Whats not to like about Californian reds? Not much actually but lets get my personal dislikes out in the open. First would be the tendency for some of their bigger finer wines to take on a port like quality which is something I love in Port but not in normal wines.

Secondly, the price, especially if like me you particularly love the NAPA Valley wines. Mrs R and I visited the NAPA a few years ago and we were astonished at the prices for the tasting menus alone, never mind the full bottles.

There are however far more positives to Californian reds. First of all, they rarely let you down in mixed company because in the main, they are soft, lush and packed with fruit and rarely have much going on in the tannins.

They are also incredibly flexible with most of them being just as happy paired with complex dishes as they are with a good book and a wedge of cheese.

As for my favourite grapes or styles, thats easy to place so here they are in order from my favourite to least; Cab Sauv, Merlot, Rhone style Blends, Zinfandels and finally Pinot Noir.

Next week, its all about Chablis folks!

Bogle Vineyards, Phantom, 2019, California
One of the most lush and creamy red wines Ive ever tasted, oozing plums and cassis flavours.

thefinewinecompany.co.uk £33.95

‘Sir Real’ Cabernet by Chronic Cellars, Paso Robles
Yeah, okay, I was attracted by the whacky label featuring a skeletol knight, but there was nothing thin or scary about the wine, with masses of dark cherry fruits, spicy notes and toasty oak finish.

Majestic £17.99 per bottle / £14.99 mixed 6

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