A Reason to Drink Slowly

A new breed of cult wines is changing the status quo, vexing wine snobs and garnering record prices

In France they have vins de garage. Here they go by the low-rent-sounding "garage wines." But the name is the only thing about them that's drab. Some of the most coveted wines are made in minute quantities in wineries that are often no bigger than, yep, a garage. While their output may be small, the lengths to which people will go to get the wines are vast. And nowhere has the small cult wine taken off as it has in California.

Callers to Screaming Eagle vineyards in Napa hear this recorded greeting: "The wines are sold out for an indefinite period...

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