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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 favia cabernet sauvignon California Red

Readers looking for a killer Cabernet that won’t break the bank should check out the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Carbone from Favia. This dense purple-hued beauty boasts classic cassis and blueberry-like fruit intermixed with lots of tobacco, lead pencil shavings, violets, and spring flower nuances. These carry to a medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced, elegant Cabernet with a great mid-palate and the class to evolve for 10-15 years. It’s well worth seeking out.Jeb Dunnuck | 94 JDThe 2018 Carbone Cabernet Sauvignon is a bright, effusive wine. Sweet red berry fruit, mocha and a whole range of floral/savory aromatics burst from the glass. Medium in body and inviting, the 2018 drinks well now, but it also has the vibrancy to develop nicely in bottle. Carbone is the second wine of Favia.Vinous Media | 92 VM

As low as $199.00
2019 favia cerro sur California Red

A new addition to the Place de Bordeaux this year - the eponymous project of husband and wife duo; viticulturist Annie Favia and winemaker Andy Erickson. A beautifully scented nose full of rose and violet touches, the Cabernet Franc nuances leap from the glass - fresh and minty, full of herbal sun-kissed ripe fruit but pristinely delivered. Smooth and driving on the palate, crunchy, crisp flavours give a real bite to the palate - red berries, blackcurrants and raisins, all nicely integrated and balanced. This doesn’t feel super worked and polished, instead it gives crystalline iron-minerality, lifted acidity and fragrance throughout - real signatures of the terroir and the minimal interventionist winemaking style - the grapes speak more than the winemaking. I just love the sense of wildness, a smoked touch with blue fruits, Asian spices and slightly angular tannins but with ripe fruit giving the body and cool acidity giving the freshness. A stunning wine and welcome addition to the Place. Ageing in French oak barrels (50% new).Decanter | 100 DECFrom a north-facing site at elevation, the 2019 Cerro Sur is a bold, savory wine loaded with energy. This Cabernet Franc-based wine is bursting with tension. Floral, spice and mocha accents lend striking aromatic top notes. I am so impressed with the wine’s elegance and total sense of finesse. This is an especially savory wine with strong cool-climate aromas and flavors that are so captivating.Vinous Media | 98 VMThis mostly cabernet franc shows intriguing character of tar, graphite, ink and black berries, following through to a medium to full body with layered and slightly dusty tannins and a succulent finish. So drinkable now, but will improve with age.James Suckling | 97 JSComing from a higher elevation site in Coombsville and mostly Cabernet Franc, the 2019 Cerro Sur has a complex, gorgeous nose of pure cassis, currant buds, flowers, and chocolate. This red, blue, and black fruited beauty is medium to full-bodied, with silky tannins and flawless balance. Brought up in 50% new French oak, it’s an incredible 2019 readers will absolutely love. It will evolve for upwards of two decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDSuperjuicy and vivid, with lots of up-front violet, cassis and plum pâte de fruit notes backed by tasty licorice and sweet spice. Toasted finish, but the fruit wins out easily, with a flash of sweet bay leaf adding nice range. Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2036. 250 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WSComing in at more than 70% Cabernet Franc—and aged in 50% new French oak—the 2019 Cerro Sur Red Wine is vaguely herbal, with black tea-like notes and hints of sage accenting black cherries and plums. Medium to full-bodied, silky and fine, this displays the hallmark Favia Erickson traits of balance and elegance—there’s absolutely nothing out of place here.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RP

As low as $269.00
2019 Favia Cabernet Sauvignon Coombsville

Wonderful aromas of blue fruit, black olives and violets. Lead pencil throughout. Crushed stones, too. Hints of mint and seaweed. Full-bodied with tannins that spread across the palate. It starts off with a bang, with tannins that take you deep into the wine. It’s endless on the finish. It goes on for minutes. Velvet and polished texture. Better after 2026.James Suckling | 99 JSThe 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Coombsville is a blend mostly from Meteor. A stunning wine, the 2019 possesses off the charts richness and tremendous depth that just builds with time in the glass. Inky dark fruit, plum, spice, licorice, menthol and crushed berries saturate the palate. The 2019 is one of the very finest wines I have ever tasted from Andy Erickson and Annie Favia. Don’t miss it.Vinous Media | 98 VMErickson makes some of the greatest wines from the Coombsville appellation, and his 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Coombsville is a great example of the quality he’s able to achieve. Darker currants, blue fruits, tobacco, lead pencil, and violets notes all define the bouquet, and I always find a certain Saint-Julien-like quality from this appellation, which is present here. Full-bodied, with a great mid-palate, some chocolaty oak, and velvety tannins, this is another rich yet powerful Cabernet Sauvignon that will benefit from just short term-cellaring and cruise for two decades in cold cellars.Jeb Dunnuck | 97+ JDA new addition to the Place de Bordeaux this year - the eponymous project of husband and wife duo; viticulturist Annie Favia and winemaker Andy Erickson. This is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Coombsville reflecting the gravelly, volcanic terroir and proximity to San Pablo Bay with a minimal interventionist practise. Powerful and expressive nose, extremely aromatic, but feels direct and quite detailed. Juicy and alive, you feel the life pulsing through this wine, it’s got depth of flavour but the texture is light graceful piercing almost with a sharp crisp tang that is so thrilling. The acidity is there giving life and joy to the blackcurrant and berry fruits and this has such detail and nuance in the savoury earthy edges; smoked meats, liquorice, dark chocolate dusting, iodine-soy saltiness, strawberry tang and long finish. Well structured, with balance and elegance and lovely details throughout. So much character here.Decanter | 96 DECAromas of pencil shavings, dried sage and blueberry appear on the nose of the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Coombsville. All Cabernet Sauvignon blended from three area vineyards, it’s medium to full-bodied, concentrated, dense and savory. Firmly built, with a couple of decades ahead of it, it’s a super effort.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPDelivers deliciously punchy blackberry, açaí and fig paste enlivened with apple wood, dried anise and warm cast iron notes. This has serious cut and drive through the finish, too, as the fruit sails through. Best from 2023 through 2036. 446 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WS

As low as $269.00
2020 favia carbone chardonnay California White

A beautiful chardonnay with cooked apple, dried mango and mineral character with a pumice undertone. It’s full-bodied with solid tension and a curated finish. Extremely polished and focused. Tensioned. No malo. Made from organic grapes. Drink now.James Suckling | 94 JSThe aromas are restrained but compelling, influenced perhaps by the herb gardens that grow alongside the vineyard. There is chamomile and verbena together with just a hint of the apricot and mango of ripe California Chardonnay. The palate is equally restrained, refreshingly steely, with a sinewy backbone of acidity supporting ripe yellow tree fruit. Malolactic fermentation was blocked but a plushness exists to the texture from battonage and there is a definite sensation of spongy compression on the mid palate, generous and delicious. The finish is pure-fruited and long. This is a lovely, refreshing wine to drink right now, light on its feet but sinewy as a dancer.Decanter | 94 DECFresh and expressive, featuring Honeycrisp apple, yuzu and lemon blossom flavors that show hints of marzipan and nutmeg, this white offers wonderful restraint and focus. The long, juicy finish reveals a hint of fresh-grated ginger. Drink now through 2030. 1,609 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WSThe 2020 Chardonnay Carbone is terrific. Coming from older vines (planted in 1988), it has a pretty, perfumed nose of lemon curd, ripe melon, and white flowers, as well as a subtle tropical edge. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, with a solid spine of acidity and a great finish. It shines for its purity and elegance while still bringing good depth of fruit and concentration.Jeb Dunnuck | 93 JDThe 2020 Chardonnay Carbone is sourced from old vines in the Berry Lane vineyard in Coombsville, right next to the Carbone winery. The blocked malo style yields a Chardonnay built on brightness and energy, with lovely citrus, floral and savory accents. This is such a gorgeous wine.Vinous Media | 92 VM

As low as $38.99

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