Welcome to the world of acquiring — or not — Sonoma’s most coveted wines. They’re not in grocery stores, and fine-wine retailers who get their hands on such bottles hold them for loyal customers. The majority of Sonoma’s superstars are sold via mailing lists, wine clubs, to high-end restaurants, and at auction. Accordingly, they aren’t among our Top 100 Wines, because nothing frustrates consumers more than to read about wines they want and then find them unavailable.
Click through the gallery above for eight such Sonoma wines. If you want them, check restaurant wine lists (and prepare to pay three times the suggested retail price), join winery mailing lists such as Peter Michael’s, and cozy up to friends with wine-list benefits. And know this: These wines are fantastic, yet so are many others of equal quality from Sonoma. Readily available wines might not have the cachet of these “great eight,” yet they deliver as much pleasure, if not more, and at a more affordable price.