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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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2016 vinehouse napa valley cabernet sauvignon howell mountain California Red

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is plush and super-expressive right out of the gate. Inky dark fruit, gravel, spice and juniper berries. There is a ton of character here. Black cherry, game, smoke, licorice, tobacco and incense all build in a potent, savory Cabernet that delivers the goods. This is one of the most distinctive Howell Mountain Cabernet wines I have tasted in some time.Antonio Galloni | 94 AG

94
VM
As low as $74.99
2017 dunn cabernet sauvignon howell mtn California Red

The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is sure to make Dunn fans happy. Powerful and ample, it marries the natural intensity of the year with the savoriness that makes Howell Mountain Cabernets so distinctive. Dark blue/purplish fruit, graphite, spice, leather, dried herbs and lavender imbue the 2017 with striking intensity and character. I can’t wait to see how it ages. The 2017 is a positively stunning edition of the Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGAlready more open than the 2018 Howell Mountain, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain boasts slightly piney, resinous herb notes—thyme and rosemary—along with classic cassis and blueberry fruit. Yes, there’s a cedary coat of oak, but the fruit comes through loud and clear, adding a rich, velvety textural component and mouthwatering berry flavors on the lingering finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96+ RPFresh ripe cassis, blackberry and plum fruit flavors course through, carried by tar and apple wood notes that are well-embedded, giving this a muscular but sleek feel. Features a great tug of dark earth and licorice snap on the palate-staining finish.Wine Spectator | 95 WSFrom a challenging vintage due to heat spikes and devastating wildfires, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain nevertheless is a terrific wine. Giving up lots of darker currant and cassis fruits as well as scorched earth, graphite, and obvious minerality, it’s medium to full-bodied, has good overall balance, chalky, slightly drying tannins, and a good finish. It should evolve for another decade at least, but the tannins will need to be watched.Jeb Dunnuck | 92 JD

97
VM
As low as $169.00
2018 dunn vineyards cabernet sauvignon howell mountain California Red

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is elegant, deep and classy. Inky dark purplish fruit, savory herbs, menthol, licorice and spice. The purity of the fruit is remarkable today. There is plenty of youthful Howell Mountain tannin, so readers will have to be patient. Bright floral accents lift the red/purplish berry fruit nicely. This is such an expressive, alluring Cabernet.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGRipe and very juicy, with a youthfully compact set of plum, boysenberry and blackberry compote flavors wrapped in licorice and violet notes. This is both racy and grippy, showing serious power but with the freshness and drive to match. Delivers a long, iron accent that scores the fruit through the finish. Best from 2024 through 2040. 3,523 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThe 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is a typically long-term proposition, coated in dusty tannins and cedary oak. It will take time for the cassis, blueberry and slightly pine-scented backbone of this wine to emerge, as for the moment it’s almost difficult to taste. Yes, the concentration is present, the tannins are almost silky-ripe, but the structure of this medium to full-bodied wine is unassailable. Hands off for at least five years, and probably more, to judge by how past vintages have evolved.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95+ RP

97
VM
As low as $185.00
2019 dunn vineyards cabernet sauvignon howell mountain California Red

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is outrageously beautiful. A wine of extraordinary purity, the 2019 dazzles right out of the gate. The tannins are nearly silky for a young Howell Mountain Cabernet. Red/purplish fruit, lavender, spice, rose petal and pomegranate all build in this sumptuous, explosive Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2019 is one of the most elegant Cabernets I have tasted here, and that is saying something What a wine!Vinous Media | 98 VMLushly fruited, this sends waves of crushed plum, boysenberry compote and blackberry paste out from the core, with a strong undercurrent of cast iron and smoldering tobacco to boot. Grippy and dense, but with a sense of polish and a note of purity in the guise of a pretty violet echo. Best from 2025 through 2040. 3,750 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WS

98
VM
As low as $189.00
2019 pas de cheval cabernet sauvignon finale California Red

From a higher elevation site on this great Mountain terroir in the northeastern part of the valley, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is classic Howell Mountain with a closed, reductive, tight, and unyielding style that blossoms with time in the glass. Black and blue fruits, scorched earth, chalky minerality, violets, and brambly herbs define the bouquet, and it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a deep, layered mouthfeel, and serious amounts of tannin that will require 4-5 years to chill out. Nevertheless, it’s another beautiful, balanced, incredibly impressive wine from this lineup that readers will love. Hide bottles for at least 4-5 years and enjoy over the following two decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 96+ JD

96+
JD
As low as $249.00

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