Maynards Wine Blog

Cult Wines: Bordeaux & California

Cult wines are those that are collected by individuals for their personal enjoyment or as an investment. They are often allocated, which means the producer will sell all that is made upon release, to predetermined businesses or individuals. In many cases, these wines will need to be cellared for some time before they reach their peak drinking potential. Wines that receive high scores by Robert Parker are often assured to become sought after and to increase dramatically in price.

California cult wines are dominated by Napa Valley Cabernets, including such producers as: Araujo Estates, Dalla Valle Vineyards, Harlan Estate, Screaming Eagle, and Sin Qua Non. These wines are generally very expensive, have limited production, and are sometimes sold for several times their release price after a few years.

Bordeaux cult wines are usually left bank Cabernet based wines that ranked highly in the Classification of 1855. Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau Latour, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Haut-Brion and Chateau Mouton Rothschild are all left bank wines. Petrus, Chateau le Pin and Cheval Blanc are also highly prized. La Tache and some other Domaine de Romanee-Conti wines are collected as well. I looked online to see what prices were being commanded for some of these wines and found the following:

1994 Harlan Estate Cabernet – $1,250

2002 Sin Qua Non- $965

2006 Screaming Eagle- $2,699

1964 Petrus- $3,999

1996 La Tache- $2,799

1945 Mouton Rothschild- $14,500

So, for those of you with disposable incomes, if you can find these wines for sale on release, and afford to hold on to them  for a while, it could be a fun way to make a great return on your investment.

“Nothing more excellent or valuable than wine was ever granted by the gods to man.”
– Plato

This month’s White Wine of the Month is Rutherford Ranch, 2013, Sauvignon Blanc, from Napa Valley, California. It has flavors of grapefruit, fig and mango, with a long finish.

Our Red Wine of the Month is Batasiolo, 2010, Sovrana, Barbera D’Alba, from Piedmomt, Italy. It has ripe red fruit, and is spicy and floral.

I hope to see you at our next wine tasting, Friday October 7th, where we will try unusual white wines.

Wine Club members, come in and get your bottles early before they’re gone.


Steve Berger

Sommelier, Maynards Market and Kitchen