These Elite Bottles Of Wine Are So Exclusive, You Can’€™t Just Buy Them

Certain rare bottlings from big-name wineries are available only to members of clubs or to people who show up and know to ask. Here are some worth hunting down—and a pro tip: Be nice.

Money alone can’t buy you everything in the wine world. Not, for example, access to Napa winery Ovid’s latest rich-textured white, Experiment No. W.6.9, or to savory Variazioni di Rosso from great Italian estate Ornellaia, or to SGC Medoc, a plush red from a secret plot of vines in Bordeaux.

To get your hands on those and some other unusual bottles and historic vintages, you have to make a pilgrimage to the winery or join a membership group or mailing list. In one case, you need to be a nice person and give off really good vibes.

Think of such exclusive wines as rewards for intrepid loyalists and wine adventurers willing to go beyond retail.

Let’s start with Ovid’s delicious “Experiments,” whose bottles sport labels that look like the handwritten tags you tie to flasks in a laboratory.

Every winemaker experiments—trying out different grape varieties, ways of growing vines, types of barrels or amphora for aging.

Unlike many of them, Ovid winemaker Austin Peterson has been bottling his one-off trials—in every year since 2005. He calls them “a front-row seat to concepts about winemaking,” and some have helped him refine the four terrific “official” reds for which the winery is known.

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