Winning Bids: June 2014
$260,000 Toto's Opium Dream: Scene III
When the gavel went down on the top lot at the annual Premiere Napa Valley auction in February, the roar in the room resounded across the wine world: An exclusive 60-bottle release of 2012 Scarecrow Cabernet had sold for a staggering $260,000—a record for Premiere Napa, and perhaps the most expensive current release of any vintage ever sold in the United States.
The wine, called Toto’s Opium Dream: Scene III, came from a tiny plot of vines planted in 1945 by J.J. Cohn, a producer of The Wizard of Oz. Dry farmed, hand harvested, and the product of a warm-year vintage that is already exceeding expectations, the cuvée was blended by winemaker Celia Welch, who used two of the four barrels yielded by the plot to create a wine that she calls “almost beyond words—it is complex and complete in a way that is indefinable.”
The buyer, Glen Knight of the Wine House in Los Angeles, is offering bottles for $5,400 each, and three-packs for $13,500. By mid-April, Knight had sold 15 bottles for October 2015 delivery. —Michalene Busico