Monday, June 4, 2012

My Napa Valley Wine Auction Booty

I had an exhausting weekend as the High Bidder at the Napa Valley Wine Auction. There were just so many Auction Lots that I needed to have. One of a kind Auction Lots that we in the 1% graciously bid up in order to give back—that is, spend the money we didn’t pay in taxes so that we can write it off as a charitable donation, all while lining our wine cellars with awesome, gigantic bottles of wine. You’re welcome. I even bought a Methuselah! Yes, that’s right, I purchased Peter Mondavi.

Oh, it’s going to seem like bragging, but I thought I might as well recap some of the Auction Lots that are now Mine, Mine, MINE! Humbly, I won’t disclose the dollar figures for each acquisition. Let’s just say I spent every last dime of the fortune I made buying FakeBook stock.

Lot14: Screaming Eagle Vertical in Large Format

Every vintage of Screaming Eagle in 3L bottles directly from the cellar of Rudy Kurniawan! These large formats, dating back to the inaugural vintage of 1992, were just recently bottled, guaranteeing that they are in premium condition. Included are the incredibly rare 100 point wine from 1997 packaged in a specially etched and signed Sparklett’s bottle, as well as the never-released 1978 Screaming Eagle “Isley Vineyard,” a field blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Ronnie. Yes, this is a wine with soul.

Lot18: Robert Mondavi’s Mummy

OK, I bought the Methuselah Peter Mondavi, how could I resist completing the set? Outside of his immediate family, his wife Margrit, sons Michael and Tim, and cousin It, few people knew that after his death Robert Mondavi was mummified. This involved draining his body of blood and replacing it with Woodbridge Fumé Blanc, which not many people know is often used by embalmers in place of formaldehyde. In warm climates, it’s mixed with lemonade to make a Cadaver Cooler. Robert was then wrapped in Robert Mondavi Winery logo tissue paper and carefully placed into a beautifully carved sarcophagus with his legs and neck carefully held in place by wooden stocks. Originally made to be displayed at COPIA next to Julia Child (who was stuffed and mounted—as she often was in real life), this is certainly a one-of-a-kind item. It will look great next to my taxidermied  head of Robert Lawrence Balzer (complete with horns).

Lot 37: Bondage Seminar with Jancis Robinson at Castello di Amorosa

I damn near got outbid on this Auction Lot. Fucking McInerney. But that wasn’t going to happen. This lot consists of a weekend under the tutelage of Mistress Jancis in the Torture Chamber at Castello di Amorosa (otherwise known as the Tasting Room). I can’t wait. First I will be stripped naked with my hands tied behind my back, and Mistress Jancis will expect me to keep her M.W. medallion off the floor using only my Inflatable Bladder Decanter. After four hours, I will be able to call my physician. Or the Guinness Book of World Records. If I fail, I will have to get down on my knees and lick her boots like a Bordeaux Chateau owner. Several spankings are included, one in front of M.W. candidates who will have to guess where I’m from based on my aromatics. Shouldn’t be that hard, I smell like every other butthole from Southern California. A complete library of wines produced by Castello di Amorosa is included, which I’m reporting to the Geneva Convention.

Lot 41: The Marvin Shanken Hot Air Balloon

Made specially for the Napa Valley Wine Auction, it’s a hot air balloon in the familiar shape of Wine Spectator Publisher Marvin Shanken. It’s like he has a twin! And with its revolutionary new burner, Marvin inflates faster than Tim Fish scores!

Lot 50: Former Cult Wine Collection

Here’s your trip down Memory Lane. A beautiful set of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons that were once cult wines, but now turn up on Parker chat rooms about as often as insight. Wow! Bryant Family, Blankiet, Vineyard 29, Gemstone, Dalle Valle…what a joy it will be to visit with these formerly unattainable wines. Like going to your 20th high school reunion and seeing how the cheerleaders and star athletes have aged so poorly. This is the best of Wine Connoisseur Schadenfreude. And at the 2022 Napa Valley Auction, you can bet I’ll bid on the Futo and Ovid and Bond.

Lot 58: Complete Set of 89 Point Cabernets

I mean, really, who wouldn’t want this glorious collection of every 89 point Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley? Talk about consistent! Every bottle guaranteed to elicit reactions like, “That’s pretty average,” and “Boy, this clown can’t make wine,” or my classic, “You know what this wine smells like? It smells like failure.” Now I’ll have gifts for everyone I don’t actually have feelings for. And it takes all the guess work out of knowing what to say and feel about the wines I open from the collection. They’re ALL THE SAME. In addition, the Auction Lot comes with two dozen Riedel glasses DESIGNED for 89 point wines. These specially commissioned glasses look a lot like coffee mugs so no one will know your shame. Georg Riedel decided absolutely nothing can make these wines smell better.  


Stay At Home Daddy said...

I just read Steve Heimoff's comments, and you and he had remarkably similar results. You both tasted wines that no one can buy.

You just have to love the Napa Valley auction.

I know I would, but they did not invite me. What's your excuse?

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Oddly, I've actually tasted at Kenzo, where STEVE! dined with legends like Thomas Keller, David Abreu and himself. Honestly, I found the wines rather awkward--lots of flash but no sizzle. What the hell does that mean? Means One Puff on a good day. But the setting certainly makes you think the wines are grand.

And it's hilarious that they used the caves at Jarvis for the Grand Tasting. Don't they know the size of the heads of the people attending? Not cave appropriate.

Want to borrow my Mondavi Mummy?

Mockingbird said...

Kenzo - where you end up if you don't slow down on that uphill curve on your way they hell out of Napa....

Thomas said...

I'd say three items in this post induced guffaws, at least from me.

Now, bid on which ones you think they were and that you ought to have laughed at.

Dean Tudor said...

Thomas -- be fore I bid, do you take Euros, Yen or Yuan? It matters...

Thomas said...

Drachma, Dean, only Drachma.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see Barbara spending Jess' money. I thought that was Jess Jackson's mummified body in the chair next to her, but upon closer inspection I realized it was just James Laube. Too much Woodbridge Fume Blanc I assume.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Are Three Guffaws equivalent to Three Puffs? If so, I'm impressed.

And I thought you only took wooden nickels.


Good eye! Though I'm not sure that's Laube. I thought it was the south end of Rachel Alexandra headed north.

And, hey, come on, don't be chicken, use a name. "Anonymous" is for losers.

Bill Klapp said...

I am afraid that you got ripped off on the Jancis lot, my friend. She no longer does the dominatrix thing...for charity, anyway. So what YOU'RE getting is all that you described, but from Liv Tyler, stark naked and wearing an over-the-head, lifelike Jancis mask. And no, they won't give you your money back, so don't even ask...

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Bill,

So I'm stark naked and wearing a Jancis mask? I'm in.

And who is "54" Tyler? Too old for me.

My big money went for the usual needy Napa Valley Wine Auction cause--my own sense of importance.

Anonymous said...

"And, hey, come on, don't be chicken, use a name. 'Anonymous' is for losers."

I'm too lazy to create a profile. And there is a plus side. I can no longer comment on Blinky's blog.

Marcia Macomber said...

Finally, a report on the Auction I can truly believe is accurate!

Ron Washam, HMW said...


You don't have to create a profile, you only have to sign the end of your comments--but I don't care really. Though maybe claim "Anonymous 3" so we know which damned anonymice you are.

Funny how Blinky gets insulted more than everyone else. And the spam argument is specious. I get probably ten spam comments a day, but Blogger has caught all but one. Oh well, who cares? I never read W. Blinky Gray because I cannot stand his condescending tone--and it's a monotone.

Marcia Love,

What, you don't love the reports of the poor people--1WineDoody and STEVE! and other invited commoners--that have been published? Their wonderful, vaguely pathetic, celebrity worship? Oh, look, there's Thomas Keller, the biggest jerk in the restaurant business!! And I'm guzzling Screaming Eagle! Though it's a Parker wine and I don't really care about what Parker says, it's just that it costs $750 a bottle and I've always wanted to taste it so I can opine about it and know what I'm talking about, sort of.

There really should be an Occupy Napa Valley Wine Auction movement. Then the auction participants could do what they really want to do--tear gas the hoi polloi.

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,

How did we miss each other at the Napa Auction?! Oh wait, you said "Wine Auction" that explains it. I was at the Napa Valley Livestock Auction and all I got was a tic in my bellyhole. Betcha STEVE! is jealous...

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

It's no wonder you didn't see me, as High Bidder I was surrounded by sycophants, hot babes and Alderpated. That kind of livestock.

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,
Then I would recommend a thorough tic inspection of your own? Just sayin

Thomas said...

I've got to get to one of these auctions. It sounds like I've missing something that is bound to make me walk away feeling superior. But how can a lowly writer without a large blog or Twitter following afford the plane ticket and hotel?

I need to win an award before next year.

Thomas said...

also missing a words: I've been...