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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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2019 seven apart cabernet sauvignon expedition California Red

This is the second vintage from Seven Apart—a blend coming from Stag’s Ridge vineyard, located up on Atlas Peak, and Base Camp vineyard, located seven miles down the mountain (hence the name). The winemaker here is Andy Erickson, formerly at Screaming Eagle and Harlan Estate and currently also consulting winemaker at Dalla Valle (among others). The upper vineyard (Stag’s Ridge) is planted to mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, with small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Seven miles down the road, where Soda Canyon Road meets the Silverado Trail, is the four-acre Base Camp vineyard, planted in the mid-1990s to Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Base Camp was planted in 1994 and 1998.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98+ RPToasted oak on the nose, with nutmeg, white spice, gingerbread and fresh linseed nuttiness. This is followed by dark berry fruit aromas seeping through together with more subtle florals (hibiscus) and a touch of fresh Cabernet leaf. Full-bodied palate held in check by seamlessly tight-knit tannins, there is a concentration of ripe black berries, currants, plump blueberries and a hint of ripe strawberry. Restrained at this youthful stage, the elegant oak mantle is firmly in place and unresolved. The level of acidity is well matched to the fruit ripeness and intensity, thanks to the mountain-top fruit from the Stags Ridge vineyard component, ensuring there is no hint of heat despite the 15% alcohol. There is an appealing lightness and energy to this wine despite its compact fruit core and oak barrel frame. Very elegant wine with no overbearing elements, finely tuned, refined, still a little reticent. It needs three or four years to find its feet but will age beautifully over two decades or more. Cru Classé Margaux-esque in its finesse, but with that signature, powerful, inimitable California fruit sweetness at its heart.Decanter | 96 DECThe 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Expedition is a blend from vineyards on Atlas Peak and the lower slopes of the Soda Canyon property near the Silverado Trail. A big wine, the Expedition offers up an exciting mélange of dark fruit, crushed rocks, game, licorice and scorched earth. Imposing tannins need time to soften, but the 2019 seems to have the balance to allow that to happen.Vinous Media | 94 VMThe 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Expedition functions as the entry level cuvée for this estate and is 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Merlot and Petit Verdot. Darker berries, tobacco, and dried herbs all flow to a medium to full-bodied, round, supple, incredibly satisfying Cabernet that’s perfect for drinking over the coming decade.Jeb Dunnuck | 93 JDA ripe and juicy red with notes of blackcurrants, vanilla, graphite and sage. Full-bodied and dry with delicious fruit and bright acidity. Big and polished tannin structure and long mineral finish. Try in 2022.James Suckling | 92 JSThis is a dusty, grippy and youthful wine, intensely built to show power and full-bodied form. The considerable tannins form a foundation for dense blue fruit, tobacco and cigar box to play, with a finishing touch of dried herb adding to the complexity. Wine Enthusiast | 91 WE

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