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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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2015 roederer estate lermitage brut anderson valley Sparkling

This is a powerful and dense sparkling wine that is first and foremost a classic-quality wine. And then you think about the bubbles. Full-bodied with lots of brioche, pie crust and bread dough. Great finish. Five years on the lees. 52% chardonnay and 48% pinot noir. Drink now.James Suckling | 97 JSThis grand, special-occasion wine is wonderfully complex and layered, but also powerful in the way its toasted walnut, Bosc pear and fresh bread flavors start out strong in the aroma and keep pumping on the palate and through a lingering finish. Nice and dry, tangy but mouthfilling, it’s a sophisticated indulgence. Best now to 2028.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WE(Roederer Estate “l’Ermitage” Brut Vintage (Anderson Valley)) The 2015 vintage of l’Ermitage has continued to open up nicely over the course of the last eight months since I last had the pleasure to drink the wine. It is certainly going to be one of the more powerful and long-lived vintages of this flagship bottling, but it is already quite open and enjoyable to drink in its relative youth. As is customary, the wine’s cépages is slightly tilted to chardonnay, with the blend being fifty-two percent chardonnay and forty-eight percent pinot noir. It was finished with a dosage of eight grams per liter in this vintage. The wine remains youthfully complex on the nose, offering up scents of apple, pear, a lovely base of soil tones, gentle smokiness, warm bread and a bit of incipient nuttiness just starting to show in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, crisp and soil-driven, with a superb core, elegant mousse, excellent focus and grip and a long, complex and utterly refined finish. Fine, fine juice in the making. (Drink between 2022-2070)John Gilman | 94 JG

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