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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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2015 booker vineyard oublie 22 California Red

Composed of 38% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache, 23% Syrah and 9% Counoise, the 2015 Oublie 22 has six extra months in barrel compared to the straight Oublie cuvée. With a medium garnet-purple color, it reveals expressive black cherries, dried mulberries and raspberry preserves notes with a spice box and garrigue undercurrent, plus a waft of tapenade. Full-bodied, concentrated and with tons of spices developing in the mouth, it has a chewy frame and plenty of freshness, finishing on a berry preserves note.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPThe extended aged version of the Oublie, the 2015 Oublie 22 (38% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache, 23% Syrah and 9% Counoise) spent 22 months in barrel and sports a slightly deeper color as well as notes of black cherries, graphite, cured meats, pepper and assorted butcher shop-like notes. It’s slightly more concentrated than the base cuvée, its tannin is slightly more polished, and it will also evolve slightly longer.Jeb Dunnuck | 95 JD Structured and stylish, with floral garrigue, crushed stone and blackberry accents that build power and richness toward big but refined tannins.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

95
JD
As low as $67.99
2019 daou cabernet sauvignon California Red

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with 10% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc and aged 10 months in 60% new French oak. Deep ruby-purple in color, it opens with notes of rose petal perfume, cinnamon and garrigue with a core of black and red currant fruit and meaty, savory undertones. The palate is medium-bodied, silky and elegant with fresh, uplifted flavors and a lovely array of spices lingering on the finish. This is an excellent value!Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92 RPThis is big and rich. Plum, chocolate and dried fruit on the nose and palate. Full-bodied and velvety with a juicy finish. Opulent, yet fresh. Drinkable now, but better in 2025.James Suckling | 92 JSCedar oil, charred cherry and tobacco aromas make for a dense, heady nose in this bottling. Chiseled tannins frame the roasted black cherry, cola and coffee flavors on the rich and hearty palate, which is powerful while still maintaining structure.Wine Enthusiast | 92 WEThe base appellation 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon sports a ruby/purple hue as well as a spicy, complex nose of red and black fruits, spicy oak, dried flowers, and tobacco. This charming, elegant, seamless wine has lots of fruit, notable balance, and a great finish.Jeb Dunnuck | 90 JD

92
RP
As low as $39.95
2019 levo 2 2 tango grenache California Red

The 2019 Grenache 2 2 Tango is terrific. A blend of 76% Grenache, 15% Graciano, and the rest Syrah, sourced from multiple sites throughout the Central Coast (mostly Ballard Canyon), it has a cool, lively, incredibly elegant style to go with textbook Grenache notes of red and blue fruits, ground pepper, and herbes de Provence. It has fabulous purity of fruit, and I’m a fan. Drink bottles over the coming 7-8 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 95 JDThe 2019 Grenache 2 2 Tango is a blend of Grenache, Graciano and Syrah. Boisterous and racy in the glass, the 2019 has a lot going on. Bright red berry/plum fruit, licorice and spice all open in the glass. This is an exuberant style, but the tannins are pretty fierce. Give it a year to soften.Antonio Galloni | 91 AG

95
JD
As low as $49.95
2019 levo 2 2 tango petite sirah California Red

The 2019 Petite Sirah 2 2 Tango is dense purple-hued and has an assortment of black and blue fruits as well as bouquet garni and sappy herb notes. With full-bodied richness, a monster of a mid-palate, remarkable purity, and a great, great finish, it’s a brilliant Petite Sirah that should evolve for a solid decade in cold cellars. The blend is 77% Petite Sirah, 14% Graciano, and 9% Syrah, aged in 69% new French oak.Jeb Dunnuck | 96 JDThe 2019 Petite Syrah 2 2 Tango is mostly Stolpman and a touch of Rancho Boa Vista, both in Ballard Canyon. Inky dark fruit, chocolate, licorice, spice and menthol saturate the palate. The 2019 has plenty of Petite intensity, but with tannins that have been expertly managed. There is a lot to look forward to.Antonio Galloni | 92-94 AG

96
JD
As low as $49.95
2019 levo 2 2 tango syrah California Red

In the same ballpark quality-wise, the 2019 Syrah 2 2 Tango (89% Syrah and 11% Graciano) is riper and more exotic, with lots of violets, bay leaf, game, and peppery notes as well as a core of dark fruits. Full-bodied, balanced, and just impeccably put together, it’s a seriously good Syrah to enjoy over the coming 7-8 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 94 JDThe 2019 Syrah 2 2 Tango is a gorgeous, sumptuous wine that marries fruit from top sources in Ballard Canyon and Willow Creek. Juicy plum, black cherry, plum, chocolate, licorice and spice are all kicked up. Readers will find an exuberant, open-knit wine that is ready to deliver the goods.Antonio Galloni | 93 AG

94
JD
As low as $49.95
2019 levo chardonnay onomatopoeia California White

The 2019 Onomatopoeia is all Chardonnay from the cooler Edna Valley, and it’s a bright, medium-bodied, beautifully balanced white offering classic citrus and lemon fruits, notes of sappy herbs, vibrant acidity, and a great finish. Aged 14 months in 48% concrete eggs, 26% in new barrels, and the rest in neutral oak, bottled unfined and unfiltered, it’s incredibly impressive.Jeb Dunnuck | 94 JDThe 2019 Chardonnay Onomatopoeia is creamy, open-knit and inviting, all of which make it a good choice for drinking now and over the next few years. Lees stirring and full malolactic fermentation add textural richness. Hints of apricot, lemon confit, sage and chamomile linger.Antonio Galloni | 91 AG

94
JD
As low as $49.95

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