Similarly to Tuscany, and how winemakers, money, and resources have flocked to Maremma as the next big thing – the Red Hills and Lake County in California is all the hot new rage. Located just north of Calistoga and just south of the Mendocino National Forest, the slightly cooler temps, unplanted land and volcanic and obsidian heavy soils are very attractive sales points.
The region has the big players from Napa lining up around the corner to get in. So far, Andy Beckstoffer has made a number of strategic investments up North. In the next few years, many will follow.
Before they do though, those who were first to the region can offer up some spectacular bargains. Today’s wine is the perfect example. Wine icon Jed Steele has been in Lake County since 1991 making wines. He identified the unknown region early as a place to make big, bold expressions of Cabernet that still remained balanced and well-structured. His 2019 Red Hills Cab is just that, and it’s perfect as we get into grill season.
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91 Points, Wine Enthusiast
This bold and tightly wound wine shows super concentrated black-cherry and dark-chocolate flavors laced with firm tannins that make it a bit mouthpuckering at this stage. But all that compact fruit in the middle should become more complex with time as the tannins soften. Best from 2025.
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