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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 mount eden vineyards estate pinot noir santa cruz mountains California Red

Crushed stone, lit gunpowder, peppery herbs, sassafras, violets, and assorted red and black fruits all emerge from the 2018 Pinot Noir Estate, a brilliant release from this estate that’s medium-bodied, has bright yet integrated acidity, beautiful balance, and a great, great finish. It’s young and unevolved (yet it’s already complex) and will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age, but this is a gorgeous California Pinot Noir on every level. It’s going to drink well for over two decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 95+ JDThe 2015 Pinot Noir has softened nicely since I last tasted it, although the aromatics remain a bit reticent, most likely because of the 35% whole clusters used that year. There is lovely richness and depth underneath, but readers will have to cellar the 2015 for at least a few years in order to see the wine at its best and most complete.Antonio Galloni | 94 AGBlack-plum, incense, black-cherry and root-beer aromas show on the nose of this bottling from a regional standard bearer. Sandalwood and mahogany flavors make for a woody palate, where the dark-plum and purple-flower flavors cling to a firm tension.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WE

95+
JD
As low as $64.99
2018 thomas fogarty pinot noir santa cruz mountains California Red

This winery makes some of the more exciting wines in California right now, and this appellation blend offers a more affordable look at the style. Aromas of black raspberry, thyme, lavender and rose petals lead into a taut, energetic and expansive palate of fresh fruit and flower flavors. Brisk acidity pumps to the finish.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEThe 2018 Pinot Noir (Santa Cruz Mountains) is fabulous. Dark, deep and exquisitely layered, the appellation Pinot shows just how outstanding 2018 is. There is so much to admire. Time in the glass brings out myriad shades of red/purplish berry fruit, spice, licorice, menthol, sage and blood orange. What a wine!Vinous Media | 93 VM

95
WE
As low as $39.99
2019 madson chardonnay arey vineyard California White

Extremely chalky on the nose, this bottling sizzles with aromas of yuzu pith, lemon juice and taut nectarine. A stony grip consumes the palate, which is like licking limestone, and then come sprinkles of lemongrass, lime leaf, white melon and white flower—a magical sip. Wine Enthusiast | 95 WE

95
WE
As low as $29.99

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