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.
Antonio Galloni's Vinous, 97 points: Togni's 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is quite dark and powerful, but also very much medium in body. Graphite, smoke, savory herbs, mint, leather and a core of inky dark red and purplish fruit infuse this deep...
Pinot Report, 94 points: Medium-deep ruby color; complex, rich wild cherry aromas
with some spice and herbal notes; deep, complex flavors of
cherry and earth with some herbal and tea notes; silky texture;
good structure and balance; long...
Wine Enthusiast, 93 points: From an organically farmed estate vineyard in Chiles Valley operated by the same family for more than 40 years, this 87% Cabernet Sauvignon-13% Merlot has soul and structure, as well a stony minerality that compels...
Stephen Tanzer's IWC, 96 points: Deep ruby-red. Vibrant nose offers cassis, blackberry, licorice, minerals, tobacco leaf and violet. Rich, tactile and deep, offering outstanding energy for the vintage. Boasts a rare combination of explosive fruit...
Showing 7 of 7 wines
We are having problems processing your request.
Please contact our sales office between 9 AM and 5 PM (PST) for further assistance at 1.888.859.4637.
JJ Buckley has been my go-to vendor for fine wines for nearly nine years. Their wine reps do an excellent job and I have yet to have a single negative experience when I deal with them.
-Shawn D., July 2017