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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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  • 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
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $199.99
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  • Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2012  Front Bottle Shot
    Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $105.00
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  • Pride Mountain Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Front Label
    Pride Mountain Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
    • RP100
    • WS93
    • WE92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $349.97
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    349 97
    349 97
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  • Brandlin Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Front Label
    Brandlin Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
    • WS92
    • JS92
    • WE90
    • RP90
    4.4 6 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $179.00
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  • Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Front Label
    Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California
    • RP100
    • JS98
    • WE98
    • WS96
    • D93
    4.9 10 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $299.00
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    299
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  • Williams Selyem Terra de Promissio Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Terra de Promissio Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WS92
    • WE92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $109.97
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    109 97
    109 97
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  • Williams Selyem Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
    • WE95
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $139.97
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    139 97
    139 97
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  • Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Front Label
    Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • RP92
    • JS92
    • WS92
    • WE91
    4.2 10 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $58.99
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    58 99
    58 99
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  • Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    • WE93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $79.99
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    79 99
    79 99
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  • Williams Selyem Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S92
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $109.00
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    109
    109
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  • Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve 2012 Front Label
    Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • JS95
    • RP94
    • WW94
    • WE94
    4.5 11 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $119.99
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    145
    119 99
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  • Darioush Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Front Label
    Darioush Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WE95
    4.9 8 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $119.97
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    119 97
    119 97
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  • Williams Selyem Westside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Westside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE94
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $109.97
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    109 97
    109 97
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  • Williams Selyem Rochioli Riverblock Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Rochioli Riverblock Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE95
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $129.97
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    129 97
    129 97
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  • Trombetta Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Trombetta Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Petaluma Gap, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WE95
    3.9 19 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $79.99
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    79 99
    79 99
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  • Hourglass Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Front Label
    Hourglass Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • RP95
    • WE95
    • WS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $159.97
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    159 97
    159 97
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  • Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE96
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $139.97
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    139 97
    139 97
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  • Williams Selyem Eastside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Eastside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE95
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $112.99
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    112 99
    112 99
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  • Williams Selyem Coastlands Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Coastlands Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WE92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $129.00
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    129
    129
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  • Ravenswood Old Hill Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Ravenswood Old Hill Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WS93
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $57.99
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    57 99
    57 99
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  • Williams Selyem Burt Williams Morning Dew Ranch Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Burt Williams Morning Dew Ranch Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
    • WE94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $129.00
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    129
    129
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  • Williams Selyem Precious Mountain Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Precious Mountain Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WE94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $134.97
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    134 97
    134 97
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  • Goldeneye Gowan Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Goldeneye Gowan Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
    • WS92
    • WE92
    • CG91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $85.00
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    85
    85
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  • Hestan Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Front Label
    Hestan Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $104.99
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    125
    104 99
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  • Hewitt Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2012 Front Label
    Hewitt Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • WS94
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $209.97
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    209 97
    209 97
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