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One reason to browse my website is to see what the latest bargain is. I am always looking for a bargain and when I find one, I share the news with you.

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    More on the Wine Country    (Prima Cafe - Buy Wine, Taste, Learn)
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    Wineries in NC

    Places to visit in California

    Alpen Cellars

    Youtube Video

    Alpen Cellars, established on a family ranch in the spring of 1984, is situated in a picturesque mountain valley at the foot of towering craggy peaks in the rugged Trinity Lake region of Trinity County, California.

    I love this spot and their winery. Mark Groves and his son Keith Groves (Winemaker) could not be more friendly. Every Thanksgiving, their White Riesling and wonderful Gewurztraminer always are on our table. see their web site but better yet, fix a picnic and drive there!

    Home Winemakers Classic

    For many years now, the Home Winemakers Classic is held in the Wine Country. It is a stroll back into "old Napa" with down-home winemaking days.

    One of the outstanding home winemaker's label  Chubo - An outstanding home winemaker with a inky Syrah that was delightful.

    It also is the chief fundraiser for the Dry Creek Lokoya Volunteer Fire Department in the western hills of Napa County. Fifty to sixty home winemakers usually participate. Search for it.

    Sonoma Valley Wineries on Highway 12

    The Ledson Winery , an impressive castle in brick differes dramatically from other local vinyards with a 16000 square foot building housing the tasting room and an outstanding gourmet deli of cheeses, sauces and meats.
    All of the Ledson wine is sold at the winery or by subscription. Ledson is located about a mile after you pass Pythian Rd (St Francis Winery) going northeast on Highway 12. (707) 537-3810

    Click to enlarge
      Click here larger view
    to see the appearance of the winery. The Ledson family specializes in small lots of hand-crafted wines. The 2005 Monterey Orange Muscat was pleasant and not overly sweet. The 2005 Monterey Riesling (made from Johannisberg grapes) was very good with a great nose.

    Kunde Winery and Vineyards

    is the largest family owned winery, and one of the oldest in Sonoma. I sampled several white wines I thought were good enough to purchase. The Sauvignon Blanc was amoung these. The estate wines are frown at several locations with differing microclimates and elevations hence the variety of their offerings. They were out of their 2005 Viognier. Good news travels fast.
    By summer, all Viognier of any merit are gone from most wineries so strike late in the fall. Tasting room open daily, 10:30 am to 4:30, (707)-833-5501
    9825 Sonoma Hwy.
    Kenwood, CA. 95452

    El Dorado Wine Country Map

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    Murphy in Calaveras County

    Murphy is located just above Angeles Camp and the short cut road is Murphy Grade off of Highway 49. Murphy is home of the Calaveras Grape Stomp in October.
    Calaveras County has 18 wineries, and for my taste, these are some good ones. I only vistited two wine tasting rooms:

    Domaine Becquet Winery
    2173 Highway 12 East
    Valley Springs, CA 95252
    (209) 772-1303

    Many of the wines of Domaine Becquet Winery were sold out. Their half bottles of White Port at $22 a bottle, by quality, must be the steal of the century. I rate it equisite! The chardonay was a bit sweet and unoaked, and the Mourvedre Sierra Foothills 2003, while rather a unique wine for California, was not terribly distinguished. Domaine Becquet Winery was noted by Liz, a local of 15+ years as a winery with a great Sauvignon blanc.

    Hatcher Winery Tasting room was down a flight of stairs from main street tucked in a rather inoquous cellar. Wine was served up by Sewell Hatcher, brother of the wine maker, a mountain of a man with a likable but gruff like countenance and great knowledge of local wines. The 2004 Sauvignon blanc is a winner with a big bouquet and excellent balance($15) and a excellent drinkable Zinfandel that is unassuming, less than bold and somewhat elegant for a young wine. Their port is excellent.

    Peju Province Winery
    8466 Saint Helena Hwy, Rutherford
    707 963-3600
    While under the tutelage of wine-tasting host Alan Arnopole there is some of the most lively and entertaining wine tasting in the Valley. A virtuoso of wit, and wine rap, Alan knows how to up the fun factor. (Youtube video )BTW:[ Peju Wine Ambassador and Vintertainer Alan Arnopole is changing his days! You can now visit him for a tasting and some musical vintertainment at Peju Province Winery on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.]
    Some of the note worth varieties include Syrah, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc,Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. If you want to find these wines, either look to the resturants or come to the winery. Trip to meet Alan highly recommended. 2001 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is note worthy: Big and Bold loaded with fruit, unforntunately the 2002 is no where near this achievement. Peju is most known for its Cabernet Franc.

    Alexander Valley Vineyards is located on Highway 128 in northern Sonoma County, just 75 miles north of San Francisco, 6 miles from the sleepy town of Healdsburg and 16 miles from Calistoga in the Napa Valley. Generous wine tasting from a Vineyard often with wines worth tasting. They have a new winemaker. A herd of good wines were tasted in 2000 except the Pinot Noir which was Table wine. They have had great bottles/years and so-so years. Might find a prince one year. One year the Cyrus was a outstanding. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

    Todd Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards
    680 Rossi Road off of Conn Valley Road off of Old Howell Mountain Road that "T" into the Silverado Train in St Helena.
    800) 946-3497   Tours are by appointment only.
    Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Bordaeaux-style Eloge, Eloge, Gold (Eloge barrels), Bordaeaux-style Right Bank,Fournier Vineyard Chardonnay, 2005 Sauvignon Blanc. Hand crafted wines from a 26 acre jewel nestled in the Howel Mountains of the Napa Vallery. Todd achieves world reknown Grand Cru wines. Great tours. He tries to make Bordaeaux-style wines drinkable now, not ten years later. Wines range from $60 and on-up from there.
    Conn Valley Group Tour 2006
    Eberle Winery
    Eberle Winery

    Gary Eberle launched his career as a winemaker and as a "Pioneer" of Paso Robles Wine Region. Helping establish his family's Estrella River Winery & Vineyards and his own project the 1984 Eberle Winery.

    When I think Eberle I think big bold red wines including Syrah and Cabernet. off of highway 101, take Highway 46 East to 3810 Hwy 46 E. Phoe: 805-238-9607

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    Completely Reliable Wineries

    These are wineries which consistent wines year after year

    Wines that go well with Turkey

    • It is more important to pair the wine with the side dishes than with the turkey. Since my recipes for the turkey menu includes cranberry sauce, a raisin-apple ladden sage dressing on the sweet side, and candied sweet potatoes, I need a sweeter wine. The sides would make a dry wine taste sour. Recommend Alpen Cellars White Riesling or Gewurztraminer, White Zinfandel, Light sweet Rose, Liebfrauenmilch, Fetzer also makes a Gewurztraminer or Riesling. Pinot Gris is good if on the sweet side.
    • Round Two Wines Sauvignon Blanc a good wine on the drier side


    • In North Carolina, Harris Teeter introduced Oak Creek™, a family of new California made wines that are exceptionally affordable. The Oak Creek Cardonnay, while not stunning, was quite drinkable at at a price too low to mention. The have three varieties.
    • Fetzer Vineyards has for years produced excellent sweet white wines. Without a doubt this Vineyard has been producing some of the best bargains yet wines of superior distinction. Some of my favorite wines from Fetzer are all their varieties of Rieslings and their Gewurztraminer. These are good wines for turkey.


    Wineries often good:


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    Rating: 100% = BEST, . . . , 10% = TERRIBLE.
    Buy Value: ##### = very good value, # = reasonable
    Cost: $$$$$ = Expensive, $$$$= Moderate $$$ = Average $$ = Bargin $ = They're giving it away

    Ports, Madeira, Sherry

    • Warren's 1963 Tawny Port, sold at Gene's Fine Foods, 87%, #####, $$ ($49.)
    • Merryvale Vintage Sherry, St. Helena 84%, ###, $$$ ($17)
    • Madeira - made by V. Latte Winery, St Helena, Ca 88%


    Dessert Wine and Late Harvest

    • Moscato Allegro - Martin Brothers Winery, Paso Robles 86%, #####, $
    • Trio - Late Harvest Pinot Noir, 90%, ###,$$$$ ($18)
    • Grgich Hills Cellars,St. Helena - Late Harvest, 89%,###,$$$ ($24)
    • Louis M. Martini Winery, St. Helena - Moscato Amabile (sp), 87%, #####, $$$ ($28)
    • 1997 Kiona Late Harvest Gewürztraminer ($6) Not Rated yet
    • Merryvale Antigua' Dessert Wine gold-medal winning Muscat de Frontignan dessert wine is fortified with fine California brandy and aged an average 11 years in French oak for an utterly smooth, subtle aroma, flavor and texture. Not Rated.

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    Rating: 100% = BEST, . . . , 10% = TERRIBLE.
    Buy Value: ##### = very good value, # = reasonable
    Cost: $$$$$ = Expensive, $$$$= Moderate $$$ = Average $$ = Bargin $ = They're giving it away

    (includes Pinot Noir, Petit Verdot, Nebbiolo, Merlot, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Sangiovese , Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel , Esivese (blend of Sangioves and Zinfadel) , Aglianico , Montepulciano d'Abruzzo , Tempranillo, Refosco , Mondeuse Noir , Prugnolo Gentile=(Sangiovese), Uva Di Troia , Canaiolo Nero , Sagrantino , Nero D'Avola , Corvina Veronese , Rondinella , Gamay Noir

    • 2004 Frei Brothers Reserve, Dry Creek Valley, Merlot 2004. Round and soft, touch of oak, very drinkable now, very reasonably priced, medium-bodied wine rich with flavors of cherry, berry and cocoa. subtle hints of vanilla.
    • 2001 La Braccesca Estate Vino Nobile di Montepulciano an affordable and pleasing careful selection of the Sangiovese grapes from the best vineyards of La Braccesca, some of which are from Cortona. Vibrant wine chewy and fresh and yet silky with a long lingering finish. Not hugh but vivacious with hints of currants and floral tones, soft tannins. Drinks well right now.
    • 2002 Peju, Cabernet Sauvignon, 96% Cab, 4% Petit Verdot, laid-back compared to previous years vintage, soft start, big in middle, lingering finnish, hint of orange color in otherwise ruby, taste of green on the edges not moderated by decanting, price a bit too high for what would be considered a high end pasta wine.
    • 1999 Aglianico del Vuture Re Manfrdi (TERRE DEGLI SVEVI) big nose, pleasant after taste but fades a bit too soon, round and full body, no much of a middle, soft tannins, dark ruby color. Very drinkable none the less. Should be about mid $20s which would make it a good buy.

      INFO: It is produced in the zone of Monte Vulture on the slopes of a very extinct volcano. This gives it a particular personality. The area comprises 5000 hectares and 15 comuni from Venosa, Atella and Banzi to Genzano di Lucania, Melfi and Rionero in Vulture.
      The Aglianico vine was introduced into the region by the Greeks around the VI century BC. Its name is a corruption of Ellenico and was used by the Romans to enhance one of their own favorite wines, the Falerno.
      Little did we know that 40% of the Aglianico production is sold outside of the region and is used to improve many different wines, including Chianti. Think of that next time you are in Montepulciano.
      The DOC is a dark ruby red 'rosso rubino' and is quite dry. It becomes more velvety as it ages.

    • 2000 Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo Sangiovese Merlot Tuscan blend,rich big nose, pleasant after taste, round and full body, light for a Sangiovese but drinkable now. For those seeking a lighter red, this is a good bet.
    • 1998 Silvio Nardi Brunello di Montalcino a little "spruzante" the bite of slight green edge of tannins that recede into the background once decanted 15 minutes, true an Italian Chanti good with strong food. Not a great big nose by pleasant and drinkable now.
    • 1998 Cabreo Il Borgo produced by Tenute Ambrogio e Giovanni Folonari - a fusion of sangiovese 70%, cabernet sauvignon 30% is a super-Tuscan style created a big wine rich in complexity drinkable now but will take on some additional elegance with a few more years in the cellars.,$$$, ###
    • Alexander Valley, 2000, Sin Zin.,## ,$$, This gold medal winner is in limited supply. It is a $20 bottle that drinks considerably beyond its cost." prominently displaying flavors of blackberry, black cherry, plum and black pepper" Due to some variability of this producer, its necessary to taste each year.
    • 2000 Lemelson Vineyards Jerome Reserve Pinot Noir 2000 is a very enjoyably complex wine with deep cherry, blackberry a hint of saddle and tar hand crafted wine which will better with age. It has a long lingering taste and nice mouth feel. This comes from the best estate grapes grown in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Only the slow developed grapes produce a wine of this complexity. Bravo!
    • 1999 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon , Very drinkable rich flavorful, elegant and round. Slightly short in the middle. Ok nose, slight tannins on the edge of the tongue, 93%, $$$$, ####
    • Alexander Valley, 1999, Alexander Valley - Cyrus An elegant meritage in the Claret style, opulent and rich. Excellent now, will develop a bit more in two-three years perhaps, highly recommended,a good value at $50, Gold medal winner, 96%, $$$$, ##### (73%Cab, 10% Merlot, 12% C Frank, 2% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot) Due to the viariabilty of this winery, one needs to taste each year.
    • 2000Alexander Valley - Cabernet Sauvignon, 94%,####, $$ - Will improve with age, drinkable now. Good value. Gold medal winner
    • 1998 White Cottage Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon , 96%, $$$$$, #####, Excellent very big and complex and elegant wine.
    • Calera Wine Co., Hollister, CA -1994 Pinot Noir elegant and polished,94%,####, $$$
    • St Clement(St Helena) - The 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon 94%,####, $$$
    • St Clement (St Helena)- 1994 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 94%,####, $$$
    • St Clement (St Helena) -1995 Oroppas 94%,####, $$$
    • Spring Mountain Vineyard, 1971, St Helena - Cabernet Sauvignon, 97%,##, $$$$$
    • Villa Antinori, Italy( Tuscan-Sangiovese) 1995, 81%,#####, $$
    • 1995 Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley (store 5 years) 86%, ###, $$ ($20)
    • great_buy.jpg1995 Meridian Cabernet Sauvignon, 86%, ####, $ ($11)(wine maker won best in year)
    • 1995 Meridian Sarah, Paso Robles, 100%, ####, $$$ (wine maker won best in year)
    • 1997 Byron Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Winery, 92% needs decanting, Very Big persistent Nose, Still young-should be much better in two years, $$$$, ###
    • 1996 White Cottage Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, 96%, $$$$$, #####, Excellent very big wine- this one's loaded!! Re-tasted this one in 2009, and I have re-rated it upward to 98%
    • 1997 White Cottage Howell Mountain Esivese, 96%, $$$$$, #####, Excellent very big wine- this also one's loaded (San Giovese/ Zinfandel )
    • 1998 Chateau Julien, Monterey County, Zinfandel, currants and berries, medium tannins, balanced ok, will need another year to peak. Won't hold past three years. 90%, ##, $$
    • great_buy.jpg1997 Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon,(formerly Treanna), Paso Robels , 92%, Big nose, ###, $$ good value
    • 1999 DUCKHORN PARADUX, zinfandel (66 percent) cabernet (34 percent), 90%, $$$, ###, Leaning toward elegant, very big, nice mouth feel, short in the middle, good with spicy Italian pasta or red meat. This can be a reasonable buy. Gaining popularity.
    • great_buy.jpg2001 Peju Province Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is note worthy: Big and Bold loaded with fruit. I would recommend to drink immediately. Even at $50 this is a bargain.
    • 1999 J.Lohr Hilltop Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 94% , consists of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc Rich in character, full bodied, big yet elegant,long pleasant finish, excellent drinking now."The ¨Pomerol¨ like growing conditions in 1999 produced a small crop of some of the most concentrated and heavily pigmented red Bordeaux grapes that we have ever seen in Paso Robles."
    • Cline Cellars2005 Ancient Vines Zinfandel Contra Costa County , Zinfandel with a small portion of Carignane and Alicante Bouschet, young complex fruity, round mouth feel, slightly sweet and peppery, pleasant drinking, affordable $16.
    • Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Full-bodied fruity, some what chewy and good oak. Touch of sweet, black cherries, complex, long lingering pleasant after taste, not yet elegant will age well. $$$
    • Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards 2005 Eloge Gold Sampled at 9 months, this promises to be a very nice large complex claret of high character and emminent drinkability. $$$$
    • Feudo Arancio, 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sicily (wine company Gruppo Mezzacorona established 600 acres of vines in western Sicily) Full bodied, big, somewhat young but drinkable, look for this as a bargain wine under $10. Makes the list of bargains.
    • great_buy.jpgVignabaldo Sangiovese dell'Umbria Brogal Vini 2004, Full bodied, drinkable and pleasant wine from Torgiano Umbria, look for this as a excellent bargain wine under $10. Makes the list of bargains.
    • great_buy.jpgBeaujolais Cuvée Traditionnelle Vieilles Vignes 2005 from Domaine du Vissoux Pierre-Marie Chermette was brought up in the vineyard of Saint Vérand, in an area called Pierres Dorées. At the family table at Domaine de Vissoux, white and red wines from their vines have given pleasure for generations." The emblematic cuvée from the estate. Freshness meets concentration and shows in ripe red fruit aromas and flavours." - An affordable wine with hidden tannins, very drinkable and a bargain at http://www.johnandpetes.com/burgundy.shtml for 13.99 (listed as DOMAINE DU VISSOUX CUVEE TRADITIONNELLE BEAUJOLAIS.
    • Pommard, Caves des Haute-Cotes, 2004, 93% A big complex set of flavors but elegant, on the outset tannic on the nose which goes away when allowed to breathe , great with steak. I had this in a restaurant so it was pricy.
    • great_buy.jpg2004 Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre , This blend of 70% Corvina Veronese, 25% Rondinella and 5% Sangiovese is a elegant, full-bodied, dark red ruby color, good nose, complex. Listed at $15.99 at the thewinebuyer
      After the harvest, the grapes from the Palazzo della Torre vineyard follow two different paths: while 70% of the grapes are vinified immediately after the harvest, the remaining percentage is dried until the end of December. At this point, the wine ferments again with the dried grapes.
    • great_buy.jpgYellow Tail Reserve Merlot 2005 , Casella Wines, South East Australia, Under $10 on key sites but wow! what a Merlot at the price, tastes more like a blended Claret (Bordeaux) than Merlot, it's big, complex, and very drinkable. Very highly recommended.
    • great_buy.jpgVignabaldo Sangiovese dell'Umbria Brogal Vini 2007, Full bodied, big begining, good middle, fades a bit quickly but drinkable and very pleasant. A wine under $10. Makes the list of Great bargains.
    • 2006 White Cottage Howell Mountain Esivese, 95%, $$$, #####, Excellent very big and complex wine- loaded (San Giovese/ Zinfandel ) I could drink this all day long - WOW!
    • great_buy.jpg 2007 Eberle Steinbeck Vineyard Syrah, Paso Roblesinky ripe berry, somewhat herbaceous and peppery and full bodied balanced with soft tannins with a gentle finish. Highly recommended,$$, 91%, very drinkable now.
    • great_buy.jpg 2008 Peirano Estate Heritage Petite Sirah is another great bargain wine from Lodi, California that costs around $13. A velvety thick mouth feel with smooth tannins, oaky, peppery inky cherry and complex plum blackberry flavors make this one a delight. This is a Gold Medal winner in the San Joaquin Valley Winegrowers Association, 93%, $, #####
    • great_buy.jpg2007 Round Two Syrah Contra Costa County, ( $$, #### (Goes with anything, very drinkable. Less inky.)
    • great_buy.jpg2008 Round Two Cabernet Sauvignon Lake County, ( $$, ### (Balanced, very drinkable. Good value)
    • great_buy.jpg2010 Round Two Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa) Meritage, ( $$$, #### (Exceptional, very drinkable. Good value)
    • great_buy.jpg2011 3 Girls Cabernet Sauvignon, Lodi, Alcohol: 13.0%, pH: 3.65, Residual Sugar: 1.27%, Total Acid: 6.2 gm/L, Varietal Breakdown:, 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Zinfandel, 5% Petite Sirah. Wow for $10.95 a bottle this is a steal. Very fruit forward jammy and round with a long lingering finish with good tannins. Exceptionally drinkable now. Great value for the money. I find my self comparing this to best I have tasted on Howell Mountain and yet it is from the hills of Lodi. This would be a good buy at three times this amount.
    • 2008 Oak Ridge Petite Sirah Old Vine, Lodi,    the search for a wine that could share the stage with NC Pulled BBQ Pork even with Vinegar-Catsup sauce, this turned out to be perfect. Tannins are manageable but enough acidity to cut through the fatty pork. This is a very full bodied drinkable wine with a pleasant after taste, a bold center, that approaches with a softer beginning.

    Yellow tail 2005 Merlot Reserve3 girls cabernet

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    Lighter Reds and Rosés

    Rating: 100% = BEST, . . . , 10% = TERRIBLE.
    Buy Value: ##### = very good value, # = reasonable
    Cost: $$$$$ = Expensive, $$$$= Moderate $$$ = Average $$ = Bargin $ = They're giving it away

    (includes Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo, Merlot, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Rosés

    • Charles B. Mitchell Vineryards Merlot,Eldorado, 1998 93%, Surprising pleasant having a excellent balance, well rounded, colr and nose. For more wines from this region click http://www.eldoradowines.org/
    • St Clement, St Helena - 1995 Napa Valley Merlot, 95%,####, $$$
    • Morgan, (Salinas) - 1994 Pinot Noir 78%,###, $$
    • Morgan, (Salinas) - 1995 Pinot Noir 72%,###, $$
    • Silver Oak Cellars, Oakville - Cabernet Sauvignon (very lite for a CAB,)70%,###, $$
    • 1998 J.Lohr Merlot, 1998, 87%, $$$, #, Pleasanton and full bodied, good legs
    • White Cottage Ranch Elena Rose Excellent rose of Cabernet, It is light, crisp and refreshing and very affordable.
    • great_buy.jpg2005 Alpen Cellars Pinot Noir Blanc , Trinity County, 90%, ###, $($12) excellent wine, elegant, a bit on the sweeter side, nice drinking with avocado.Alpen Cellars wines are never harsh or over bearing and are always easy drinking.

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    Rating: 100% = BEST, . . . , 10% = TERRIBLE.
    Buy Value: ##### = very good value, # = reasonable
    Cost: $$$$$ = Expensive, $$$$= Moderate $$$ = Average $$ = Bargin $ = They're giving it away

    (INCLUDES: Johannisberg Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Sylvaner Riesling, Malvasia, Vernaccia, Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot Grigio (gris), Arneis, Pinot Bianco, Gewürztraminer, Muscat Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Sèmillion and Trebbiano, Verdicchio , Vermentino


    • 1995 Cakebread Chardonnay, 85%, ###, $$
    • 1995 Fetzer Johannisberg Riesling, 89%, ####, $
    • 1996 Kalinda, Napa Valley Chardonnay 89%, ####, $($9)
    • 1995 Gloria Ferrer Chardonnay 89%, ####, $$($12)
    • 1996 Signorello Semillon 89%, ####, $$($16)
    • 1997 Kalinda Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 85%, #####, $, $9.49
    • 1997 Mason Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 90%, #####, $$$, $13
    • 1996 Shenandoah Valley Viognier, 88%, ###, $$$, $25
    • 1995 Meridian Santa Barbara Chardonnay, Buttery, balance, deliteful 96%, #####, $ ($11) excellent value.
    • 1997 Meridian Edna valley Reserve Chardonnay, 83%, ###, $$ ($14) floral, apple, crisp- there are better wines than this for equal money.
    • 1995 Creston Vineyards Semillon, lite, balanced picnic wine 82%, ##, $$
    • 1995 Creston Vineyards Chardonnay, 86%, ##, $$
    • 1995 Treanna Paso Robels Chardonnay, 91%, Big nose, ###, $$ good value


    • 1997 Mazzoccos Chardonnay, River Lane, Sonoma County, 87%, ####, $$ good value, not great but at $9, a very good buy.
    • 1998 Wild Horse Chardonnay, 83%, $$, ##
    • 1997 Byron Chardonnay, 85%, $$$, ## Better wines around for less money 1997 Santa Barbara Winery Private Reserve Chardonnay, Gold Medal Winner, #####, $$$$, Elegant wine wine nice balance, creamy feel, good nose, legs, crisp apple, mango, pepper Really an excellent buy.
    • 1999 Cinnabar Chardonnay, Central Coast - Very generous perfumed Bouquet, well balance, Apples, spice, light Oak well balance, not a long finish. A hint sweet. Sampled in Jan. 2001 - Needs six month to be optimal, 91% $$, ###
    • 1999 Geyser Peak Chardonnay, Russian River valley, nice Bouquet, nice finish, 89%, $$,##
    • 1999 Chateau Julien, Monterey County, Gewürztraminer, Fruity, peppery, apples, hint spice, semi-dry, well balanced, 91%,####, $$
    • 1999 Lockwood Monterey County, Pinot Blanc, well balance, fruit, excellent Bouquet, good value, 93%, ###, $$
    • great_buy.jpg1999 White Riesling, alpen cellars, Trinity County, 95%, ####, $($12) excellent wine, good nose, a bit on the sweeter side, ( several Gold Medals)
    • great_buy.jpg1999 alpen cellars Gewürztraminer, Trinity County, 93%, ####, $($9) excellent wine a lot of fruit
    • 1997 Chateau Julien, Monterey County, Sur Li Private Reserve Chardonnay, tremdous complex well balance deliteful wine , 98%,####, $$$
    • 1997 Liberty School (formerly Treanna) Paso Robels Chardonnay, 91%, very drinkable, somewhat buttery, Big nose, ###, $$ good value
    • 2000 Greenwood Ridge Vineyards White Reisling, 95%, very drinkable, quite complex slightly sweet, good nose, ###, $$$ Bit pricely, similar in construction to alpen cellars Gold Medal winner
    • 2000,Alexander Valley, - Estate Viognier (vee-ohn-YAY) 96%, #####, $$, $25 Tremendously drinkable wine. "This wine displays seductive aromas of peach, apricot and honeysuckle with delicate tropical overtones. The overriding sensation in tasting Viognier is the mouth feel. Exotic spices of ginger and cardamom accent the lush flavors of pear, honey and vanilla." Silver Medal winner. Very very Highly recommended.
    • 2000,Alexander Valley, - 2000 Reserve Chardonnay 93%, #####, $$, $25 Gold Medal winner, rich quality wine of a Sur lie style, excellent value, creamy mouth-feel.


    • 2000 Dr Loosen Blue Slate Riseling, a balanced refreshing not too sweet, mineral, crisp wine with mixed fruit. - Good with a lemony dish, 90%, ##, $
    • 2000 Joeseph Phelps Viognier 93%, ####, $$$$, What I simply love about this variety is its ability to put forth a bouquet than explodes such complexity and pleasant aromatics. For nose, this wine is tremendous. Estate grapes from Napa Valley (90%) and Carneros (10%) contribute to the complexities with grapefruit, apricot, apple with a delicate pleasant after taste. This wine is a bit more bland than one would expect from its nose, but none the less, highly recommended.
    • 2000 McDonald Valley Vineyards, Reserve Viognier 90%, great heady aromatic nose strawberry, melon, apricot witha crisp grapefruit like taste, on the dry side for a Viognier, pleasant with a smoked salmon. $6 by the glass at Copia - Julia Kitchen.
    • 2002 Sur LieMacrostie Carneros Chardonnay, great nose almost aromatic, firm, crisp, oaky and long on the palate, full of grapefruit, melon and apple with a buttery mouth feel. 92%
    • 2003 Roero Arneis - Tre Donne, Langhe-Piedmont, Italy - Grapefruit, pear and liqorice big nose, crisp well balance, linguring finish medium dry. Enjoyable. Goes very well with antipasto especially green olives. C
    • 2001 Chehalem Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley Oregon. - A brightly drinkable wine right now that is slightly sweet. Should be enjoyed young - very quick finish. Goes very well with antipasto
    • 2004 Hollys Hill, El Dorado Tranquille Blanc (72% Viognier, 28% Roussanne) A big nose full of peach, tangerine and lemon/lime with floral accents. The herbal/nutty qualities blend nicely with a creamy mouth feel,with soft pleasant finish. $14.00, Hint of Oak and a French Style not too sweet.
    • 2001 Copain Viognier Broken Leg Vineyard (Medocino County), highly aromatic peach blossom, peach/apricot tastes, extraordinarily good, a best in class! Great with Raw Oysters.
    • 2003 Chardonnay, Beringer Private Reserve Napa Valley,
      A blend of Beringer's northernmost Chardonnay vineyards ; this chardonnay is a mixture of the most expressive lots and blended to create an intensely aromatic and flavorful wine featuring citrus, tropical notes of fresh pineapple and mango, crème brulee, brown spice and butterscotch that come together for a seamlessly long, plush finish. Very very good!
    • 2004 Renard "Westerly Vineyard" Viognier, Santa Ynez Valley. Scoreat SF Winetasting 9/9.5. Cost: $21 (not rated yet)
    • 2004 Porter Creek Timbervine Viognier, Heard good things about this one. Porter Creek Vineyards. 8735 Westside Road Healdsburg, , CA 95448, 707-433-6321 Fax: 707-433-4245
    • 2005 Kunde Estate Semillon, fresh fruit components, good acidity, $16, Good value, good drinking.
    • 2005 Magnolia Lane Sauvignon Blanc, citrus, floral notes, and peach flavors make this deliteful 84% Sauvignon Blanc, 14% Semillon, and 2% Viognier, nice nose, excellent with food, affordable $15.
    • Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards 2005 Sauvignon Blanc - Explosive Bouquet of mixed fruits and flowers incredibly pleasing, very well balance acids, crisp mouth feel, goes well with cheese and fruits. (I was eating apples, pears, and a blue cheese - I wished I had some oysters at the time) lovely wine. $$$$
    • Valley View Winery 2004 Anna Maria Viognier
      " It will be hard to find a better Viognier anywhere." The Oregonian. Not yet rated.
    • great_buy.jpg 2005 Gewürztraminer, alpen cellars, Trinity County, 91%, ###, $($12) excellent wine, very good nose full of complex sweetness, a bit on the sweeter side,peppery, nice drinking
    • great_buy.jpg2005 Pinot Gris, alpen cellars, Trinity County, 91%, ###, $($12) excellent wine, light, crisp, nice drinking
    • great_buy.jpg 2005 White Reisling, Alpen cellars, Trinity County, 89%, ###, $($12) very good wine, ok nose, nice drinking
    • 2005 Fetzer Valley Oaks German Riesling, 92%, #####, $($7) "aromas of peach, citrus, jasmine and pear, blessed by orange blossom and welcome floral notes from the Müller-Thurgau grape. Riesling from the Mosel brings flavors of apples, pear and quince, while Riesling from the Rheinhessen offers apricots, peaches and nectarines. The wine is well balanced, crisp and refreshing, with a touch of sweetness that lingers in the most pleasant way. An obvious choice for spicy Thai or Asian foods, this Riesling will complement many dishes, including fresh water Trout, smoked Salmon or any white meat, with a nod to Pork served with fruit." Highly recommended.
    • great_buy.jpg2005 PEPPERWOOD GROVE Chardonnay, #####, $, 95% Sur Lies style, buttery and well oaked Chardonnay high complexity, beautiful bouquet, somewhat sweet, well balanced, grapefruit, melon, apricot, deliteful wine with a long finish. Best Chardonnay buy of 2005! and full bodied, good legs
    • 2007 White Cottage Ranch Sauvignon Blanc Delightful, crisp and refreshing citrus - lemon, grapefruit, and slightly tropical aromas and one of the most beautiful bouquet ever. 96% Affordable
    • great_buy.jpg2008 Spiral Wines Chardonnay (Trader Joe´s mystery wine) is an affordable pleasant oaked wine that went slendidly with Humbolt Fog and Gorgonzola Dolce cheeses. Under $6 is is a bargain., $, ###
    • great_buy.jpgOak Creek Cardonnay, (Harris Teeter Brand) while not stunning, was quite drinkable at a price too low to mention. $, ### (also recommended for cooking)
    • great_buy.jpg2010 Round Two Sauvignon Blanc (Lake Country), ( $, ### (good with anything)
    • great_buy.jpg2010 Round Two Chardonnay (Napa), ( $$, ### (perfect with a hint of citrus)
    • California Square Chardonnay , Russian River Valley, 2015 - A square bottle should not put you off. This is an incredible buy. This wine is both complex and smooth. It has just the right amount of oak and all guest at our table found it to be Great with sea food. We payed corkage and when the bottle ran out, there were no Chardonnay's on the winelist that held a candle to this wine. These wines were a hit at the 65th Annual Emmy Awards' Festivities crafted by winemaker Virginia Marie Lambrix. I am a big fan.



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