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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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2006 sloan proprietary red California Red

The 2006 is performing even better from bottle than it did from barrel. Sloan and McClellan decided to bottle it later than usual, recognizing the rugged, tough tannins of the vintage could be sweetened up with longer barrel aging. Their strategy worked. The wine’s dense ruby/purple color is followed by notes of white chocolate, burning embers, creme de cassis, coffee, and scorched earth (think Haut-Brion or La Mission Haut-Brion). It possesses terrific structure, melted, well-integrated tannins, full body, and is already bursting with complexity. A great success, it is one of the vintage’s most thrilling wines. Drink it over the next 20-25 years.Robert Parker | 98+ RPAn extraordinary effort, very tightly wound with a wealth of detailed flavors, exhibiting tiers of black cherry, plum, currant, berry jam, cedar, cigar box, black licorice and tobacco leaf. Full-bodied and well-structured, ending with tapered flavors that retain their focus. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best from 2011 through 2025. 700 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WSLovely violets, gardenias, and orchids on the nose with hints of dark fruits. Full bodied with fine tannins and firmly structured. This starts off slow, but then it really takes off and gives and gives. Very delicate and pretty. Pull the cork after 2016. Find the wineJames Suckling | 93 JS(70% cabernet sauvignon, 25% merlot and 5% cabernet franc) Full ruby-red. Superripe aromas of dark berries, hot stones, tobacco, bitter chocolate and licorice. Very ripe, broad and plush in the mouth, even a bit chunky, with black fruit, mocha, roast coffee, tar and licorice flavors coming across as a bit spiky today. Finishes with big, slightly tough tannins that call for at least five or six years of aging. "This vintage was more austere than either 2005 or 2007 early on," noted winemaker Martha McClellan, "and the tannins took longer to integrate." The wine was bottled barely a month before my visit.Vinous Media | 92+ VM

As low as $355.00
2008 sloan proprietary red California Red

The 2008 Sloan Estate is racy and totally elegant from start to finish. It shows gorgeous freshness and vibrancy in its expressive dark red fruit, flowers, licorice and tobacco. Today the 2008 comes across as a relatively understated, subdued vintage for this wine. It should be absolutely fabulous in another few years. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2028.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96+ RP(14.8% alcohol): Bright medium ruby. Pure and high-pitched if reticent on the nose, offering aromas of blackberry, licorice, violet, menthol and sweet oak lifted by an element of dusty stone. Wonderfully suave, fine-grained and light on its feet, with a sexy oak element complementing the black raspberry, mineral and spice flavors. Very dense but not at all heavy, showing terrific floral energy and a light touch for this bottling, with no sign of dehydrated berries. The fruit still conveys a distinctly primary character but the wine’s verve makes it delicious already--in fact, I’m tempted to say that anyone who doesn’t love this is a spoilsport or a masochist. Wonderfully harmonious wine with the underlying spine to support a long evolution in bottle. The substantial dusty tannins show some obvious new oak.Vinous Media | 95 VMA rich, maturing Napa cabernet sauvignon with rich redcurrant-jelly character and a lot of subtle notes, ranging from cedar to savory chocolate caramel. Then comes a much more serious structure on the palate than the nose suggested, the tannins firm but well integrated. Long finish with some mineral character. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 93 JS

As low as $395.00
2010 sloan proprietary red California Red

The 2010 Proprietary Red is very deep garnet colored with a hint of purple. It offers up wonderfully bold, expressive notes of crème de cassis, black cherry compote and mincemeat pie with wafts of bay leaves, incense, Chinese five spice and hoisin plus wafts of chargrill and yeast extract. Full-bodied, rich and opulent, the palate is laden with layer upon layer of exotic spice-laced black fruits with a firm yet plush frame and very long finish with some licorice notes coming through.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPFull medium ruby. Very ripe but reticent scents of black fruits, minerals, mocha, espresso and spices. Voluptuous and plush on entry, saturating the palate with a slightly unrefined wave of black fruits, minerals and mocha. This outsized, full-bodied, plummy wine shows lovely mineral verve, surprisingly restrained sweetness and a complicating saline element. Finishes with sumptuous, building tannins and terrific plum and graphite persistence. This wine is ripe enough to give great pleasure now but I’d still hold my bottles for the tannins to be further absorbed. It certainly has the stuffing to go on for many more years.Vinous Media | 94 VMA big and rich red with black currant and blueberry and chocolate. Full and vast. A more typical Napa cab of the period. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 94 JS

As low as $565.00

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