8 exciting California wines worth seeking out

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It can be easy to forget that there is far more to California than Napa and Sonoma. Antonio Galloni urges wine lovers to look further afield, where the state’s less-famous regions will reward with an exciting diversity of styles, and more affordable prices. See Galloni's top picks from Santa Cruz mountains, Santa Barbara County, the Sonoma Coast and Paso Robles here...
Californian wines
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Ridge, Monte Bello 2010
19/20pts (96/100pts)
If the US had a formal classification of estates or vineyards, such as those in Bordeaux or Burgundy, Ridge would be at the top of the list. This iconic property has been turning out spectacular wines for several decades under the inspired leadership of Paul Draper. The 2010 Monte Bello is set to be one of the great wines in Ridge’s history. Persistent graphite-infused notes support layers of expressive dark fruit in a powerful, structured wine built for cellaring. Those seeking more immediate gratification should try the Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, which has been terrific in recent vintages. Monte Bello remains one of the world’s most singular expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Price: £86–£128 Berry Bros & Rudd, Lay & Wheeler, Swig, The Wine Society, Woodwinters
Drink 2020–2040
Alc 13.2%

Californian wines
Californian wines
Californian wines