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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 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
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
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 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 Peter Michael Les Pavots

The 2021 Les Pavots is a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot. It’s a beautiful wine you could drink now or stash in the cellar, with a concentrated, broody yet polished profile. It has pure scents of blueberry liqueur, lilac, cast iron, grilled meats and soy sauce plus hints of wild thyme and truffle. The full-bodied palate offers a structural balance of clay-textured tannins and bright acidity, deriving its power from its sheer depth of dark fruit, and it has a long, detailed finish. 2,769 cases were made, and the Les Pavots will be released in February of 2024.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPThe blackberry and sage character comes through clearly, with some orange blossoms, graphite, dried tomatoes, green tobacco and stone. A rich and juicy red with lots of berry and chocolate character, with a full body and layered rich tannins. It’s flavorful yet hemmed in with firm yet rounded tannins. Muscular. 62% cabernet sauvignon, 25% cabernet franc, 7% merlot, and 6% petit verdot. This needs four or five years to come together and show its true self. Best after 2028.James Suckling | 97 JS

As low as $249.00
2021 Ramey Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard

The Ritchie Vineyard would be a grand cru if Sonoma was Burgundy, and Ramey offers one of the best renditions of it. Gorgeous, vibrant fruit melds with a pronounced minerality. There are stony and spicy nuances on a great structure of racy acidity. No hurry to drink this wine; it will gain even more complexity and layers with time. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 96 JSThe 2021 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard is fabulous. A Chardonnay of stature and textural finesse, the 2021 is super-expressive right out of the gate. There’s gorgeous oiliness and nuance here. Ritchie is one of the great sites in the Russian River Valley. Vibrant mineral notes play off the wine’s notable richness. This is a fine example.Vinous Media | 94 VMThere’s good energy to the lemon sherbet, pear, lime zest and pineapple flavors at the core of this sleek, vibrant white, offering notes of white flowers, dried ginger and vetiver, plus a mouthwatering thread of saline and lemongrass on the long, expansive finish. Drink now through 2033. 455 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WSDavid Ramey’s 2021 Chardonnay from the Ritchie Vineyard is made from some of the oldest chardonnay vines in California, as these were planted all the way back in 1972, with most of the vines being Wente clones. The wine is fermented with native yeasts and aged in twenty percent new oak for its twenty months of élevage, prior to bottling without filtration. The bouquet is deep, complex and classy, offering up scents of pear, golden delicious apple, hazelnut, complex minerality, gently musky floral tones, orange zest and a refined foundation of buttery oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, focused and complex, with superb depth at the core, lovely soil inflection, a bright girdle of acidity and a long, poised and beautifully balanced finish. This is outstanding chardonnay! (Drink between 2024 - 2040)John Gilman | 93+ JG

As low as $84.99

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