Word of the Week: Cult Wine

What makes a wine a “cult wine”? It requires more than simply being expensive and delicious – although those are typically both prerequisites. Cult wines are a tier of wines produced in low quantities that amass incredibly high demand, often following strong marks from critics, their prices exploding in the process. Beyond consumption, cult wines are collectible commodities, with tremendous opportunity to appreciate in value when stored properly. Cult wines in excellent physical condition from top vintages can fetch sky-high sums at auction. While some will deem any famous wine that commands a high price tag a “cult wine” - including First Growth Bordeaux , Grand Cru Burgundy , and Tuscan icons - the term is particularly associated with New World wines, and especially California’s Napa Valley . There, a quorum of drool-worthy names such as Harlan, Screaming Eagle, Bryant, and Colgin are made in small amounts and attract long waiting lists. Outside Napa’s bounds, cult wines are scattered in less heavy concentration across the winemaking globe – from Sine Qua Non in California’s Central Coast to Cayuse’s Bionic Frog in Walla Walla to Penfold’s Grange from Australia.

Cayuse Vineyards

Bionic Frog Walla Walla Valley Syrah

Pours deep purple in color. ON THE NOSE: smoke, tobacco and game. ON THE PALATE: deep dark fruit, tobacco, leather and spice. Full bodied and a long ass finish! Only one left 😠 it just gets better and better — 6 years ago

Anthony, Trixie and 6 others liked this

Screaming Eagle

Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

#2006 #ScreamingEagle My 1st time tasting this #CultWine & I think it's appropriately named. #Screaming with... Alcohol, Tannins, black & blue fruit, cassis & oak... As if the Eagle swooped down and knocked you over to grab the bottle from your hands. Dark Black/Purple in color. Smokey, brooding, intense. Tobacco, coffee, A definite Food Wine. Not to be taken lightly or sipped on its own. A powerhouse that would benefit from many, many more years in the cellar. Exciting & dangerous like an Eagle... Not for the timid of heart. Don't mess with this chick... She'll take you down! Definitely benefits from decanting. In #2006 #SexyBack by #JustinTimberlake is tipping the charts along with #YoureBeautiful by #JamesBlunt as is #GoldDigger by #KanyeWest & #JamieFoxx .... And I must say... You may need to be a Gold Digger in order to get your hands on this bottle of wine! ;). #Cheers #HappyMonday #ThinkWhileYouDrink #Wino 🍷😎 — 7 years ago

Paul, Marshall and 17 others liked this

Bryant Family Vineyard

Proprietor Grown Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1997

We started the evening off with a gorgeous Chardonnay and then took our palates for a stroll through Bordeaux with this Napa beast. It was literally perfect. 30 minutes to open and once it did there was a pure concentration of fruit, graphite, oak and a surreal opulent Nose. This is drinking as good as if not better then a lot of 1st growth Bordeaux's that I've enjoyed through the years. Simply amazing!!!! Too bad I only had 1 in my cellar!!!!
Amazingness in a glass!!!
— 6 years ago

Martin, jesus and 39 others liked this
Martin G Rivard

Martin G Rivard Influencer Badge

So good., incredible complexity, finesse & balance. It was amazing. I also have a 1995. I can't wait to see how it will compare!
Mike R

Mike R Influencer Badge

Amazing - never had any from the 90s but told they were awesome - you just confirmed that - great selections last night sir
David L

David L Influencer Badge Premium Badge

Another special one . Can't wait to see what you think about the 1995 . #Rockstar

Sine Qua Non

Five Shooter Syrah 2010

This is the most intriguing wine I have had with a flavor unlike any Syrah I have ever tasted. Underbrush, mint and menthol, chocolate and a finish lasting for more than 3 minutes! — 7 years ago

Jim, David and 23 others liked this
Paul T- Huntington Beach

Paul T- Huntington Beach

I've been wanting to try this since we had the Grenache,
Martin G Rivard

Martin G Rivard Influencer Badge

@Rob Brobst III @Paul T I think I just spotted a mythical unicorn! OMG., it's so pretty! lol Incredible bottle!


IX Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2009

Had the pleasure of drinking this very fine wine at Colgin Cellars with husband & wife owners Joe Wender and Ann Colgin. A lovely aromatic wine featuring floral and tea notes, dark fruit, oak and dry minerality. Vibrant mouthfeel with silky tannins and lively acidity with dark fruit. Long, long finish. A nirvana experience. Bravo!! — 9 years ago

Rob, John and 1 other liked this
Rob Mayes

Rob Mayes

This was helpful