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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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2012 larkmead cabernet sauvignon solari California Red

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Solari (100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 20 months in 70% new French oak) is even better than I thought last year. This spectacular wine boasts notes of white chocolate, hot gravel, crème de cassis, blackberries, licorice and forest floor. A subtle smoky barbecue character is noticeable in the background. This is a thrilling, full-bodied, majestic Cabernet Sauvignon to drink over the next 25-30 years, although its tannic structure suggests cellaring it for 2-5 years will be beneficial.Robert Parker | 99 RPThe 2012 Solari is a stunning wine based on 100% Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 20 months in 70% new French oak. As with most 2012s, it’s drinking brilliantly today and sports a youthful ruby/purple hue as well as a monster bouquet of crème de cassis, graphite, dried earth, licorice, and Asian spices. It’s rich and powerful, with plenty of underling structure, yet it stays weightless as well as seamless on the palate, with flawless balance. This is a brilliant, heavenly Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that will continue showing well for another two decades or more.Jeb Dunnuck | 99 JDA broad, rich, expansive expression of dark berry, currant, espresso and mocha, this hits all the right notes, with touches of savory herb and tobacco leaf. Most impressive on the lingering finish, where the flavors run deep. Drink now through 2030. 1,090 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WSA wine with sliced mushroom, bark and spice plus berry and dark chocolate. Full body with forest flower, bramble, and light earth. Powerful and rich. A wonderful expression of cabernet sauvignon from here. Pure cab. Available in November. Give it two or three years to soften. Try in 2017.James Suckling | 95 JSGraphite, smoke, licorice, incense, game and black fruit race across the palate in the 2012 Solari. This is an especially explosive, structured wine for the vintage, with superb balance and the density to support years of exceptional drinking. Black cherries, plums, game and tobacco reappear on the huge finish. This is a rare 2012 that demands patience.Antonio Galloni | 94+ AG

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