Gundlach Bundschu Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 2014

Everyone just calls it “Gun Bun”

Yeah, don’t try to pronounce the name, everyone just calls it “Gun Bun” anyway.

I’ve only heard amazing things about Gun Bun’s winery. It’s an estate with history and personality and, although I’ve never been there, I can tell you that, at least on social media, the “Cast of Characters” behind the brand are wonderful. So, with a good rep and socially engaging peeps, I just had to see what all the hype was about and pulled this bottle off the shelf of a local grocer. (Spoiler alert: I was not disappointed.)

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St. Francis Winery & Vineyards Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

When I find a producer who has successfully provided me with wines with a well-rounded palate, I feel comfortable enough to take a chance and try some of the “harder” varietals. And, let’s face it, Cabs can be harsh. But I so loved St. Francis Zinfandel (and I’m quite picky about my Zinfandel), that I didn’t even hesitate when I needed a Cab and came across this offering from St. Francis.

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Michael David Winery Chardonnay 2015

A good wine is like a good book (or movie or favorite t-shirt). Sometimes when you find one you like you just keep going back to it over and over and never stop to think about what else the author has written or winemaker has produced (or director or designer has created). Such was my case with Michael David Winery: I only ever knew him for his Petite Petit. Well, lo-and-behold, he makes other wines — and you can find those wines at the store! Well, I at least found Michael David Winery Chardonnay…

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MacRostie Winery & Vineyards Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2014

I first heard of MacRostie Winery & Vineyard while editing winery reviews at work. It’s not a small name winery, in fact, the MacRostie’s have roots in Sonoma County dating back to the early 70s before Sonoma was the wine country we know now. Suffice it to say, they’re well-established both in name and product. But I think theirs is a name and product a lot of grocery-store wine consumers haven’t heard of.

Their wines float to the top shelf, they’re not in mid-line eye-level. And I think there’s a mis-conception about “top shelf” wines. Just because a wine is literally located on the top shelf doesn’t mean it’s obscure, fancy, or pricey. I’ve only recently trained my eyes to gaze upwards in the wine aisle. And, when I did, I found MacRostie Winery Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.

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St. Francis Winery & Vineyards Sonoma County “Old Vines” Zinfandel 2013

I’ve been having fun experimenting with Zinfandels lately. I found that the key to this experiment is to chose from reputable wineries who reside in the heart of Zinfandel heaven (Sonoma). This may mean gazing your eyes upward in the wine aisle, and it may mean stretching that price limit a few dollars higher. But I say to you, as an average wine consumer who’s in the throws of discovering what “good wine” really means, it’s worth it. And St. Francis Zinfandel? It’s totally worth it.

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