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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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  • St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
    St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS91
    • WW90
    3.8 47 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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    26 99
    26 99
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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2018  Front Label
    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2018
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WW90
    • WE90
    • WS90
    4.1 25 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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    26
    18 99
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  • Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
    • WW90
    • WE90
    3.9 179 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    25
    17 99
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  • McManis Family Vineyards Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    McManis Family Vineyards Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
    • WW89
    3.6 16 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $12.99
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    12 99
    12 99
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  • Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
    Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from Santa Margarita Ranch, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • WE91
    • WW90
    3.6 32 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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    22 99
    22 99
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  • Tortoise Creek Zinfandel 2018 Front Label
    Tortoise Creek Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
    • WW90
    3.3 34 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    14 99
    14 99
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  • Oakville Winery Estate Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
    Oakville Winery Estate Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • WW90
    3.9 22 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $27.99
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    27 99
    27 99
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  • St. Francis Reserve Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
    St. Francis Reserve Zinfandel 2017
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW91
    • WS91
    • RP90
    4.8 40 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $43.99
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    43 99
    43 99
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