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.
Vinous, 94 points: The 2013 Chardonnay Vanguard is absolutely gorgeous. Candied lemon peel, butter, pastry, mint and spice open up first, followed by a slight tropical note that adds nuance, texture and oiliness. The 90% new French oak...
Vinous, 93 points: 93+ One of the most distinctive Chardonnays in Sta. Rita Hills appellation. Lemon peel, grapefruit, smoke, slate and flint are some of the signatures in a brilliant, impeccable Chardonnay built on delineation and class. A...
Vinous, 94 points: The 2013 Chardonnay 3-D often displays a distinctly phenolic quality, and that is very much the case again in 2013. A vertical sense of structure and huge center of fruit are two of the signatures. Scents of apricot pit...
Vinous, 93 points: The 2013 Chardonnay Mt. Carmel Vineyard is above all else a wine of notable texture and finesse. White orchard fruit, peach and a hint of spice are all given an extra kick of brightness that serves to balance the wine's...
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Great place to purchase wine at great prices - through the website or with the awesome Wine Specialists like Jeff!!
-Munish V., August 2017
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