Bugay Wines and Vineyards


Wine Notes

Tasting Notes


Bugay Winery - A Little Slice of Tuscan Heaven

Decantress Wine Diary, Monday, July 18, 2011
"My first experience with Bugay wine was at a dinner at A16, one of San Francisco’s trendy Italian eateries that always has a wait list, even on Mondays. My friend, Jackie, mentioned that she had a bottle of wine she thought I’d like to try and A16 was the perfect place to take it for a spin..." Full Story

2009 Bugay Vineyards Long Stem Rose - Rose of Syrah

Midwest Wine Guy   |   93 points
"The look alone of this bottle has some incredible merit - gorgeous dark pink grapefruit color with a bottle that looks like it belongs in an art gallery. First of all, if you have never tasted a Rose of Syrah, go out and get a bottle (preferrably this one) tonight. No, this is NOT White Zinfandel - not by a long shot! This is a semi sweet Rose that exhibits a potpourri of flavors that include strawberry, grapefruit, citrus basket, and just a touch of wild raspberries. The flavors are mouth watering and when served chilled (but not cold) this wine will be one of your new best friends. This is quite possibly the best Rose I have tasted in recent memory. 99% Syrah, 1% Mourvedre."

2007 Bugay Cabernet Sauvignon The Empress

Midwest Wine Guy   |   94 points
"One of the first things that struck me about this bottle (and all Bugay bottles for that matter) is just how gorgeous they are. While most writers won't comment on the packaging, we all know that packaging does play an integral part in many of the purchasing decisions of consumers - and Bugay gets it! This nearly black wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (75%), Cabernet Franc (10%), Petit Verdot (8%), Malbec (5%) and Merlot (2%) and is 100% estate fruit. The 2007 vintage has full aromas of blackberry, cassis, herbs and mocha. In the mouth is a full bodied flavor arena of blackberry pie, lightly roasted coffee bean, earth, cassis, sweet vanilla and dark cherries. The tannins are small and the finish is as smooth as glass and very long. This wine is delicious and can be enjoyed now or for many years to come. This wine is unfined and will continue to develop flavors in the bottle."

2006 Bugay Vineyards Zinfandel Mayacama Mountains

Midwest Wine Guy   |   95 points
"The 2006 Zinfandel from Bugay Vineyards quickly reminds me again how this winery has quickly become one of my favorites in recent months. The wines are incredibly good and the packaging of the product is remarkable. You can tell by looking at and tasting these wines that John Bugay is a perfectionist and demands nothing less. This dark red wine features intense aromas of blackberry and fresh raspberry with spices and leather. You get a bold, full bodied feel in the mouth with this wine and incredible flavors of raspberry, plum, exotic spices, apricot preserves and a faint hint of charcoal. This wine is the absolute perfect pairing for a big medium rare steak or barbeque ribs - it is incredibly versatile with beef, pork or Italian food. The finish is unbelievably long and the tannins are juicy. Drink now or cellar for many years of enjoyment. This is one of the Midwest Wine Guy's favorite Zinfandel!"


The Wine Profiler, Oct 2007
"I could fill pages telling you folks about the exceptional Bugay Vineyards, high atop the stellar Mayacamas Mountain range. . .And, extolling the virtues of John Bugay, and esteemed winemaker Tom Garrett (who, by the way, received his tutelage under the famed Heidi Peterson-Barrett - of Screaming Eagle!) Suffice to say. . . John Bugay's wines speak highly of his passion and commitment to excellence! . . .And, from the feedback of all you folks who have had the privilage to visit Bugay, they are quite obviously the most gracious of hosts. I Highly Recommend you treat yourself to their magnificent wines, while my supply lasts! . . . Not surprisingly, Bugay captured the # 1 & # 10 picks!"
— Bob Schumacher, The Wine Profiler Oct 2007

2005 Bugay Vineyards Zinfandel

  • Top #10 Wine of the Year
    The Wine Profiler, Oct 2007
    The process that John Bugay, and his winemaker Tom Garrett go through to get the purest Zinfandel fruit possible is labor intensive, to say the least. John and his crew go into the vineyard several times during the growing season and then right before picking and trim off any green or raisiny spots on each and every bunch. Zinfandel is notorious for ripening unevenly, and so sometimes you get one extreme or the other, either green notes or a raisiny, over ripe quality.

2004 Bugay Vineyards Zinfandel

  • Gold Medal Winner
    North of the Gate Wine Competition, July 2007

2004 Bugay Vineyards Syrah

  • Top 3 Syrahs from hundreds of wines tasted
    Rhone Rangers, San Francisco, March 2007
    Bill McNabb, wine editor for the Piedmont Post

2003 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 'Les Rochueses'

  • Gold Medal Winner and Best in Class
    The Lone Star International Wine Competition, July 2007
  • Number One Wine of the Year (tie)
    The Wine Profiler, Oct 2007
    The rocky mountains pays tribute to the French, hand crafted and personal, wine -making traditions, while describing the extremely rugged and rocky conditions in this section of our vineyard. The fruit is produced from Clone 337 resulting in a classic Cabernet. The aromas are seductive and the wine reveals luscious flavors of concentrated cassis, plum and spice along with a hint of volcanic earth. Aged for 29 months in the finest French oak barrels, this wine is rich and elegant with a lingering finish. Only 180 cases produced!

2003 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 'Incline OneNine'

  • Number One Wine of the Year (tie)
    The Wine Profiler, Oct 2007
    This rare bottling is produced from a Clone 15 selection of Cabernet Sauvgnon grown in a unique block of our mountain vineyard. The slope in this location is a steep 19 degrees. The rocky volcanic conditions, combined with the extreme angle, provide excellent drainage and sun exposure. Crops tend to be no more than 2 tons per acre although they are grown on vigorous rootstock. This wine is intense! . . . The flavors are rich and concentrated revealing black fruits, roasted meat, earth, and a hint of anise. Aged for 29 months in the finest French oak barrels; this huge, complex wine will evolve for many years with proper cellaring. Only 120 cases produced!
  • Sommeliers Choice
    Featured in The French Laundry, Solbar at Solage, Dry Creek Kitchen, LoCoco's, Aria, Bacchanalia and many more.

2003 Bugay Vineyards Syrah

  • The Best of the Rest
    Decanter Magazine, September 2007
  • 92 points
    Wine Enthusiast
  • 4 Stars ****
    Savor Wine Country, Santa Rosa Press Democrat

2002 Bugay Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

  • 93 points: Vinfolio rating
    Doug Wilder, The Wilder Side of California, October 2005
    I received an e-mail recently from a client who recommended that I taste his neighbor John Bugay’s wine. I took the advice I was given and scheduled a visit with him. I was interested to see if my client had sent me on a wild goose chase. Let me assure you, it wasn’t a waste of time. The Bugays have hired Tom Montgomery (former winemaker at Conn Creek) to make the wines from the insanely steep vineyards around their Mayacamas Mountain Range villa. I tasted with John, and was amazed at the evolution in my glass over the course of the afternoon. This wine needs time to open but when it does, it is glorious. It will definitely age well.

    The nose is quite dense at first, but with time it fleshes out to show some alluring, aromatic Asian spices with a spray of sea salt and mocha. The lush smoothness on the palate is evident early with a solid profile of chocolate and black fruit character merging into the long finish. It develops flavors of bright red cherry and pomegranate with an hour of air. Drink: 2005-2012.

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