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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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  • Paul Hobbs Nathan Coombs Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Front Label
    Paul Hobbs Nathan Coombs Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Coombsville, Napa Valley, California
    • JS97
    • RP96
    • WS91
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  • Paul Hobbs Beckstoffer Las Piedras Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Front Label
    Paul Hobbs Beckstoffer Las Piedras Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
    Cabernet Sauvignon from St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
    • RP98
    • JS98
    • WS94
    4.5 8 Ratings
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  • Monticello Estate Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
    Monticello Estate Pinot Noir 2013
    Pinot Noir from Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
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    • Storybook Mountain Eastern Exposures Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
      Storybook Mountain Eastern Exposures Zinfandel 2013
      Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
      • W&S92
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    • Long Meadow Ranch E.J. Church Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Front Label
      Long Meadow Ranch E.J. Church Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • JS91
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    • Vine Cliff Oakville Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Front Label
      Vine Cliff Oakville Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
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      • Von Strasser Sori Bricco Vineyard Red 2013 Front Label
        Von Strasser Sori Bricco Vineyard Red 2013
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Diamond Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
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