California has an endless amount of excellent red wines and a lot of them are as either as good or more legendary than Old World French Bordeaux, Italian Chianti and Barolo’s and Spanish Tempranillo and Garnacha. In many cases the Old World knowledge has lent it’s ways to the California Terroir; but most of the time it’s been sheer greatness in a relatively short period of time.
Here are some of my California favorites…Including one from Washington State that is on my mind and fits the mold…
Dominus Estate Napa Valley Red (CA) Christian Moueix’s California legend shines by sheer density.
Hall Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon (CA)Big, dense, juicy raspberry-driven fruit
CADE Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain (CA) familiar to Napa’s presitigious PlumpJack winery in Oakville full and intense
Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve (CA)Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon brings big, brawny flavors
Shafer One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon (CA) From Napa’s prestigious Stags Leap District, well-integrated intensity and opulence.
Col Solare (WA) Col Solare, Italian for “shining hill,” offers an amazing Cab-based blend sourced from some of (namely Red Mountain, Columbia Valley, Wahluke Slope and Horse Heaven Hills)
Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon (CA) This Grgich Hills Cab has got plenty of power, yet boasts both beautiful balance and richness
Signorello ‘Estate’ Cabernet Sauvignon (CA) Napa Valley – If Italian Cabernet got lost on its way home
Robert Craig ‘Mt Veeder’ (CA) Cabernet Out of the Mt. Veeder wilderness comes this marvelous mountain wine
Blankiet Cabernet Sauvignon Paradise Hills Vineyard (CA) – Almost La Mission Haut-Brion-ish in its character
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars – Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23 (CA) full-bodied and opulent personality is profound
Ramey – Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (CA) from valley floor known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon
PlumpJack – Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville (CA) Engaging red despite its richness and obvious size
Ridge Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains Red(CA) limestone, which is not found in Napa is unique and important
Seek these out, Try them…Cellar them. In fact these wines listed are good to lay down. But there’s one thing about great California wines…They can be hard to put down.