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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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2020 Peter Michael Cabernet Sauvignon Au Paradis

Pouring an opaque red, the 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Au Paradis is lush and refined with aromas of cassis, espresso, violets, and sweet tobacco. Full-bodied, this refined profile continues on the palate, with a ripe, velvety texture, fine tannins, and notes of black cherry liqueur and mocha, as well as floral oils that last long on the palate without feeling heavy. Drink 2025-2045.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDBlended with 3% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc, the 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Au Paradis comes from a vineyard in Oakville near Dalla Valle, around 500-600 feet in elevation. It has a deep ruby-purple color and opens slowly to warm black plums, graphite and grilled peppers with wafts of cedar, chocolate and soy. The full-bodied palate offers plenty of freshness to support its concentrated, ripe fruit. It boasts generous, powdery tannins, alluring floral tones and a long, layered finish. Ripe yet balanced, it’s approachable right now. 1,401 cases were made, and it will be released in July of 2023.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPThis is a very refined and polished red, with redcurrant and spice, as well as black-pepper and flint undertones. It’s medium-bodied with refined tannins and a fresh, silky finish. All about finesse and polish. Drinkable now, but better after 2024.James Suckling | 95 JSThe 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Au Paradis is a powerful wine, its mid-weight structure notwithstanding. There’s good depth to the ripe dark plum, blackberry and chocolate flavors. The aromatics aren’t quite as focused as they usually are, but all things considered, this is a very good wine in a highly challenging year. About 40% of the wines were discarded, including much of the Franc, which is quite low in this vintage.Vinous Media | 92 VMForward, with a wave of crushed blueberry, açaí and blackberry fruit flavors that dominate the character, while touches of loam, licorice root and tobacco fill in on the broad, slightly grainy finish. Best from 2024 through 2034. 1,401 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

97
JD
As low as $239.00
2021 Peter Michael Chardonnay Ma Belle Fille

I tasted the 2021 Chardonnay Ma Belle Fille as a finished tank sample the day before it was bottled. Matured for 12 months in about 40% new French oak, it is youthfully gregarious at this stage, boasting scents of white peach, nutmeg, panna cotta and hints of lime candy and floral perfume. The medium-bodied palate is silky and seamless, with its focused acidity energizing the concentrated, spicy fruit, and it finishes with tremendous length, flavor and juiciness that begs you to take another sip. 1,661 cases were made. This will be released in July of 2023.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96-98 RPPouring a youthful yellow hue with silver highlights, the 2021 Chardonnay Ma Belle-Fille is ripe with fresh apricot, orange blossoms, and delicate baking spices. Full-bodied, with a fresh, clean texture, a rounded feel, and no harsh edges, the palate reveals fresh notes of cantaloupe, pithy citrus, vanilla, and flowers. Drink 2023-2033.Jeb Dunnuck | 96 JDThe 2021 Chardonnay Ma Belle Fille is airy, gracious and classy. It is also one of the more understated wines in this range. Hints of apricot, chamomile, spice, mint and orange zest are beautifully lifted. The Belle Fille is very much on the delicate side for Peter Michael, largely a reflection of elevation, the highest on the property.Vinous Media | 95 VMStrikes remarkable balance between bright, fresh acidity and rich notes of lemon curd, mango puree, poached pear, dried pineapple and honeycomb on a sleek frame. Reveals hints of dried lemon grass and pineapple sage on the fresh, aromatic finish. Drink now through 2032. 1,661 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WS

96
JD
As low as $135.00

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