February 26, 2008
Trickle-Down Economics

The Sacramento region's slumping housing scene is affecting at least one dealer in high-end wine. Roseville wine merchant Marcus Graziano, customarily a big buyer at the Premiere Napa Valley barrel auction each winter, spent just $80,000 on unusual wines during this year's sale last weekend.

"Our business is still growing, surprisingly, but a lot of my clients are in home building," said Graziano in explaining why he cut back his bidding this year. A year ago he spent about $250,000 at the sale and the year before he invested $174,000. "I've been looking at the economy, and when you see those prices (for which auction wines sell) you go at it with a little different perspective," said Graziano, who owns Capitol Cellars Diamond Creek.

The four lots he bought are largely from "under-the-radar" wineries whose reputation for extraordinary cabernet sauvignon and Bordeaux-style blends will rise as they become better known, Graziano is confident. The lots he bought - five cases each - were from Roy Estate, Alpha Omega, Bressler and O'Shaughnessy. The wines won't be bottled and released for another year or two.

Sales at Saturday's auction totaled a record $2.2 million, up slightly from last year's total, but there were 200 lots this year compared with 192 a year ago. Gary Fisch of Gary's Wine and Marketplace with two stores in New Jersey was the day's top bidder, paying a total $429,000 for 30 lots. The top-selling lot was five cases of 2006 cabernet sauvignon by Shafer Vineyards in the Stag's Leap district; Susan Owens of Ultimate Distributors in Atlanta paid $62,000 for the lot.

Each lot is a one-of-a-kind wine available only at the auction.

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

Recommended Links

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Monthly Archives