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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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  • Cline Cool Climate Syrah 2010 Front Label
    Cline Cool Climate Syrah 2010
    Syrah/Shiraz from Sonoma County, California
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    • Ampelos Cellars Gamma: The Complex Syrah 2010 Front Label
      Ampelos Cellars Gamma: The Complex Syrah 2010
      Syrah/Shiraz from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
      • WE92
      • WS90
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    • Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Valley Syrah 2010 Front Label
      Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Valley Syrah 2010
      Syrah/Shiraz from Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
      • WE92
      4.2 10 Ratings
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      25
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    • Tablas Creek Syrah 2010 Front Label
      Tablas Creek Syrah 2010
      Syrah/Shiraz from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
      • RP91
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      Currently Unavailable $41.99
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    • Terry Hoage The Hedge Syrah 2010 Front Label
      Terry Hoage The Hedge Syrah 2010
      Syrah/Shiraz from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
      • RP94
      • WS93
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    • Terry Hoage Three-Four Syrah 2010 Front Label
      Terry Hoage Three-Four Syrah 2010
      Syrah/Shiraz from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
      • RP95
      • WS92
      0.0 0 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $79.99
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