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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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19 Items
  • Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Front Label
    Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
    • WW93
    • JS92
    • D91
    4.5 16 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $139.00
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    139
    139
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  • Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon (damaged labels) 2012 Front Label
    Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon (damaged labels) 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California
    • RP96
    • D95
    • WS93
    • WE93
    4.6 43 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $229.99
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    245
    229 99
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  • Hahn SLH Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Hahn SLH Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
    • D92
    • WE91
    • TP90
    3.8 12 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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    35
    24 99
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  • Dunn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Front Label
    Dunn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • D95
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $135.97
    Try the 2017 Vintage 109 99
    135 97
    135 97
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  • Opus One  2012  Front Label
    Opus One 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • JS97
    • RP96
    • D94
    • WS93
    4.6 41 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $269.00
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    269
    269
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  • Cardinale Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Front Label
    Cardinale Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • RP98
    • D96
    • WS92
    • JS91
    4.7 8 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $250.00
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    275
    250
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  • Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Front Label
    Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    • WE95
    • RP94
    • W&S93
    • WW92
    • D92
    • WS91
    4.3 16 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $79.99
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    79 99
    79 99
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  • Moobuzz Monterey Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Moobuzz Monterey Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    • D91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    20
    17 99
    Save $2.01 (10%)
  • Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Fay Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Front Label
    Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Fay Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California
    • RP96
    • WE95
    • WS93
    • D93
    • W&S90
    4.4 33 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $119.99
    Try the 2014 Vintage 154 99
    145
    119 99
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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 9 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $299.00
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    299
    299
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  • Sanford Flor de Campo Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Sanford Flor de Campo Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    • D90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $27.99
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    27 99
    27 99
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  • Rutherford Ranch Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Front Label
    Rutherford Ranch Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • D92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    59
    39 99
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  • Heitz Cellar Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012  Front Label
    Heitz Cellar Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • WW97
    • JS96
    • WE96
    • D96
    • W&S90
    3.9 11 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $249.99
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    249 99
    249 99
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  • Lokoya Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Front Label
    Lokoya Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Diamond Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
    • RP96
    • D95
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $349.99
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    349 99
    349 99
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  • Frog's Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Front Label
    Frog's Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • W&S93
    • D93
    4.4 10 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    49 99
    49 99
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  • Silverado Mt. George Merlot 2012 Front Label
    Silverado Mt. George Merlot 2012
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • D93
    • WW90
    3.3 11 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $36.99
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    36 99
    36 99
    Save $1.01 (3%)
  • Silverado SOLO Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Front Label
    Silverado SOLO Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California
    • WW94
    • JS93
    • WE91
    • D91
    4.7 8 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $109.99
    Try the 2014 Vintage 128 99
    115
    109 99
    Save $5.01 (4%)
  • Cain Concept 2012 Front Label
    Cain Concept 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • D91
    4.3 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $78.99
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    78 99
    78 99
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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • CG92
    • D91
    • WW91
    • WS90
    3.9 47 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
    Try the 2019 Vintage 21 99
    24
    19 99
    Save $4.01 (17%)
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