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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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  • Heitz Cellar Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1978 Front Label
    Heitz Cellar Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1978
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • WS91
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    499 97
    499 97
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  • Veedercrest Steltzner Cabernet Sauvignon 1978
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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      39 97
      39 97
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    • Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1978 Front Label
      Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1978
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • WS92
      • RP90
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      Currently Unavailable $149.97
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      149 97
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    • Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve 1978 Front Label
      Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve 1978
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • RP90
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      Currently Unavailable $129.97
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      129 97
      129 97
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    • Heitz Cellar Bella Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1978
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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        Currently Unavailable $209.97
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        209 97
        209 97
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      • Inglenook Rubicon 1978
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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          Currently Unavailable $119.99
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          129 99
          119 99
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        • Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon (high shoulder fill) 1978
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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            Currently Unavailable $129.97
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            129 97
            129 97
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          • Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 1978
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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            • Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 1978  Front Label
              Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 1978
              Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                Currently Unavailable $139.97
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                139 97
                139 97
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              • Joseph Phelps Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (bin soiled labels) 1978  Front Bottle Shot
                Joseph Phelps Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (bin soiled labels) 1978
                Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
                • WS92
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                Currently Unavailable $439.97
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                439 97
                439 97
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              • Charles Krug Claret (signs of past seepage) 1978 Front Label
                Charles Krug Claret (signs of past seepage) 1978
                Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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                  Currently Unavailable $159.97
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                  159 97
                  159 97
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                • Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1978  Front Label
                  Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1978
                  Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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                    Currently Unavailable $179.97
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                    179 97
                    179 97
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                  • Heitz Cellar Bella Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 1978 Front Label
                    Heitz Cellar Bella Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 1978
                    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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                      Currently Unavailable $159.00
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                      159
                      159
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                    • Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1978 Front Label
                      Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1978
                      Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
                      • WS92
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                      Currently Unavailable $199.00
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                      199
                      199
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                    • Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 1978 Front Bottle Shot
                      Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 1978
                      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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                        Currently Unavailable $99.00
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                        99
                        99
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                      • Joseph Phelps Alexander Valley Zinfandel 1978 Front Label
                        Joseph Phelps Alexander Valley Zinfandel 1978
                        Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                          Currently Unavailable $97.99
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                          97 99
                          97 99
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