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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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33 Items
  • Frey Organic Syrah 2019  Front Label
    Frey Organic Syrah 2019
    Syrah/Shiraz from Redwood Valley, Mendocino, California
    • WE91
    3.8 39 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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  • Black Sheep Finds The Joy Fantastic Syrah 2017  Front Label
    Black Sheep Finds The Joy Fantastic Syrah 2017
    Syrah/Shiraz from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • WE93
    • JD92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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  • Black Sheep Finds Holus Bolus Presqu'ile Vineyard Syrah 2019  Front Label
    Black Sheep Finds Holus Bolus Presqu'ile Vineyard Syrah 2019
    Syrah/Shiraz from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
    • WE94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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  • Beckmen Purisima Mountain Vineyard Syrah 2018  Front Label
    Beckmen Purisima Mountain Vineyard Syrah 2018
    Syrah/Shiraz from Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • WE92
    • JD90
    3.9 11 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $33.99
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  • Ampelos Cellars Gamma: The Complex Syrah 2016  Front Label
    Ampelos Cellars Gamma: The Complex Syrah 2016
    Syrah/Shiraz from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $37.99
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  • Donkey & Goat  The Recluse Broken Leg Vineyard Syrah 2007 Front Label
    Donkey & Goat The Recluse Broken Leg Vineyard Syrah 2007
    Syrah/Shiraz from North Coast, California
    • WE91
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $33.99
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    33 99
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  • Baker Lane Sonoma Coast Cuvee Syrah 2015 Front Label
    Baker Lane Sonoma Coast Cuvee Syrah 2015
    Syrah/Shiraz from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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  • Westwood Winery Annadel Gap Vineyard Estate Syrah 2015 Front Label
    Westwood Winery Annadel Gap Vineyard Estate Syrah 2015
    Syrah/Shiraz from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • TP98
    • JD94
    • W&S91
    • WE90
    4.4 8 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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  • Ampelos Cellars Gamma: The Complex Syrah 2012 Front Label
    Ampelos Cellars Gamma: The Complex Syrah 2012
    Syrah/Shiraz from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • WS90
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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  • Baker Lane Sonoma Coast Cuvee Syrah 2012 Front Label
    Baker Lane Sonoma Coast Cuvee Syrah 2012
    Syrah/Shiraz from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WE94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    29 99
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  • Pacific Redwood Organic Syrah 2018  Front Label
    Pacific Redwood Organic Syrah 2018
    Syrah/Shiraz from Redwood Valley, Mendocino, California
    • WE91
    3.1 9 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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    15 99
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  • Big Basin Rattlesnake Rock Syrah 2004 Front Label
    Big Basin Rattlesnake Rock Syrah 2004
    Syrah/Shiraz from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    • WE94
    • RP92
    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $54.97
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  • J. Lohr South Ridge Syrah 2016 Front Label
    J. Lohr South Ridge Syrah 2016
    Syrah/Shiraz from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • WE91
    3.7 15 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    14 99
    14 99
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  • Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Valley Syrah 2009 Front Label
    Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Valley Syrah 2009
    Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
    • WE91
    • D90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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  • Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Valley Syrah 2008 Front Label
    Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Valley Syrah 2008
    Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
    • WE87
    • RP87
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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  • Niner Syrah 2014 Front Label
    Niner Syrah 2014
    Syrah/Shiraz from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $28.99
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    28 99
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  • TAZ Goat Rock Syrah 2004 Front Label
    TAZ Goat Rock Syrah 2004
    Syrah/Shiraz from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
    • RP92
    • WE92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $32.99
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  • Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Valley Syrah 2006 Front Label
    Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Valley Syrah 2006
    Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
    • WS93
    • WE91
    • CG91
    3.8 20 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    22
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  • TAZ Santa Barbara County Syrah 2002 Front Label
    TAZ Santa Barbara County Syrah 2002
    Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
    • WE92
    • W&S92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    29 99
    29 99
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  • Bonterra Organically Grown Syrah 2006 Front Label
    Bonterra Organically Grown Syrah 2006
    Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.29
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    19 28
    19 28
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  • Bonterra Organically Grown Syrah 2007 Front Label
    Bonterra Organically Grown Syrah 2007
    Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
    • WE91
    3.3 9 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.79
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    14 79
    14 79
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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
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    35
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  • Big Basin Coastview Vineyard Syrah 2011 Front Label
    Big Basin Coastview Vineyard Syrah 2011
    Syrah/Shiraz from Mt. Harlan, Central Coast, California
    • WE92
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $47.99
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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
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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    25
    18 99
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  • Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Valley Syrah 2005 Front Label
    Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Valley Syrah 2005
    Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
    • WS92
    • WE90
    3.5 14 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    22
    19 99
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