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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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  • Shafer Relentless 2013 Front Label
    Shafer Relentless 2013
    Syrah/Shiraz from Napa Valley, California
    • RP95
    • WS93
    • W&S93
    • CG92
    4.5 16 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $109.99
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    109 99
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  • Bien Nacido Estate Syrah 2013 Front Label
    Bien Nacido Estate Syrah 2013
    Syrah/Shiraz from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
    • W&S93
    • RP93
    • WE92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $44.99
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    60
    44 99
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  • Dutton-Goldfield Cherry Ridge Vineyard Syrah 2013 Front Label
    Dutton-Goldfield Cherry Ridge Vineyard Syrah 2013
    Syrah/Shiraz from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE95
    • W&S92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $53.99
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    53 99
    53 99
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  • Wind Gap Nellessen Vineyard Syrah 2013 Front Label
    Wind Gap Nellessen Vineyard Syrah 2013
    Syrah/Shiraz from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $44.99
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    44 99
    44 99
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  • Pax Castelli-Knight Ranch Syrah 2013 Front Label
    Pax Castelli-Knight Ranch Syrah 2013
    Syrah/Shiraz from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP96
    • W&S92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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    75
    64 99
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  • Red Car Estate Vineyard Syrah 2013 Front Label
    Red Car Estate Vineyard Syrah 2013
    Syrah/Shiraz from Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $55.98
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    55 98
    55 98
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  • Skylark Rodgers Creek Syrah 2013 Front Label
    Skylark Rodgers Creek Syrah 2013
    Syrah/Shiraz from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S91
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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    45
    34 99
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  • Copain Les Voisins Syrah 2013 Front Label
    Copain Les Voisins Syrah 2013
    Syrah/Shiraz from Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino, California
    • W&S93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $27.99
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    27 99
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  • Drew Mendocino Ridge Perli Vineyard Syrah 2013 Front Label
    Drew Mendocino Ridge Perli Vineyard Syrah 2013
    Syrah/Shiraz from Mendocino Ridge, Mendocino, California
    • W&S95
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    45
    39 99
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