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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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7 Items
  • Joseph Phelps Insignia 2016  Front Label
    Joseph Phelps Insignia 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP99
    • WW99
    • JS98
    • WE98
    • JD97
    • CG96
    • WS95
    • D95
    4.7 131 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $269.99
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    300
    269 99
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  • Pahlmeyer Merlot 2016  Front Label
    Pahlmeyer Merlot 2016
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • JS97
    • JD94
    • WS93
    • RP93
    4.6 33 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.99
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    89 99
    89 99
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  • Patz & Hall Chenoweth Ranch Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    Patz & Hall Chenoweth Ranch Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • JD94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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    65
    59 99
    Save $5.01 (8%)
  • Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Aurum Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Aurum Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • RP98
    • JD96
    • WE93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $519.99
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    519 99
    519 99
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  • Ridge Monte Bello (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016 Front Label
    Ridge Monte Bello (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    • JD97
    • WS96
    • RP96
    • W&S96
    • JS95
    • D94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $459.97
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    459 97
    459 97
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  • Rhys Vineyards Bearwallow Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    Rhys Vineyards Bearwallow Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
    • JD93
    • RP92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $109.00
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    109
    109
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  • Etude Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Etude Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • JS94
    • RP93
    • WS92
    • W&S92
    • JD92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $85.00
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    85
    85
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