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California Red Wine

Learn about California red wine, common tasting notes, where the region is and more ...

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California is a winemaking colossus; by itself it is the fourth largest producer in the world. Red wine accounts for 56% of the total by volume, and red grapes 63% of total acres planted. In addition, a number of California red wines are heralded as being among the most prestigious and sought-after wines in the world.

While the state’s incredibly diverse geography, soils and microclimates allow for a wide array of styles, the key factor unifying California red wine is the abundance of sunshine and a long, consistent growing season. This leads to well-developed fruit marked both by impressive ripeness and balancing acidity.

The state’s most famous red wine region, of course, is Napa Valley, where Cabernet Sauvignon reigns as king. But California boasts a wealth of other impressive appellations. The much larger and climatically varied Sonoma County also produces world class California Cabernet, along with wonderful examples of California Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.

Fine versions of Cabernet and Zinfandel hail from Paso Robles as well, which is also gaining fame with Rhone varietals like Syrah and Grenache. As for Pinot Noir, terrific examples can be found from AVA’s such as Anderson Valley, Carneros, Santa Lucia Highlands and Sta. Rita Hills. Wineries in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties are making wonderful Syrahs, and the Sierra Foothill appellations are proving to be an experimental hotbed, with Italian and Spanish varietals employed to great effect.

This of course is a mere sketch. The subject of California red wine is as deep and broad as an ocean, and absolutely a joy to explore!

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  • Saxum Heart Stone Vineyard 2012 Front Label
    Saxum Heart Stone Vineyard 2012
    Rhone Red Blends from Adelaida District, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • RP96
    • JD96
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $135.97
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    135 97
    135 97
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  • Lail J. Daniel Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Front Label
    Lail J. Daniel Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • RP100
    • JD100
    • JS96
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $349.97
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    349 97
    349 97
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  • Lail J. Daniel Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2012  Front Label
    Lail J. Daniel Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • RP100
    • JD100
    • JS96
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $628.97
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    628 97
    628 97
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  • Joseph Phelps Insignia 2012 Front Label
    Joseph Phelps Insignia 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • JS97
    • JD97
    • RP96
    • CG95
    • WE95
    • WS93
    • W&S92
    4.5 53 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $199.99
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    240
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  • Joseph Phelps Insignia (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2012 Front Label
    Joseph Phelps Insignia (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • JS97
    • JD97
    • RP96
    • CG95
    • WE95
    • WS93
    • W&S92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $459.00
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    459
    459
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  • Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2012  Front Label
    Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • JS99
    • RP98
    • JD98
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $959.97
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    959 97
    959 97
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  • Wayfarer Mother Rock Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Wayfarer Mother Rock Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WE95
    • JD94
    • RP91
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $99.97
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    99 97
    99 97
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  • Joseph Phelps Insignia (375ML half-bottle) 2012 Front Label
    Joseph Phelps Insignia (375ML half-bottle) 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • JS97
    • JD97
    • RP96
    • CG95
    • WE95
    • WS93
    • W&S92
    4.8 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $109.99
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    109 99
    109 99
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