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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 chimney rock cabernet sauvignon California Red

Silky red fruit and plum dot the landscape of this powerfully soft and velvety wine. Blended with 23% Merlot and 1% each of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, it exudes classic structure, integrated oak and floral beauty, finishing on a fig note. Enjoy from 2028–2032.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEThe 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon SLD Estate is rich, ample and so inviting. This creamy, expressive Cabernet is sure to delight readers pretty much upon release. It captures all the charm of the vintage in its gracious personality. Hints of spice, tobacco, dried herbs and mint linger.Antonio Galloni | 92 AGLots of purple fruit with raspberries and blackberries follow through to a medium to full body with chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Needs time to soften. Try after 2023.James Suckling | 92 JSA blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District has a medium to deep garnet-purple color and notes of baked black cherries, stewed plums and black currant jelly plus touches of garrigue, black olives and Provence herbs. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers lovely poise and expression with plenty of crunchy black fruit and a grainy texture, finishing with a lively lift.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 91 RPJuicy, with an upfront personality showing açai, plum and boysenberry notes mixed together with red licorice and sweet spice accents. Fleshy finish keeps the fruit pumping through nicely, with a light briar streak for cut. Wine Spectator | 91 WSChecking in as 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Stages Leap District sports a dense purple color as well as complex notes of both red and black fruits, new leather, chocolate, and loamy earth. It’s medium to full-bodied, elegant, and nicely textured on the palate, with integrated tannins and a great finish.Jeb Dunnuck | 91 JDA blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 1% each Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Floral, dusty and herbal on the nose. The palate is energetic and lively with notes of pomegranates, red currants and eucalyptus. Crisp, and linear on the finish. Authentically rooted in a past era of Napa, and accurately represents the grace and subtlety that Stags Leap District is capable of. Drinking Window 2022 - 2030.Decanter | 90 DEC

92
VM
As low as $95.00
2018 chimney rock cabernet sauvignon tomahawk vineyard California Red

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Tomahawk Vineyard is fabulous. Rich, dense and explosive, the Tomahawk possesses tremendous balance and class. Inky and resonant in the glass, the 2018 builds over time as the layers open. Raspberry jam, blood orange, mint, cinnamon, cedar and new leather add the closing shades of complexity. In 2018, the Tomahawk is a drop-dead gorgeous beauty.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGPlanted in 2002, this site produces a wine more dark-fruited and lush than the Ganymede bottling. Aged in 75% new French oak. Blackcurrants, wet cedar and fennel on the nose. The texture of the palate is stunning, splitting the difference between plush, coating, lifted and graceful. Explosive on the finish, where purple fruits combine with a clean, chalky, subtly-abrasive finish. A fantastic wine all the way around, and one to enjoy for the next two decades.Drinking Window 2022 - 2040.Decanter | 95 DECThe 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Tomahawk has a deep garnet-purple color, slowly unfurling to reveal notes of baked plums, blueberry preserves and warm cassis with an undercurrent of lavender, bouquet garni, black tea and fungi. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers mouth-coating black fruit preserves and earthy layers, supported by ripe, plush tannins and just enough freshness, finishing savory.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPPowerful and earthy, this wine shows red and black cherry and currant flavors on a crisp, textured palate. Clove, cinnamon and dried herb play around the edges of elegant tannin structure and generous oak.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WE

97
VM
As low as $139.00
2021 Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five Stags Leap District

More Cabernet-dominated, the 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five checks in as 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Merlot, and a splash of Malbec. It has incredible purity in its cassis, graphite, lead pencil, and camphor on the nose and a concentrated, medium to full-bodied, layered style on the palate that stays tighter and more compact than the TD-9.Jeb Dunnuck | 96 JDThis sophisticated and concentrated wine wraps lovely dark plums, blueberries and cocoa flavors in velvety tannins that are well-integrated and soothing, while still setting the wine up for a potentially long life. Subtle baking spices, espresso and cedar accents enhance the impressive fruit flavors. Best from 2027–2037.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WEDeep garnet-purple in color, the 2021 One Point Five needs a little coaxing to bring out notes of crushed blueberries, juicy plums; and warm cassis plus nuances of licorice, cumin seed, and incense. The big, rich, full-on full-bodied palate packs a wallop of black and blue fruit, supported by ripe, plush tannins and bold freshness, finishing with great length.The Wine Independent | 95 TWIThe 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five is a very beautiful wine and also the first edition that marks the move towards a more serious Cabernet. Black cherry, plum, gravel, spice, leather and tobacco are nicely pushed forward. The 2021 shows the mid-weight style of the year nicely. The One Point Five is mostly estate fruit, with some outside vineyards, including sources that are now owned by Shafer.Vinous Media | 94 VMBeautiful black and blue fruit on offer here with notes of violets, sea shell, iodine and graphite. Full-bodied, broad-shouldered and structured with super-fine and dense yet almost weightless tannins that push the depth of the wine, leading to a smooth, caressing finish. Try after 2026.James Suckling | 94 JSAn excellent wine, still arguably a decent value in the context of Napa Valley Cab, Shafer’s 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five features attractive aromas of ripe cherries, cedar and vanilla, plus hints of mocha and loam. Full-bodied, ripe and velvety, it offers more concentration, tannins and length than the winery’s TD-9. The question consumers will have to answer is whether it is worth the step up in price.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RP

95
TWI
As low as $119.00

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