With so many great wines to choose from you may have wondered which are the most expensive Napa Valley wines. We’re here to help you find out and consider what makes these wines so special.
We’ll consider both red and white wines from this region.
Most Expensive Red Wines From Napa Valley
Let’s take a look at some of the best and most expensive red wines from the Napa Valley.
Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon $4,760
This is one of the most sought after wines in the country and one of the most coveted Californian Cabernet Sauvignons in the world.
It has a very small production and there is an extensive waiting list for this wine.
It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and a small amount of Cabernet Franc. The wine is aged in 65% new French oak barrels for a couple of years.
The grapes come from vines on the west facing hillside in the Oakville Appellation which benefit from the warm afternoon sun.
An ocean breeze from San Pablo Bay also benefits the vines.
Average production of this wine is just 500 cases or 6000 bottles annually.
Ghost Horse Vineyard ‘Spectre’ Cabernet Sauvignon $4,210
Ghost Horse vineyard has been making wine since the year 2000. Wine is produced in extremely small lots and are among some of the most sought after from the region.
The first Cabernet was released in 2009.
The property is located in the southeastern part of Napa Valley and is up against the Vaca mountain range.
It is run by winemaker and owner Todd Anderson who has a lifetime of experience and is one of the longest running owner/winemakers in the valley.
Spectre’s 2012 vintage has a concentrated ripeness, with a finish that lasts for minutes. The tannins are large but balance the oak and fruit.
Ghost Horse Vineyard ‘Apparition’ Cabernet Sauvignon $3,000
Ghost Horse vineyard’s Apparition Cabernet Sauvignon is bursting with flavors and aromas of blackberry, cassis, spice, cedar, oak, leather and earth.
It is the most muscular of the Ghost Horse wines. It is a big wine but is not overblown.
With only a few hundred cases of Cabernet made every year the relative rarity of these wines make them even more coveted and that much more expensive.
Each Cabernet is produced from a different part of the vineyard and are 100% Cabernet.
Apparition sells on allocation for $2,000 with only the best and most sought after wines offered on allocation.
Ghost Horse Vineyard ‘Fantome’ Cabernet Sauvignon $1,815
The Ghost Horse vineyard covers just 2 acres and has concentrated on producing Cabernet since its beginning.
It has 2200 vines per acre which are spaced four feet apart and with five feet between rows. As a result they manage to produce four tons of fruit per acre.
This focus and size means that the wines can each be subject to winemaking techniques that are exclusive to that particular wine.
With this kind of exclusivity they produce wines of exceptional quality and taste but which also attract a higher price tag.
Fantome at the higher price end is excellent with wonderful aromatics, deep blueberry flavor and a finish that lasts for minutes.
Harlan Estate Bordeaux Red Blend $1,460
The 2016 Harlan Estate Bordeaux Blend has a deep purple color and wonderful notes of blackcurrant, herbes de Provence, graphite and tobacco.
It has a full bodied style and plenty of structure that could withstand ten years in the cellar.
Built in a transition zone between the open plains of the Napa Valley and the forests, the winery seems to instill character from its surroundings into its wine.
The estate is in the western hills of the Napa Valley and consists of 240 acres with an elevation of 1,225 feet.
Forty acres are under vine with 70% Cabernet, 20% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and just 2% Petit Verdot.
Realm Cellars The Absurd Proprietary Red $1,430
The Absurd Proprietary Red is the best wine that Realm Cellars produces, and it began in 2005.
In that year the super blend that the winery produced was 38% Petit Verdot, traditionally a minor blending grape in a Bordeaux blend.
When the wine was discovered to be so good even with this minor player the winery thought it was absurd and the name stuck.
They now only make this wine in certain years when they have enough fruit not to impact their other wines.
Each iteration of the Absurd wine starts from scratch, so it could be one varietal or five. The winery’s aim is to make it the best Napa Valley wine of the vintage.
Shafer Vineyards ‘Premiere Napa Valley’ Sunspot Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon $1,150
Shafer Vineyards has been in existence since the 18880s and was replanted at the end of prohibition.
When the current owners took over during the 1970s Cabernet was the main wine that they produced.
This wine is the most expensive from the Stag’s Leap district with the price continuing to rise in recent years.
The 2016 vintage is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and was sourced from a single vineyard block. The hillside estate vineyards produce dark and richly flavored grapes.
The wine is aged for 32 months in new French oak barrels which hold 60 gallons each. It is estate grown and bottled.
Hundred Acre Dark Ark Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain $990
The Hundred Acre Dark Ark Cabernet Sauvignon’s 2016 vintage has a deeply earthy nose with notes of truffles.
It then gives way to black cherry compote, creme de cassis and fruitcake. It is a full bodied and rich wine delivering layers of black fruit preserve.
This winery is located in the St Helena AVA and originally the owner was focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley but now produces other varietals.
Overall there is limited production of the Cabernet Sauvignons which add to their desirability and price.
Some of the best Cabernets can age for between 30 and 50 years.
Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford $970
Scarecrow wines come from the J.J. Cohn Estate St George rootstock which were all but destroyed in the mid to late 60s.
They were replaced by a hybrid vine but which then proved vulnerable to phylloxera. Remaining St George rootstock became highly prized.
The 2016 vintage has very ripe, dark cherry aromas which are combined with cinnamon and vanilla notes. Some complexity is added with aromas of tobacco, anise and a hint of earth.
It has a round and broad texture while on the palate it has touches of baking spices as well as blackberry jam. The grapes are harvested at night and completely by hand.
Tusk Estate Cabernet Sauvignon $930
Tusk Estate’s Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most popular from the Napa Valley and also among some of the most expensive.
It has been highly rated by critics and its maker Philippe Melka has been called one of the top wine consultants in the world by Robert Parker.
Tusks Estate is a boutique wine producer which makes a sole Cabernet Sauvignon based wine with grapes sourced from five different vineyards in the Napa Valley.
Most of the vineyards are based in the Pritchard Hill and Oakville appellations.
After fermentation the wine is aged in new French oak barrels for 30 months and each vintage produces just 200 to 300 cases. This is a wine which you can cellar for 20 years.
MacDonald Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville $860
The vines at MacDonald Vineyards are hand farmed and only the amount that can be made by hand is produced.
This is the legacy of the vineyard owners’ grandfather who taught them this level of attention to detail and passion for what they do.
From the To Kalon vineyard within the estate, the Cabernet Sauvignon has a deep purple color and a nose of black olive, creme de cassis and tobacco.
As an Oakville wine it has a dark, herbal style, and is medium to full bodied.
The wine deserves to be aged for between 4 and 6 years but can easily be a 30 year wine.
Most Expensive White Wines From Napa Valley
So what about the most expensive white wines from Napa Valley? Let’s take a look at them too.
Screaming Eagle Sauvignon Blanc $6,020
The Screaming Eagle winery has just 57 acres but has had great success over the years and won acclaim from people like Robert Parker, the highly influential wine critic for their wines.
Founded in 1986 the winery today has a waiting list of more than ten years.
The Sauvignon Blanc is the most expensive wine in the Oakville sub-appellation of Napa Valley.
It is produced in very small quantities and has been rated very highly by several critics. In fact the first vintage in 1992 received 99 points as a rating from Robert Parker.
Subsequent vintages in 1997 and 2007 were awarded the highly coveted 100 points.
Kongsgaard The Judge Chardonnay $955
Kongsgaard is a wine producer known for producing richly textured but elegant Chardonnays (see also “Best Chardonnay Wine For Any Budget“).
They have won wide acclaim among wine critics and Robert Parker gave the 2013 vintage of this wine the most coveted 100 points saying it was one of the best ever.
The Judge is one of just two Chardonnays that the vineyard makes.
John Kongsgaard is one of the most celebrated wine producers in the United States and makes numerous other high quality wines.
We hope that you have enjoyed this guide to the most expensive Napa Valley wines and that you have learned something new today.
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