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5 Exceptional Red Wines from California’s Great Winemakers

5 Exceptional Red Wines from California’s Great Winemakers

Pursuitist - 5-Star Luxury

No holiday event worth celebrating is complete without a well curated selection of red wines. Northern California’s temperate climate consistently yields many of the world’s best vintages, particularly from wealth of heritage Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir vines. Representing a wide variety of price points, these five delectable reds are the choice 750 ml bottles selected by Pursuitist for end-of-the-year holiday gatherings.

Napa Valley Quilt 2017 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

For a full-bodied Cabernet with layers of concentrated black fruit, bright acidity and impressive balance, we count on Quilt 2017 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, awarded 96 points by The Tasting Panel Magazine. This refined wine is a sensational expression of what a Napa Valley Cabernet should represent. Deep red in color, beautifully rounded with layers of dark black cherry coffee, blackberry, dark currant, and milk chocolate with a velvety mouth-feel.


Belle Glos Clark & Telephone 2022 Pinot Noir 

The Clark & Telephone Vineyard was established in 1972 and planted with “own root” Martini clone vines. Located 13 miles from the Pacific ocean on a west-facing slope, this Santa Maria, California vineyard experiences weather patterns that pull from west to east, bringing cool fog and coastal breezes inland until August. Berries were harvested in the cool morning, then destemmed (not crushed) for ideal extraction. The wine aged in French oak barrels, underwent malolactic fermentation, and was racked twice before bottling. The process imparted this 2022 Pinot Noir with a deep purple color and lavish aromas of warm blackberry pie, raspberry, licorice, and white pepper.


Donum 2021 Carneros Estate Pinot Noir 

The Carneros Estate Pinot Noir has been Donum’s flagship wine since the winery’s inception in 2001. Crafted from blocks across the 95-acre vineyard, winemakers select only the best barrel lots in the final blend to represent the unique terroir of their ideally-located estate in Sonoma’s  esteemed Carneros region. Awarded 94 points by James Suckling, the 2021 vintage Pinot Noir is bright ruby in color with spicy, dark fruit aromas and a vibrant palate of raspberry and earthy, clay-like notes with a smooth finish characterized by rich tannins. The label features a famous Year of the Ox sculpture by Ai Weiwei from his monumental “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” installation, just one among an astonishing private art collection on display at the one-of-a-kind Donum Estate.


Adobe Road 2019 Blue Dog Cabernet Sauvignon 

Not content to produce great wines from just one of the world’s very best wine growing regions, Blue Dog Cabernet Sauvignon is a celebration of Cabernet from both Napa Valley and Sonoma County. Napa’s climate always brings a polished texture and dark fruit flavors, while Sonoma offers exotic spices and silky tannins, resulting in a blend both captivating and perfectly balanced. More than in previous years, the 2019 vintage benefitted from the extra sunny days in Northern California that year, allowing the crops to perfectly ripen for this fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon.


Elouan 2021 Pinot Noir 

Elouan wines are the result of fifth-generation California winemaker, Joseph Wagner, heading north from Napa to apply his knowledge in Oregon, one of the world’s renowned Pinot Noir regions. The Eloouan 2021 Pinot Noir opens up with aromas of bright cherry, plum pie, cocoa nibs, and hints of baking spice. You’ll taste rich and well-balanced notes of raspberry jam, candied cranberry, wild bramble, and a lingering pepper finish on the palate. With incredible concentration, this smooth, medium-finish pinot noir pairs perfectly with your favorite fall comfort foods or a well-curated charcuterie board. Cases are modestly priced at $264, making this a smart choice for large events and parties.