Known as Napa Valley’s homecoming, Premiere Napa Valley is the annual tasting and futures auction that raises money for Napa Valley Vinters to invest in and support the Napa County community. Culminating with the auction on February 24th, this year took on extra meaning for the participants, being the first Premiere Auction after the devastating wildfires of 2017. Throughout the weekend numerous wineries open their doors and cellars for tasting and educational events making this a unique chance to dig deep into Napa.
For the auction some producers make a few cases of the best wine they can (“The best rows from the best block of our best vineyard,” as one winemaker put it). Others take the opportunity to make something unexpected, small batches of singular wines. This year Stag’s Leap produced an excellent Cabernet Franc sourced entirely from S.L.V., made for the first time ever. Schramsberg made a late disgorged 1997 sparkling wine.
The majority of wines made for the auction were from 2016, and the quality of that vintage is evident even at this early stage. A near-perfect Napa vintage, the wines are showing fresh, expressive fruit. Many of these wines won’t be bottled until next year or later, but even as barrel samples they were extremely appealing.
This is a guest post written by Ben, wine manager at Binny’s Hyde Park.