’

Napa Valley Vintners’ president and CEO, Linda Reiff, said the ‘spectacular collection’ of lots represented the spirit of collaboration among the region’s wineries.

Proceeds from the sale will be used for programmes to ‘promote, protect and enhance Napa Valley’, the trade body said.

Separately, the group said it has moved its annual Premiere Napa Valley trade auction to 1-5 June in 2021. The event normally takes place in February.

Charity event Auction Napa Valley will not take place this year, as previously announced. Organisers are working on a new format, but Napa Valley Vintners has reiterated a commitment to an event that will raise funds for community projects.

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