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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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2014 Dana Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Onda

One of the most serious Ondas I have had. Medium to full body and firm and polished tannins. Very long and poised. Excellent length. Fabulous focus and beauty. This needs two or three years to soften, but it’s already superb. Try in 2022.James Suckling | 97 JSThe 2014 Onda, from Dana’s Crystal Springs vineyard, is a very beautiful wine. Bright red stone fruit and lifted, floral aromatics are the two main signatures. At the same time, the 2014 has plenty of depth. Chocolate, raspberry jam, mint and rose petal notes infuse the deep, fleshy finish. This is a striking, modern Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon endowed with real class and pedigree. This is a very serious second wine, if it can be called that.Vinous Media | 94 VMTheir blended wine, Onda, comes from all of their vineyard sites, and is essentially a second wine culled from the single-vineyards. The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Onda, which sees 19 months in about 54% new French oak, has turned out much more compelling than I thought last year. Loads of blueberry and blackberry fruit with a hint of creosote, wood spice and camphor are offered in this deep, medium to full-bodied, layered and voluptuously textured wine. It is pure, sexy and ideal for drinking over the next 15+ years.Robert Parker | 93 RPMoving to the 2014s, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Onda is a blend of all the single vineyards and is a great introduction into the wines of the estate. This medium to full-bodied, ripe, charming beauty boasts a saturated purple color, lots of cassis and red currant fruits, medium to full body, and terrific notes of dried herbs, tobacco, and licorice. It has the classic, balanced, elegant style of the vintage front and center.Jeb Dunnuck | 92 JD

As low as $159.00
2015 Dana Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Onda

This is a beautiful Onda with a blackberry and hazelnut character with some mushroom and floral undertones. Even some minerality and hot stones. Wet cement, too. A gorgeous wine. One of the best Onda. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 96 JSContaining 3% Petit Verdot and 5% Merlot, bottled in May 2017, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Onda has a deep garnet-purple color and expressive nose of cassis, fresh plums and mulberries with touches of spice cake, violets and wild thyme. Medium to full-bodied, fine and refreshing in the mouth, it delivers loads of open-knit fruit and spice notions with great length.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPThe 2015 Onda is gorgeous. More than anything, the Onda will give readers a very good idea of what the vintage holds at Dana Estates. Ripe, sumptuous and silky on the palate, with terrific freshness and no excess weight, the Onda is absolutely beautiful in 2015. Sweet red and purplish fruit, lavender, rose petal and mint all give the wine freshness. This is a gorgeous, utterly irresistible wine from Dana Estates. Dollops of Merlot and Petit Verdot round out the blend.Vinous Media | 93 VMMoving to the current releases, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Onda is a full-bodied, ripe, yet also elegant red that shows the vintage nicely. More upfront and powerful than the 2014, it gives up lots of blue fruits (blueberries, cassis), lavender, and tobacco notes, has ripe tannins, good concentration, and outstanding length.Jeb Dunnuck | 93 JD

As low as $169.00
2016 dana estates cabernet sauvignon lotus vyd California Red

With more minerality as well as a bloody, iron character, the perfect 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Lotus Vineyard is 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot that saw 27 months in new French oak barrels. Incredible notes of blackcurrants, graphite, tobacco, Asian spices, and dried herbs all emerge from this full-bodied, ultra-pure, layered, and just incredible wine that tops out my scale. Coming from a vineyard at the base of Howell Mountain and aged in 90% new French oak, it has the class to offer pleasure even today yet is going to benefit from 7-8 years of bottle age and keep for 3-4 decades. It’s one of the greatest young Cabernets I’ve ever tasted.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDThe 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Lotus Vineyard is the most powerful and backward of the three single-vineyard Cabernets at Dana. Brisk and finely cut, the 2016 captures a stunning interplay of freshness, structure and vibrancy. Readers will have to be patient, as the 2016 is going to need a number of years to be at its very best. Even in the early going, though, it is pretty memorable. Gravel, sage, menthol, crushed flowers and white pepper add aromatic nuance to a brooding, tannic Cabernet Sauvignon built for the cellar.Vinous Media | 100 VMThe 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Lotus Vineyard is made up of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon (clones 4 and 15) and 3% Petit Verdot. It fermented 46% in oak tanks, 38% in concrete and 16% in barrels. It was on the skins for 28 to 43 days and aged in French oak barrels for 27 months. Deep garnet-purple in color, it is a little shy to begin, before opening up with provocative lilacs, cinnamon stick, cloves and underbrush over a core of blackcurrant cordial, preserved plums and Black Forest cake plus a waft of cast-iron pan. Full-bodied, the palate is an exercise in grace, with wonderfully harmonious perfumed black fruit framed by very fine-grained tannins and bags of freshness, finishing very long.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 99 RPThis is a very solid red showing an impressive, vertical line of tannins and acidity with blackberry and blueberry character. Full body, a cylinder of fruit and chewy yet polished tannins. Extremely persistent. Needs three or four years to come together. Try after 2022.James Suckling | 98 JS

As low as $645.00
2018 dana estates cabernet sauvignon vaso California Red

Gorgeous aromas of blackberries, currants and plums with some spices. Walnuts and chocolate, too. Full-to medium-bodied with very fine tannins and delicious, succulent fruit, as well as hints of herbs. Some stemmy character. So balanced and delicious. 90% cabernet sauvignon, 5% merlot, 4% malbec and 1% petite verdot. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 95 JSThe 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Vaso is cut from the same cloth, offering beautiful purity and richness. It’s slightly more pure and darker than the spicier 2017 and has notes of cassis, redcurrants, dark chocolate, tobacco, and violets. Full-bodied on the palate, it has silky tannins, terrific overall balance, and just loads of character and charm. It’s in the running for the greatest Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon under $100.Jeb Dunnuck | 94 JDThe 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Vaso is a potent, somewhat burly wine. It will need a few years to help the tannins soften. There is plenty of weight and power. Time in the glass helps the aromatics open, but the 2018 is not an easygoing wine from Dana. It needs a bit of time.-Antonio Galloni | 90 AG

As low as $89.95

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