Opus One 2014 flies out of the blocks, ac­cord­ing to mer­chants

Decanter - - MARKETWATCH -

An en­thu­si­as­tic re­cep­tion and rapid up­take for the latest vin­tage of the iconic Napa Bordeaux blend re­flect a healthy over­all mar­ket for Cal­i­for­nia

MER­CHANTS IN THE US and UK have re­ported strong sales for the re­cently re­leased Opus One 2014 vin­tage, priced at around £2,500 per 12-bot­tle case in bond — or £250 per sin­gle bot­tle in the UK and just over $300 per bot­tle in the US at the time of writ­ing.*

That made it the cheap­est of the last 10 Opus One vin­tages at cur­rent ster­ling prices, ac­cord­ing to Liv-Ex.

De­canter’s US cor­re­spon­dent Wil­liam Kel­ley rated the 2014 wine at 93 points, com­pared to 94 for the lauded 2013.

‘We could have sold our al­lo­ca­tion many times over,’ said Craig Nor­ton, sales direc­tor at Fine & Rare in the UK.

‘2014 Opus One pre-sales are sell­ing very well,’ agreed Justin Grover, pres­i­dent of Fine Wines In­ter­na­tional in San Fran­cisco.

Hart Davis Hart (HDH) in Chicago sold its al­lo­ca­tion too, al­though this took ‘a bit longer than for the 2013 vin­tage’.

There is on­go­ing op­ti­mism with re­spect to the Cal­i­for­nia mar­ket in gen­eral, though the re­gion is still a rel­a­tively small part of the global fine wine in­vest­ment scene.

Nick Pago­ria, vice pres­i­dent and re­tail sales man­ager of HDH, told De­canter: ‘Cal­i­for­nia has been solid for us as there is con­stant de­mand for the es­tab­lished, high-level wines. Scarcity cer­tainly works in the favour of the smaller “cult” pro­duc­ers.’

In De­canter’s Oc­to­ber is­sue, Elin McCoy sug­gested that Cal­i­for­nia ‘cult’ wines were be­com­ing overblown. But re­cent vine­yard deals, such as Con­stel­la­tion buy­ing Schrader, in­di­cate the mar­ket dis­agrees – for now.

As De­canter went to press, a har­vest heat­wave was caus­ing con­cern for grow­ers in Napa Val­ley, but it was too early to fully as­sess its im­pact. *Price de­tails aided by www.wine-searcher.com

Above: Opus One win­ery at Oakville, Napa Val­ley

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