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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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2021 Alban Vineyards Viognier Alban Estate Vineyard

Looking at the flagship estate Viognier, the 2021 Viognier Estate boasts a vibrant, medium to full-bodied, incredibly focused and mineral-driven profile that reminds me of a Condrieu from pure granite soils. Tangerine oil, honeyed flowers, brioche, and citrus notes all emerge on the nose, and it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a layered, seamless mouthfeel, and one heck of a great finish. I finished my note with "Love it." As I’ve written in the past, no one in the New World does Viognier better than John Alban.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDThe 2021 Viognier Estate is tremendously expressive and vibrant! It’s layered and complex on the nose, segueing from savory matchstick to exotic, musky perfume, candied peaches and tangerine oil. The palate offers flesh and unctuousness without fattiness, full flavors that are tempered by a powerful textural bite and flinty streaks and energetic acidity that combine to create an alluring, shimmery finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RP

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