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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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21 Items
21 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
    4.7 130 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $269.99
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    300
    269 99
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  • Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • JS94
    • JD94
    • RP92
    • WE91
    • WS91
    4.4 18 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $55.99
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    100
    55 99
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  • Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
    • D97
    • WS95
    • V95
    3.8 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $179.99
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    179 99
    179 99
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  • Heitz Cellar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Heitz Cellar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WS91
    4.2 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $61.99
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    65
    61 99
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  • Inglenook Rubicon 2016  Front Label
    Inglenook Rubicon 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • JS97
    • JD96
    • JH95
    • WW94
    • D94
    • WE93
    • W&S93
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $188.99
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    188 99
    188 99
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  • Groth Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Groth Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • WS96
    • WW94
    • WE94
    • JS93
    4.6 55 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $139.99
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    139 99
    139 99
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  • Blackbird Vineyards Arise Napa Valley Proprietary Red 2016  Front Label
    Blackbird Vineyards Arise Napa Valley Proprietary Red 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP92
    • WW92
    • WS90
    4.1 101 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $55.99
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    58
    55 99
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  • Mayacamas Merlot 2016  Front Label
    Mayacamas Merlot 2016
    Merlot from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
    • WE94
    • JS94
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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    69 99
    69 99
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  • Heitz Cellar Lot C-91 Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Heitz Cellar Lot C-91 Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WW94
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $99.99
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    99 99
    99 99
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  • Adobe Road The Shift Red Blend 2016 Front Label
    Adobe Road The Shift Red Blend 2016
    Other Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
    • RP93
    • WW92
    • WS91
    • JD91
    4.2 8 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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    59 99
    59 99
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  • Mount Peak Rattlesnake Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
    Mount Peak Rattlesnake Zinfandel 2016
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • RP94
    • JS91
    • WS91
    4.2 25 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $42.99
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    48
    42 99
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  • Brewer-Clifton Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2016 Front Label
    Brewer-Clifton Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • WS90
    • RP90
    4.2 56 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.98
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    39 98
    39 98
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  • Acre Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Acre Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WS91
    • JS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $47.99
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    47 99
    47 99
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  • Mt. Brave Merlot 2016  Front Label
    Mt. Brave Merlot 2016
    Merlot from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
    • WS94
    • WE94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $94.99
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    94 99
    94 99
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  • Foxen Williamson-Dore Vineyard Syrah 2016  Front Label
    Foxen Williamson-Dore Vineyard Syrah 2016
    Syrah/Shiraz from Los Olivos District, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • WE92
    • WS92
    • JD92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $54.99
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    54 99
    54 99
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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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  • La Jota Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    La Jota Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
    • RP97
    • WE97
    • JD96
    • JS95
    • WS94
    4.5 29 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $159.99
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    159 99
    159 99
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  • Abreu Vineyards Thorevilos 2016  Front Label
    Abreu Vineyards Thorevilos 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • JS99
    • WS97
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $659.00
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    659
    659
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  • Pine Ridge Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Pine Ridge Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California
    • RP93
    • JS92
    • WE91
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $134.99
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    140
    134 99
    Save $5.01 (4%)
  • Stewart Nomad Las Piedras Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Stewart Nomad Las Piedras Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $199.99
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    199 99
    199 99
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  • Paul Hobbs Nathan Coombs Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Paul Hobbs Nathan Coombs Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Coombsville, Napa Valley, California
    • RP97
    • JS96
    • WS95
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $414.99
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    414 99
    414 99
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