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California Wines

California Wines

California Wines

California Wines

With a history of wine production that dates back to the 18th century, California currently sits as one of the world’s most prolific and reputable wine regions. With an area as vast as California, you can expect a colorful collage of terroir profiles, a series of microclimates, and micro-environments that give the wine a unique, memorable appeal. The region’s produce is far from homogenized in that sense, and it would take you countless hours to sample all of it.

While the region boasts scars from the Prohibition era, it went through what can only be described as a viticultural Renaissance sometime after the 1960s. At that point, California went from a port-style, sweet wine region to a versatile and compelling competitor on the world market. Today, no matter which way your taste in wine leans, you can find a new favorite producer among California’s most talented.

Notable sub-regions include legendary names like Napa Valley and Sonoma County, places that any wine lover worth their salt would die to visit. California’s quintessential warm climate allows for incredibly ripe fruit expressions, a style that provides a stark contrast to Old World-inspired, earthy classics. Even where inspiration was clearly taken from staple French appellations, Californian winemakers put their own unique spin on the wine, making it feel like a unique, standalone piece, rather than a derivative.

A New World region rises to join its viticultural forebears. Its meteoric rise to fame has been nothing short of stunning, and today California can compete with the world’s most prominent wine regions.

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2018 chanin chardonnay sanford & benedict vineyard California White

Not yet bottled, the 2018 Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict is still resting in 20% new French oak. Coming from a great site on the southern side of the Sta. Rita Hills, it offers a rocking bouquet of lemon curd, chamomile, toasted bread, spice, and a touch of crushed stone-like flinty minerality. Beautifully textured, medium to full-bodied, and elegant on the palate, it’s another brilliant wine from this estate.Jeb Dunnuck | 95-97 JDAromas of moss and kumquats combine with decadently ripe, yet still refreshing, limpid fruit. The textured palate reflects the stony minerality of the nose in a snappy, svelte package. It spent 20 months in mostly neutral barrique, and is a blend of the own-rooted 1971 vines as well as younger plantings. Drinking Window 2020 - 2040.Decanter | 95 DEC

95-97
JD
As low as $59.99
2020 racines pinot noir santa rita hills cuvee California Red

The 2020 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills Cuvée is a terrific introduction to the range. Crushed red berry fruit, mint, spice, rose petal and a touch of whole cluster savoriness are all beautifully delineated. This is such a gorgeous and expressive Pinot.Vinous Media | 93 VM

93
VM
As low as $47.99
2020 sandhi chardonnay patterson vineyard California White

The 2020 Chardonnay Patterson Vineyard opens with tempered matchstick-like reduction that gives way to nuanced aromas of baked apples, quince, lemon and lime blossom and toast. The medium-bodied palate strikes a fine balance between satiny, concentrated fruit and focused acidity, and the finish is long, layered and detailed.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPA strong mineral streak of rainy sidewalk and chalk kick off the focused nose of this bottling, which opens ever so slightly toward lime pith, jicama and nectarine. The chiseled stone texture and flavor of the palate is pleasantly relentless, wrapping around the light lime and green-lemon flavors.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WEThe 2020 Chardonnay Patterson is quite powerful. It shows a distinctly mineral and savory profile that is intriguing, but also bit out of character for the Sta. Rita Hills. Sage, mint, dried flowers and lightly honeyed notes are pushed forward, while fruit is very much in the background. It’s a compelling wine in this stellar lineup from Sandhi.Antonio Galloni | 94 AGJuicy acidity and a note of salted caramel mingle with mango, green apple and tangerine flavors at the core of this succulent white, which is vibrant on the finish. Drink now through 2027. 229 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

97
RP
As low as $69.99
2020 sanford chardonnay sanford and benedict vineyard California White

The 2020 Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard is beautiful and expressive this vintage with a singular personality that combines mineral character with full, ripe fruit and soaring floral character. White peach, nectarine and acacia are complemented by touches of charcuterie, beeswax and flint on the nose. The palate unfolds its exotic, perfumed flavors slowly, boasting an expansive, mouth-coating texture and sparks of juicy acidity calling you back for another sip on the long finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPThe 2020 Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard is an astoundingly beautiful wine. Exotic, wild and beguiling, the 2020 possesses striking aromatic presence and gorgeous overall depth. Orange peel, spice, lemon oil, mint, ripe pear and hazelnut build in an unctuous, layered Chardonnay that dazzles from start to finish. Superb!Vinous Media | 95 VMThe 2020 Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard (20% new French oak) has a touch of chamomile in its perfumed aromatics of golden apple, honeyed toast, spice, and subtle green almonds. Complex and nuanced aromatically, it’s medium-bodied on the palate, has high yet nicely integrated acidity, terrific balance, and outstanding length.Jeb Dunnuck | 94 JDCrisp and light aromas of apple, honey and tangerine peel are mellow and delicate on the nose of this vineyard-designate bottling from one of California’s most historically important vineyards. The grippy texture is well managed on the palate, as it lingers long through citrus peel, nectarine and salted, almost savory white fruit flavors. Wine Enthusiast | 94 WE

97
RP
As low as $72.99
2021 donnachadh chardonnay santa rita hills California White

The 2021 Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills is the first vintage of Chardonnay from Donnachadh. It was barrel fermented and matured for around 10 months. Its aromas combine bright herbal, green apple and pear tones with underlying savory hints. The light-bodied palate is bright and fresh, yet offers a touch of anchoring creaminess that draws out the finish. Proprietor Drew Duncan says that for this vintage, fruit came from the Donnachadh estate, although that may not be the case in the future as this new project really gets up and running.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RPThis brand’s new appellation bottling satisfies in both Old and New World ways. Clean, chalky aromas of bright Meyer lemon flesh and pith meet with a briny note on the mineral-laden nose. The palate is wrapped in chiseled-stone tannins, loaded with acidity and yet generous on flavors of white melon, lychee, nectarine and honeysuckle.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WE

94
RP
As low as $32.99
2021 donnachadh pinot noir santa rita hills California Red

The 2021 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills, matured for 10 months in neutral oak, is the first appellation-wide Pinot from Donnachadh. Like the Chardonnay, this vintage was sourced entirely from the Donnachadh estate, although that may not be the case in the future. It has a pale ruby color and very pure, fragrant scents of cranberry, raspberry, strawberry, bergamot, tea leaves and herbs. The medium-bodied palate is finely chalky and wonderfully fresh, boasting concentrated red berry flavors, fine citrusy accents and a long, ethereal finish. This really stands out for its detail and expression—it’s as if the volume was turned up yet the definition preserved.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPThis new appellation-level bottling is pure joy in the glass, starting with aromas of strawberry, red apple, hibiscus and Red Hot cinnamon candies. The palate sizzles with eminently drinkable, super-fresh flavors of crisp red fruit and hibiscus, as a peppery acidity pumps into the finish.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WE

95
RP
As low as $32.99

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