Though less than half a century old, and remarkably young compared to its European counterparts, the wine industry in California has managed to enchant the country’s wine buying public as well as receive accolades from “across the pond.” This may be because of two realities. First is the undeniable quality of the wines—remarkably fruity, full and satisfying, rarely too austere or tannic to be savored from the first day. The second is the “buy American” angle. A very high number of American wine buyers simply prefer domestic to foreign wines.
The state plays host to an enormous range of microclimates and soils as well as a lot of sunshine, hot summer days and dry harvests. All these factors contribute to healthy ripe fruits that make European producers, in less dependable climates, green with envy. More than three out of every four years, California’s best sites produces excellent wines.
The U.S. is not protectionist when it comes to taxing imported wines compared to many other countries, but the California wine industry is inherently protected because of consumers wanting to buy American.
To most people, the Napa Valley is the home of California wine, and Cabernet is the clear king in Napa. Burgundy varieties like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have moved to cooler areas, for the most part closer to the Pacific. This includes the western stretches of Sonoma County, the Anderson Valley in Mendocino County, and the Santa Maria and Santa Ynez valleys of Santa Barbara County. In regions as contrasting as Mendocino County, the Sonoma coast, Carneros, Paso Robles, and Santa Maria Valley, Syrah vines have yielded interesting wines. Excellent Zinfandel is also produced all over the state and may be the only California wine emulated abroad.
Wine Spectator, 92 points: Old-school but well-done this is tight and firm showing a dense balanced mix of dried currant mineral cedar cigar box and tobacco flavors. Ends with good depth range of flavor and tannins. Best from 2013 through 2023.-J.L.
View From The Cellar, 95 points: Of the most recent vintages of this wine that I have tasted, the 2008 is my favorite and I
believe this is destined to be one of the absolute classic turned out from this excellent Spring
Mountain property. The deep and...
Wine Spectator, 98 points: Presents a dazzling array of flavors, along with focus, style and authenticity. Dark, dense and spicy, with dark berry, mineral, cedar, sage, roasted caraway and tobacco flavors, this is full-blown yet graceful and...
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 96 points: The 2008 Claret (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) has that ethereal nose of spring flowers boysenberry blueberry black currant and spice. Following that seductive aromatic display Foley's brilliance is again exhibited in the...
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 98 points: The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Schrader which comes from Clones 4 6 and 337 is slightly more structured and perhaps not as velvety as the CCS or RBS. Again blue fruits black fruits camphor charcoal and burning ember...
Showing 6 of 6 wines
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