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by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes
Wayne Gretzky | No. 99 Estates Winery

Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky and his partners in the winemaking business have received an impressive review for their No. 99 Wayne Gretzky Estates 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon - Napa Valley.

“This Cab has classic Napa characteristics: dark fruit aromas of sweet black cherry, blackberry and cassis with a light touch of toasty oak. (It’s) a supple, rich and balanced wine, complemented by delicately complex accents of strawberry, hints of anise, mint, lilac and rose,” writes in a recent article listing its “Best of the Best.”

Only 10,000 cases of the 2005 Gretzky wine were produced and about 8,000 cases remain. Those wishing to order a bottle (or more) can do so by visiting The cost is $40 per bottle.

Craig McDonald, the head winemaker for Creekside Winery Group, played a key role in creating the handmade wine, which hockey fans can enjoy inside the suites at about half of the NHL rinks in North America in 2008-09, including Arena in Glendale.

“The key with this project is we’re not flooding the market with different varieties, we’re trying to hit the bull’s-eye right on the mark with a solid, focused and elegantly structured Cabernet Sauvignon,” McDonald told “Napa Cabs can be blockbusters. They can be big, jammy and sometimes overwhelming. Working with a small winery, we wanted to make it very complex, very interesting and very elegant…and we are targeting a specific type of wine buyer. We’re honing in on someone who wants to go to a steakhouse and have a very complex red wine, but it’s also a wine that you can have at a barbecue in the backyard. It’s a versatile and sophisticated wine that hits a lot of different bases.”

McDonald said another key to the wine’s success is that it was produced knowing Gretzky’s name would be on the bottle.

“It’s a stylish Cabernet that kind of reflects the man and his image,” McDonald said. “It’s got power, finesse and style. There can’t be a big gap between what people think of Wayne Gretzky and what’s delivered to them on the table. We’ve got to hit it right on and Napa was the place to go for it. ”
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