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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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2016 fisher cabernet sauvignon mountain estate vineyard California Red

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Mountain Estate Vineyard (84% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Merlot and Petit Verdot) spent 22 months in 80% new French oak. It has a more mineral-laced style as well as dark currants and cassis-like fruits, notes of smoked herbs and graphite, full body, building tannins, and a great finish. There’s a touch of this liqueur of rock like minerality that comes out with air and it’s a powerful, structured wine that reminds me of what Leoville Las Cases would make from Napa. Hide bottle for 4-5 years and drink it over the coming two decades or more.Jeb Dunnuck | 96+ JDThe 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Mountain Estate Vineyard is a dark, brooding wine. A terrific example of Sonoma Cabernet, the 2016 possesses superb textural richness and intensity to match its dark, somber profile. An infusion of inky dark fruit, gravel, smoke, iron, game, dark spice, leather and licorice runs through this super expressive, rugged Cabernet Sauvignon from the Fisher family’s Spring Mountain estate.Antonio Galloni | 94 AGA tight, chewy red with blackberry and dark-chocolate aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, layered and rich. Flavorful finish. Shows mountain firmness. Drink in 2022 and onwards.James Suckling | 94 JSDeep ruby-purple, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Mountain Estate Vineyard opens with gregarious crème de cassis, chocolate-covered cherries, graphite, leather and spice box with notes of thyme, turned earth and eucalyptus. Medium to full-bodied, it floods the mouth with intense, youthfully wound fruit, framed by grainy tannins and great freshness, finishing very long. This is vibrant and intense and will require another 3-5 years of bottle age. 952 cases produced.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93+ RP

As low as $87.99
2019 arista chardonnay ritchie vineyard California White

The 2019 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard is savory with fresh pine, lemon, and crushed stone. Its great concentration and full-bodied richness give way to a stony finish with notes of orange oil, pineapple, and spice. Drink it over the next 15 or more years.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDThe 2019 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard offers up an enticing mélange of white flowers, orchard fruit, mint and sage, along with light tropical inflections that add an exotic flair. Layered and exquisite in its beauty, the 2019 is the highlight in this flight of Chardonnays from Arista.Antonio Galloni | 93 AGNot shy on either richness or complexity, with showy spiced baked apple, candied ginger peel and dried orange zest flavors that show touches of dried pineapple and marmalade, all with vibrant acidity that keeps the flavors bright and focused. Drink now through 2030. 213 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

As low as $95.00
2019 vivier pinot noir gaps crown vineyard California Red

Feral, herbal and savory in forest and slate, this wine offers a freshness of raspberry, rose and white pepper, the structure complex and well integrated in terms of oak and tannin. Despite its light, elegant touch, it offers balanced weight and length.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEThe 2019 Pinot Noir Gap’s Crown Vineyard has a medium ruby color and bright aromas of red cherries and dried cranberries layered with nuances of decaying leaves, fresh mushrooms, cracked pepper and licorice. Medium-bodied, bright and juicy, the palate offers appealing, crunchy fruits, delicate earthy accents and a long, uplifted, spicy finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RP

As low as $67.99
2020 arista chardonnay ritchie vineyard California White

The 2020 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard comes from vines planted in the 1970s. It was matured for 12 months in 35% new French oak and finished with six months in stainless steel. This shows the impressive concentration and generosity that could have defined the style of the 2020 vintage before the wildfires hit. Youthful tones of crème brûlée and toast give way to citrus blossoms, lemongrass and apricot on the nose. The medium-bodied palate pairs generous, honeyed fruit and a luxurious, mouth-coating texture with laser-like acidity that compels you to take another sip, and although the Arista wines generally age well, there’s no reason to wait for this—drink it over the next 3-5+ years. 650 cases produced.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPLeans into tropical notes of pineapple and mango, with fresh citrus accents, an elegant, soft body and fresh acidity that gains momentum on the long, expressive finish, where a touch of toasted green tea and honeyed, toasted sesame lingers. Drink now. 650 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

As low as $99.99
2020 aubert park avenue vineyard chardonnay California White

The second vintage to be bottled under this vineyard designation—the vineyard was planted in 2016—Aubert’s 2020 Chardonnay Park Avenue is a lush, full-bodied effort loaded with ripe-tasting stone fruit, set against a backdrop of white nectarine and fresh lime juice. Plump and creamy in the mouth, expansive and generous, it finishes with a savory hint of mocha. Sandwiched between Lauren and CIX, it’s a parcel that should yield even greater wines as the vines age.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPSucculent and lush, with buttery nuances to the apple pastry, toasted hazelnut and mouthwatering Honeycrisp apple, tangerine and Meyer lemon flavors at the core. This wine’s flavors and complexity gain momentum, ultimately achieving wonderful harmony on the long finish. Drink now through 2028. 1,644 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WSA tight and linear chardonnay with dried apples, lemons, honey, sea salt, and white pepper. Medium body. Solid and beautiful. Candied lemons. Drink now.James Suckling | 94 JSThe 2020 Chardonnay Park Avenue is laced with the essence of dried pear, spice, lemon confit, apple tart, spice and a hint of new French oak. There’s lovely depth and density here, even if the wine narrows a bit through the mid-palate and into the finish.Vinous Media | 90-92 VM

As low as $339.00
2020 chanin chardonnay los alamos vineyard California White

The 2020 Chardonnay Los Alamos Vineyard opens with lemon and saline tones before blossoming to exotic streaks of panna cotta and honey. Medium-bodied, silky and richly fruited, it offers a balance of concentrated, ripe fruit on a bright, translucent frame and finishes with great length and anchoring texture.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPClassic high-quality Chardonnay notes of orchard fruits, classy oak, brioche, and honeysuckle all emerge from the 2020 Chardonnay Los Alamos Vineyard, a medium-bodied, pure, balanced, straight-up impressive white from this team. With plenty of mid-palate depth, it brings bright acidity, good precision and focus, and outstanding length, and while I like it today, I see no reason this won’t evolve for 7-8 years, if not over a decade.Jeb Dunnuck | 94 JDThe 2020 Chardonnay Los Alamos Vineyard is bright, airy and lifted. In this vintage, the Los Alamos Chardonnay has a bit more texture and mid-palate pliancy than is often the case. That’s not a bad thing at all. In fact, orchard fruit, white flowers, spice and tangerine oil build in the oily, beautifully textured finish.Antonio Galloni | 94 AGGavin Chanin’s Los Alamos chardonnay in 2020 is a departure from prior vintages, which are notable for their lean energy. This wine starts off with a rich attack, warm and fresh, bearing beautiful salted lemon fruit flavors. It’s the sort of wine that takes days to open, the richness and smokiness receding with air as the wine falls into an elegant balance.Wine & Spirits | 94 W&SLight pear flesh, lemon butter and chiseled sandstone aromas show on the nose of this bottling. Warmer flavors of pear flesh, lime juice and chalk make for a fresh, fun and approachable palate.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WE

As low as $49.99
2021 arnot-roberts red wine California Red

The 2021 Red Wine California is a new Bordeaux-based red wine that Duncan Arnot and Nathan Roberts made initially to take the place of the 2020 Cabernets that would have been released around this time but were compromised by smoke. The Red Wine was initially intended to be a fun project, but Arnot and Roberts may have stumbled into what is really a pretty serious red with real potential. The 2021 is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon (Massa, Bedrock and Gordenker), 20% Cabernet Franc (Persia) and 20% Merlot (Massa). A powerful, old-school wine, the 2021 is going to need a few years to shed some tannin. I loved it.Vinous Media | 95+ VM

As low as $64.99
2021 flowers chardonnay camp meeting ridge California White

This is very unique in character, with sliced apple, honeysuckle and lavender. Spearmint, too. It’s medium-bodied with some pine and cooked-apple character in the palate. Flavorful, yet sophisticated and thoughtful. Minerally, compact and focused. 31-year-old vines. Drink now.James Suckling | 96 JSPacks precise flavors of ripe peach, apricot and salted preserved lemon, with lime accents and a savory thread of minerality. Offers a vibrant mouthful of acidity that keeps the flavors in focus, while a hint of dried lemon verbena peeks in on the finish. Drink now through 2029. 1,400 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

As low as $95.00
2021 trail marker pinot noir santa cruz mountains California Red

The 2021 Pinot Noir (Santa Cruz Mountains) is a gorgeous wine that captures the essence of the house style. Bright, lifted and wonderfully transparent, the 2021 is all class. Sweet spice and citrus accents complement a core of bright red-toned fruit. Whole cluster accents add layers of nuance. This is such a gorgeous Pinot.Vinous Media | 93 VM

As low as $29.99

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