Zinfandel Wine Information Blog

7:02 AM

2008 - Wine Liquor

Another Great Wine Liquor Article

California Cult Wine Prices Are Going Crazy!

For those of you who have had the good fortune to get on the mailing lists of the "cult" wineries from California years ago you may be shaking your head in agreement as you read this note about wine prices. Those readers who have just started collecting top California wines may not have the same perspective due to current market prices in recent years.

This time of year some of the best boutique wineries are sending out to their mailing list customers wine allocations notices and pricing for the upcoming vintage. The list of top California wineries has been growing due to improved financial backing, better winemaking technology and sustainable agriculture practices; all of this is fueled by a very hot wine market. From my personal tastings, California's top "red" winemakers and ones you should get on their waiting list include: Harlan, Abreu, Colgin Cellars, Bryant Family, Dalla Valle, Shafer Hillside, Screaming Eagle, Sine Qua Non, Hundred Acre and Pride Mountain.

Consumers who have been on these winery mailing lists from the beginning have seen a steady rise in wine prices. For some wineries the price increases are staggering. The 2004 Screaming Eagle came out at $500 per bottle. Their first release in 1992 was selling for $50 per bottle. The 2004 Harlan came out at $350 per bottle. Their first release in 1990 came out at $75 per bottle.

The free market system tells us that "goods" sell at prices that the current market will bear. Today many cult wineries are having no problem selling their wines because of the small quantities they produce. But at what point do long time patrons of these wineries have to stop buying because they are either priced out of the market or find more compelling wines at lower prices?

Top California wines are approaching the bottle prices of the First Growth Bordeaux wines. I think this will be a critical intersection to watch since the French have established 100+ years of bottle aging data whereas the California newcomers have at best at 10-15 year track record.

I wonder if we are approaching some critical mass where the wine buying public starts to seriously look and purchase wines from other upcoming areas that reflect pricing of California wines from 10-15 years ago.

It is clear to me that one of the reasons Americans have fell in love with Australian wines in the past 5 years is that the quality to price ratio is often 1/3 that of similar California wines. Will the same hold true for wine from Chile, Argentina and Spain? Only time will tell.

One of the wine world's best stories in 2006 is the 95 points Robert Parker awarded to a $19.95 wine from Australia. The Mollydooker "Boxer" Shiraz has one of the highest price to points ratio in the history of Mr. Parker's notes. The wine made by veteran winemakers Sarah and Sparky Marquis defies gravity with a screw cap enclosure and a rip-off wine label "tab" that allows wine lovers to keep the name of the wine close to their hearts. So much for the snooty tissue paper wrapped bottles from the Napa Valley!

I would say that since this wine sold out in a matter of days post his review, American's appetites for $150+ California Cabernet's may be waning. In closing, one of the best wines produced in California is the Phelps Insignia which sells for around $130 per bottle. This is widely available at wine retailers and every vintage is a great value. Some of the best vintages can compare to the top cult wines at 1/3 the price. I'm still amazed why this wine does not sell off the retail shelves in the first few weeks of sale! I commend the Joseph Phelps winery for keeping this great wine priced for all to enjoy. I wish more wines of this caliber and aging potential were priced this reasonably! I just recently tasted the 1994 Insignia and it was superb!!!! This wine has a well establish aging profile so give it a try.

Thoughts about Wine Liquor

California Cult Wine Prices Are Going Crazy!

For those of you who have had the good fortune to get on the mailing lists of the "cult" wineries from California years ago you may be shaking your he...

Click Here to Read More About Wine ...

Wine Liquor Items For Viewing

The FTD Majestic Glory Bouquet - Premium

This striking bouquet is filled with richly colored flowers. Red roses and red gerbera daisies are artfully arranged with dendrobium orchids, purple lisianthus, purple liatris and more. An impressive gift for any occasion. C18-3439P

Price: 97.99 USD

Current Wine Liquor News

'Camp Rock' fires up fans (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 23:21:40 PDT
Professional critics have shared their opinions, but thoughts are now available from some of the viewers who matter most. Is “Camp Rock,” the Disney Channel’s latest original movie, better than “High School Musical”?

Smith Mountain Lake business is up 20 percent from last year due to new brand, some say (The News & Advance)

Sun, 22 Jun 2008 21:00:32 PDT
Smith Mountain Lake’s restaurants, stores and amusement owners say a new brand and TV advertising brought them more traffic than usual for the season’s first big weekend over Memorial Day.

George Carlin: Seven words that shook a nation (Independent)

Tue, 24 Jun 2008 02:19:05 PDT
George Carlin, the standup comedian who made legal history by uttering seven rude words, died on Sunday at the age of 71. His passing presents every responsible news organisation with a dilemma – do we, or do we not, print those seven words?

Busch evolves into lean, mean, NASCAR-winning machine (Burlington Times-News)

Tue, 24 Jun 2008 07:16:42 PDT
Variety is the spice of life. It doesn't hurt NASCAR road racing. Kyle Busch's victory at Infineon Raceway on Sunday enhanced the variety of NASCAR road racing, which only occurs, at the top level, twice a year. He didn't just win. He led 78 of the 112 laps. It didn't fall in his lap.

Study: Youth Exposure to Alcohol Marketing Still Too High

Tue, 24 Jun 2008 11:50:51 PDT
What is planned to be the final report from a watchdog group that monitors alcohol advertising concludes that progress still lags in curbing the access of young viewers to television commercials selling liquor, beer and wine.

Liquor Cabinet


AddThis Social Bookmark Button Add to Any Social Bookmark onlywire Socializer socialize it