San Francisco Chronicle Top 100
California, Oregon, Idaho and Washington wines
Linda Murphy – December 11, 200
Every year, the San Francisco Chronicle wine section staff and the weekly panel of tasters – mostly wine retailers and sommeliers – select our favorite 100 wines sampled during the previous 12 months. In 2004, the newspaper threw the crew a curveball by asking them to consider wines produced in Oregon, Idaho and Washington state as well. In doing so, we made an already difficult (though pleasantly so) decision more difficult, by introducing new candidates for spots on The Chronicle's "Top 100 Wines of 2004" list and reducing the opportunities for California bottlings.
In a nutshell, our Top 100 shows:
- Red wines dominate with 61 selections; sparkling, white and rosť wines totaled 39.
- The highest scoring varietal is Syrah, with 17 wines on the list, followed by Pinot Noir (16) and Chardonnay (13).
- California rules with 79 representatives; Washington has 14 and Pinot Noir/Gris specialist Oregon has seven.
- Rosenblum Cellars of Alameda, Sebastiani Vineyards of Sonoma and Chateau Ste. Michelle of Woodinville, Wash., each have three wines in the Top 100. Beckmen Vineyards, L'Ecole No 41, Merry Edwards Wines, Shafer Vineyards, Signorello Vineyards, Sullivan Birney and Three Rivers Winery have two each.
- The price range is $8 to $80; the bottle average is $29.83 ($22.30 for whites, $34.63 for reds).
The Chronicle Top 100 Wines are predominantly those rated "very good" to "excellent" by the tasting panel, plus a handful of additions by Wine section staff.
Note: Not all wines listed are available in all stores and restaurants. Some are made in small quantities, some are sold only to restaurants and others were released early in the year and may be difficult to find. Shop around, consult your local wine merchant, contact the wineries for sales location information and consider ordering online.
Sparkling • Riesling • Pinot Gris/Grigio • Sauvignon Blanc • Chardonnay • Viognier • Other White/Rosé
Pinot Noir • Syrah • Zinfandel • Merlot • Cabernet Sauvignon • Other Reds
1995 Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Carneros Royal Cuvee ($22)
An excellent sparkler, with spiced pear, Golden Delicious apple, yeast, toast and mineral aromas and flavors. Creamy and rich, with a long finish.
1994 Iron Horse Green Valley Blanc de Blancs ($34)
Very complex, with date, rum, apricot and bread-dough aromas and apple, lime and apricot flavors. The finish is biscuity and smooth.
NV Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut ($22)
A lean, zesty bubbly that offers creamy peach, citrus and nut aromas and flavors and hints of mineral. Lively bubbles lead to a clean finish.
1999 Schramsberg California Blanc de Blancs ($30)
A bright, elegant bubbly with a pineapple, lemon meringue and roasted hazelnut nose and flavors of green apple and citrus. Rich and creamy, with firm acidity.
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2003 Chateau Ste. Michelle Eroica Columbia Valley Riesling ($20)
Beautifully balanced, with stony, earthy aromas and a palate of apricot, apple, mineral and spice.
2003 Fess Parker Santa Barbara County White Riesling ($12)
A generous wine with citrus, fresh peach, dried apricot and spice aromas and flavors. A fine pre-meal sipper.
2003 J. Lohr Bay Mist Monterey County White Riesling ($8)
An outstanding, easy-drinking wine that offers extraordinary value. Smells of rose petal, peach and honeysuckle, with flavors of apple, lime, citrus and spice.
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2002 Adelsheim Oregon Pinot Gris ($16)
Clean, ripe apple, melon, fig and mineral aromas and flavors mix with a slight herbal character. Tangy acidity on the long finish.
2003 Estancia California Pinot Grigio ($14)
Light, zesty lemon-rind nose with a touch of mineral leads to racy flavors of lime, kiwi fruit, strawberry and stone. It's light and crisp, with a hint of spritz.
2003 J Russian River Valley Pinot Gris ($18)
Attractive and loaded with fresh apple, pear, melon and nectarine flavors and minerality for complexity.
2002 Lange Willamette Valley Pinot Gris ($12)
Fresh and lively, with pretty lime, spiced apple, mineral and floral aromas and flavors. It's crisp, complex and intense.
2002 MacMurray Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Gris ($20)
A touch of spice on the nose leads to generous melon, apricot, grapefruit, mineral and honey flavors. Nicely balanced and with a long finish.
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2003 Ceago Vinegarden Kathleen's Vineyard Mendocino County Sauvignon Blanc ($16)
Aromas of lime, tropical fruit, thyme and matchstick lead to flavors of lime, kiwi fruit, melon and fennel. Snappy acidity.
2003 Mason Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($16)
Pretty floral nose with bright citrus, grass, herb and vanilla notes. Soft and lush, with a rich core of orange, lemon, apricot and kiwifruit and a lively finish.
2003 Patianna Mendocino County Sauvignon Blanc ($16)
Made in a rich, ripe style, with fresh apple, pear, melon, citrus, grapefruit rind and hay aromas and flavors. Closes with a hint of clove and beautiful acidity.
2003 Rochioli Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($24)
Lean and alive with fresh-cut grass and crisp grapefruit and lemon flavors, with hints of wet stone and laserlike acidity.
2003 Rutherford Grove Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($14)
Good value for its honeysuckle and tropical-fruit nose and flavors of pineapple, banana, grapefruit, herb and vanilla. The finish is long and grassy.
2003 St. Supery Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($18)
Lively and fresh, as Sauvignon Blanc should be, with spice, grass, ripe tropical fruit and gooseberry aromas and flavors, with hints of herbs and vanilla. A panel favorite.
2003 Wildhurst Reserve Lake County Sauvignon Blanc ($11)
Pungent, herbal style with refreshing kiwi fruit, guava and grass aromas and zesty gooseberry, grapefruit and lemon flavors. Good value.
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2001 Beaulieu Vineyard Reserve Carneros Chardonnay ($28)
Aromas and flavors of apple, pear, honeydew melon, creme brulee and lemon zest, with hints of mineral on a crisp finish.
2002 Chateau St. Jean Sonoma County Chardonnay ($14)
Spiced apple and caramel nose with flavors of apricot, apple, pear and citrus. It's juicy, clean, long and fairly priced.
2002 Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Columbia Valley Chardonnay ($18)
Subtle apple and banana aromas lead to a zesty palate of apple, pear, pineapple, lemon, mint and citrus. The finish is soft yet lingering.
2001 MacRostie Wildcat Mountain Carneros Chardonnay ($30)
Apple pie aroma with cinnamon; similar flavors plus ripe mango, citrus and mineral. Fleshy and big, with a juicy finish.
2002 Morgan Rosella's Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay ($34)
A toasty, buttery nose gives way to a richly fruited (baked apple, pear), spicy palate. A powerful wine, yet it retains the right balance of fruit and oak.
2002 Newton Unfiltered Napa Valley Chardonnay ($56)
A huge, unctuous Chardonnay that is nicely balanced despite its rich butter, tropical fruit, caramel apple and toffee aromas and flavors. Touches of citrus add to the clean finish.
2002 Patz & Hall Woolsey Road Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($38)
Big, rich and juicy, with aromatics and flavors of lemon blossom, tropical fruit, ripe pear and apple plus a hint of hazelnut and toast. Excellent balance.
2002 Sebastiani Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($30)
Strikes an ideal balance of ripe apple, pear and honeydew flavors with toasty oak and vanilla. Refreshing acidity.
2001 Sebastopol Vineyards Morelli Lane Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($40)
Toasty, mineral nose leads to an apple, melon, lemon and dried apricot palate. Slick texture has acidity to balance it.
2002 Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Carneros Chardonnay ($38)
Has lovely aromas of green apple, lemon-lime, hazelnut and toast, with hints of vanilla. The palate is loaded with citrus, peach, lime and toffee flavors, with some minerality on the long finish. Top-notch.
2002 Sullivan Birney Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay ($30)
A heavier style, with caramelized banana, apple, pear and cinnamon flavors and some sweetness on the long finish. Good balance.
2002 Sullivan Birney Sonoma Coast Chardonnay ($27)
Meyer lemon, tropical fruit, butterscotch, apple and ripe pear aromas and flavors finish with baking spice complexity. Crisp acidity.
2001 Trellis Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($25)
Made in a Chablis style, with peach, melon, ripe pear and citrus aromas. Delicately balanced, elegant and minerally on the finish.
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2003 Field Stone Staten Family Reserve Alexander Valley Viognier ($20)
Textbook Viognier, with a honeysuckle nose and flavors of nectarine, peach, apricot and kiwifruit with citrus notes. Long finish and wonderful balance.
2002 Incognito Lodi Viognier ($20)
Aromas and flavors of honeysuckle, nectarine, sweet peach, pear and spice. Weighty but not dense; elegant and long.
2001 Rosenblum Ripken Ranch Vineyard Lodi Late-Harvest Viognier ($15)
A full-bodied, viscous dessert wine with a floral, tropical fruit nose and flavors of honey and pineapple. Long, smooth finish ends on a sweet rather than crisp note.
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2002 Navarro Anderson Valley Gewurztraminer ($16)
Aromas and flavors of rose petal, honeysuckle, peach pit, mineral and spice are carried by a crisp, clean palate. Moderately rich and juicy.
2003 Robert Hall Paso Robles Rosť de Robles ($14)
Fresh, clean, appealing strawberry and raspberry aromas with similarly inviting flavors. Smooth, pleasing texture and weight with good acidity.
2003 Robert Sinskey Carneros Vin Gris of Pinot Noir ($16)
More substantial than it looks, with pretty aromas of citrus and peach. Manages to have good weight and fruit without being heavy. Graceful, crisp and dry.
2003 Saxon Brown Casa Santinamaria Sonoma Valley Semillon ($20)
Made from 75-year-old vines, this unoaked wine is lively and at the same time rich with mouthwatering tropical fruit, pear and citrus flavors.
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2002 Amity Sunnyside Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($30)
Pretty nose of raspberry, wild strawberry, straw and earth; concentrated raspberry, cassis, spice and mineral flavors. Long and balanced.
2002 Broadley Vineyards Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($25)
Exotic, dusty, wild berry nose with violets, camphor and spice. The flavors are of juicy cranberry, blackberry, dried cherry plus cocoa, with lively acidity and a persistent finish.
2001 Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($47)
Shy plum nose leads to a luxurious mouthful of raspberry, black cherry, spice, vanilla and toast. Round, elegant and with gentle tannins.
2002 Etude Carneros Pinot Noir ($40)
Dusty, deep red fruit, black olive and tea-leaf nose leads to similar flavors plus cherry cola, earth and tobacco; nicely balanced with an elegant finish.
2001 Gary Farrell Star Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($40)
Smooth and seamless, with silky texture and flavors of cola, Bing cherry, cassis, cranberry and spice. Bright acidity.
2002 La Crema Carneros Pinot Noir ($25)
A dusty, cherry nose leads to rich flavors of currant, blueberry, rose-hip tea, anise and hints of bacon fat. Big and velvety, with balanced acidity and tannins.
2002 Lemelson Resonance Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($35)
Fruit-forward style, rich and concentrated with blueberry, strawberry jam, cassis, cedar and hints of baking spice. Creamy vanilla finish.
2001 Lynmar Quail Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($35)
Earthy mushroom nose with blackberry jam and cherry pie. Subtle flavors of cherry and earth; a slight brushy character adds complexity.
2002 Merry Edwards Klopp Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($48)
Big, dark and powerful, with blackberry and black cherry fruit enhanced by chocolate, anise, leather and tar notes. Firm tannins should smooth out with time.
2001 Merry Edwards Windsor Gardens Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($54)
From vines that succumbed to housing development in 2003, this hedonistic, silky-textured wine is aromatic and rich in black-fruit and briar character.
2002 Migration Anderson Valley Pinot Noir ($26)
Smooth and elegant, with aromas and flavors of truffle, strawberry and cassis with some plum, tar and smoky bacon character.
2002 Pisoni Estate Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir ($60)
A big, bold and spicy wine with aromas of rose petal, berry and earth. On the palate, there is sweet, ripe black cherry and plum fruit, anise and black pepper, with velvety tannins and a long finish. Exceptional.
2002 Rex Hill Vineyards Dundee Hills Cuvee Oregon Pinot Noir ($29)
Blackberry pie, Bing cherry, vanilla and barnyard nose with flavors of black cherry, blueberry, plum, baking spice and cola. Soft and juicy.
2002 Roar Rosella's Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir ($44)
Packed with ripe red cherry and berry fruit and enhanced by notes of black pepper, licorice, toasty oak and vanilla, with a soft yet lingering finish.
2001 Robert Stemmler Nugent Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($32)
Aromas of red cherry, loam and sandalwood are followed by black fruit, vanilla cola, cooked plum, strawberry and cherry flavors. Plush tannins; silky and elegant.
2002 Testarossa Garys' Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir ($49)
Has finesse and wonderful texture, with up-front blackberry and plum fruit and background touches of mocha, vanilla and baking spice.
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2001 Beckmen Estate Santa Ynez Valley Syrah ($25)
Has meaty, berry-fruit aromas with vanilla-oak inlay, and an intense black-fruit and black-spice palate.
2001 Bedford Thompson Santa Barbara County Syrah ($25)
Rich and concentrated, with a classic bacon-fat nose to go with flavors of berry, chocolate and spice. Chewy mouthfeel and firm tannins.
2001 Chateau Ste. Michelle Reserve Columbia Valley Syrah ($29)
Sweet, ripe black fruit, vanilla and smoked meat aromas and flavors, with notes of leather, earth and anise. A balanced, Rhonelike wine.
2002 Columbia Crest Columbia Valley Reserve Syrah ($30)
Nose of wild berry, cocoa and vanilla; lush, velvety mouth-coating fruit with blackberry, licorice, baking spice and meat flavors. Fresh finish.
2002 Covey Run Washington State Syrah ($9)
Outstanding value. Violet, ripe blackberry, black-cherry nose with hint of Asian spice; dense cranberry and blueberry flavors; textured with firm tannins. A panel favorite based on price.
2001 Dutton-Goldfield Cherry Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Syrah ($35)
Full-flavored, complex and bright, with cedar, anise and pencil shaving notes underlying lush blackberry, mulberry and cherry flavors. Silky texture.
2002 Forgeron Cellars Columbia Valley Syrah ($29)
Toasty nose with smoky meat, earth and mineral notes; blackberry, plum, licorice, dried herb and spice flavors. Finishes with sweet vanilla oak and firm acidity.
2001 Frei Brothers Reserve Russian River Valley Syrah ($24)
Has smoky, meaty aromas and flavors of blackberry, blueberry, tobacco, leather and black olive. Plush and with lots of wood extraction.
2002 Jade Mountain Napa Valley Syrah ($28)
Sweet, ripe aromas and dense flavors of blackberry, black currant, vanilla and cinnamon toast; supple tannins and fine texture.
2002 L'Ecole No. 41 Seven Hills Vineyard Walla Walla Valley Syrah ($37)
Dark berry, smoke, leather and toasty nose; lush blueberry, blackberry, earth, tobacco and spice flavors. Elegant structure with a long finish.
2002 Lost Canyon Alegria Vineyard Russian River Valley Syrah ($32)
One of the best Syrahs of the year, although with very limited production. It has an extracted palate of cherry, cassis, blackberry, tar, black olive, earth and anise, supple mouthfeel and elegant structure.
2002 Novy Page-Nord Vineyard Napa Valley Syrah ($32)
A powerful yet balanced Syrah with deep blackberry, black cherry and plum fruit plus mocha and black-spice notes. Smooth, mouth-filling finish.
2001 Signorello Napa Valley Syrah ($32)
Deep and dark with cigar box, spice, leather, toast, cassis, blackberry, cherry and cassis notes. Texture has a stony quality. Complex and balanced.
2002 Tamarack Cellars Columbia Valley Syrah ($24)
Chocolate-covered cherry, baked plum, anise, cinnamon, butterscotch, toast, roasted coffee and earth aromas and flavors. Nice price.
2002 Three Rivers Columbia Valley Syrah ($24)
Violet, blackberry, cherry and tobacco nose; juicy blueberry, plum, black pepper and spice flavors on a firmly tannic frame. Lingering finish.
2002 Three Rivers Boushey Vineyard Yakima Valley Syrah ($39)
More complex than the wine above, with aromas of violet, blackberry and anise and flavors of black fruit, red cherry, anise, five-spice and black pepper. Chewy texture, mouthwatering acidity.
2001 White Oak Napa Valley Syrah ($24)
Inky and meaty, with blackberry, toast and tar aromas and blueberry, spice and tobacco flavors with integrated tannins. Intense, long finish.
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2002 Amphora Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel ($22)
Great nose of perfect Zin fruit; cherry, framboise, blueberry, spice and vanilla. Long, smooth finish. A panel favorite.
2002 C.G. Di Arie Shenandoah Valley Zinfandel ($25)
Attractive blackberry, raspberry and cocoa nose with juicy raspberry, citrus peel, cherry and vanilla cola flavors. Good balance and structure.
2001 De Loach Russian River Valley Zinfandel ($20)
Ripe dark berry, red cherry, cassis and touch of cranberry, with hints of vanilla and toast. Jammy, ripe and luscious.
2002 Passalacqua Old Vine Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel ($29)
Spicy, candied raspberry nose; pomegranate, raspberry and a touch of spice on palate; big, portlike yet balanced.
2002 Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel ($15)
Juicy cooked boysenberry, blackberry, earth, coffee and black pepper aromas and flavors; concentrated; coating tannins.
2002 Renwood Sierra Series Sierra Foothills Zinfandel ($10)
Soft on the entry with cherry and wild-berry flavors; hefty and sturdy with oak tannins, yet easy-drinking. Excellent value.
2002 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel ($30)
Old Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Carignane vines produce this intense, full-bodied wine loaded with black plum, black pepper and briary character. Rich and polished.
2002 Rosenblum Rockpile Road Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel ($26)
Sweet, aromatic black plum, berry and smoky bacon nose; lush, creamy middle with lots of blueberry, raspberry, vanilla and spice.
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2001 Cosentino Reserve Napa Valley Merlot ($38)
Vanilla, toast, black plum, licorice, menthol and herbal aromas lead to similar flavors. Ripe and intense, with good concentration and firm tannins. Age-worthy.
2001 Flora Springs Napa Valley Merlot ($24)
A crowd-pleasing style, juicy and soft as Merlot should be. Ripe black cherry, plum, tar, black pepper, herb and olive aromas and flavors are backed by gentle tannins.
2001 L'Ecole No. 41 Columbia Valley Merlot ($32)
Rich, structured and oozing with black cherry and blackberry fruit, with hints of menthol, earth, cola and mocha. Nicely oaked.
2001 Pepper Bridge Walla Walla Valley Merlot ($45)
Refined and elegant, with whiffs of toast, mint, violet and geranium leaf and flavors of ripe black cherry, blueberry, raspberry and cocoa.
2002 Rosenblum Russian River Valley Merlot ($20)
An elegant wine with complex aromas and flavors of violet, raspberry, blackberry, plum, cassis and pencil shavings. Ripe and round.
2001 Rutherford Hill Napa Valley Merlot ($25)
Ripe and juicy berry aromas and flavors gain complexity from notes of black pepper, coffee, tar and earth. Round body, full tannins and coating oak.
2001 Sandhill Red Mountain Merlot ($20)
Terrific value for Washington Merlot, with complex aromas and flavors of black cherry, red currant, baking spice, coffee bean, caramel and earth. Crisp acidity.
2001 Shafer Napa Valley Merlot ($39)
Blackberry, plum, currant, cherry and vanilla notes plus molasses, sweet spice and black-tea aromas and flavors. Wonderful balance and use of oak.
2001 Woodward Canyon Columbia Valley Merlot ($33)
A panel favorite. Very toasty nose with complex blackberry, blueberry, vanilla, black pepper, mocha, toffee and tobacco aromas and flavors. Gorgeous fruit; long and lush.
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2000 Duckhorn Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($80)
Dusty nose of sweet fruit (black cherry, blackberry) with black tea and eucalyptus; big oak and vanillin with framboise, red currant, chocolate, baking spice and dill notes. Opulent style.
2001 Eponymous Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($50)
Deep and complex, with black cherry and hints of licorice and black olive. Firm structure suggests aging potential. From Robert Pepi
the man, not the brand.
2001 Hewitt Vineyard Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon ($75)
A rich, complete wine with cassis and black-cherry flavors and complexity from cocoa, menthol, dried herbs and dark chocolate. The slightly dusty tannins are typical of Rutherford Cabernet. Stellar.
2001 Merryvale Beckstoffer Vineyard X Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon ($75)
Supple and polished, with ripe black cherry and cassis aromas and flavors supplemented by vanilla, toast, black olive and slight forest-floor character. Velvety tannins.
2001 Sebastiani Cherryblock Centinaio 100th Anniversary Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($75)
Gorgeous, fresh black cherry, plum and blueberry fruit is wrapped in polished tannins. Long, silky finish.
2001 Sebastiani Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($28)
Supple and smooth, offering black cherry, cassis and plum flavors made more complex by hints of herb, chocolate and creamy vanilla. An excellent Cab for the price.
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2001 Beckmen Estate Santa Ynez Valley Grenache ($22)
Violet, plum, black cherry and toast nose; syrupy cassis, licorice, tart cherry and chocolate flavors. Very complex.
2002 Hahn Estate Central Coast Meritage ($18)
Great value for a Bordeaux-style red, with plump, juicy black cherry and blackberry fruit, spice, cocoa and forest floor character and substantial yet supple tannins.
2000 Lancaster Estate Alexander Valley Red Wine ($65)
A wonderful blend, with black cherry, raspberry, some red fruit and coconut aromas and flavors. Black pepper, spice and pencil-lead notes. Muscular, complex and balanced.
2000 Signorello Padrone Napa Valley Red Wine ($75)
Vanilla and oak leap from the glass, plus pencil shavings and old leather; lush dark berry, blueberry, cassis fruit flavors. Balanced acidity.
2000 Trentadue La Storia Alexander Valley Meritage ($45)
Dark fruit (black plum, cassis, blackberry) plus fig, cola, coffee and dusty leather. Judiciously oaked and with good acidity.,/p>
Tasting panelists contributing to this list include:
- Rusty Albert, co-owner, Wine Impression, San Francisco
- Jeff Anderson, wine buyer, the House Restaurant, San Francisco
- Lynne Char Bennett, staff writer/wine coordinator, The Chronicle
- Nicole Burke, sommelier and wine director, Viognier Restaurant, San Mateo
- Mulan Chan, wine director, Bambuddha Lounge, San Francisco
- Jerry Cooper, account manager, the Estates Group, San Francisco
- Sean Crowley, wine director and sommelier, Aqua, San Francisco
- Andrew Green, wine and spirits director, the Village Pub, Woodside
- Chuck Hayward, wine buyer, the Jug Shop, San Francisco
- John Hulihan, director of beverage and service, Lark Creek Restaurant Group
- Denise Johnson, general manager, Napa Valley Winery Exchange, San Francisco
- Rick Jones, wine consultant, Fairfax
- Ken McDonald, owner-wine buyer, Friendly Spirits, San Francisco
- Linda Murphy, wine editor, The Chronicle
- Alan Murray, sommelier, Masa's, San Francisco
- Greg O'Flynn, owner, California Wine Merchant, San Francisco
- Susan Pey, consulting wine director, Il Fornaio Restaurants, San Anselmo
- Steve Pitcher, wine writer and president of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the German Wine Society, San Francisco
- Chaylee Priete, wine director, Greens Restaurant, San Francisco
- Rob Renteria, sommelier, Bacar, San Francisco
- Lisa Robins, manager, Aqua, San Francisco
- Craig Sandler, wine consultant, San Francisco
- Rom Toulon, sommelier, Four Seasons Hotel, San Francisco
- Oscar Val Verde, wine consultant, San Francisco
- Wilfred Wong, eCommerce cellarmaster, Beverages & More, San Francisco.
|From the San Francisco Chronicle – ©2004 San Francisco Chronicle
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