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Locations by Dave Phinney, “CA”

Locations by Dave Phinney, “CA”

The Locations series of wines are produced by legendary winemaker Dave Phinney. Dave Phinney started out as the original owner and producer of Prisoner Red Blend.

After the brand blew up, Phinney branched out and has produced numerous exceptional wines since then.

The Locations series is focused on making some of the best examples of wine in a given region’s style.

The bottles are each labeled as the abbreviation of where they are from, from New Zealand to Portugal and everywhere in between. This particular bottle, “CA,” is their California offering

Locations by Dave Phinney, “CA”

This bottle is a blend, as most of the Locations wines are. It is primarily made up of Petite Sirah, the “secret sauce,” so to speak, in a lot of the Phinney’s blends.

While this is a normal grape to see in Californian blends, the other varietals may surprise you a bit.

It features not only Petite Sirah, but Barbera and Tempranillo, which are Spanish varietals, and Syrah and Carignan, originally French in nature.

The blend is non-vintage, allowing the winemaker to source juice from multiple harvests.

This adds depth and complexity to the already interesting blend of international grapes, which meld remarkably well with one another.

Locations By Dave Phinney, “CA”

Locations by Dave Phinney, “CA”

  • Brand: Locations Wines
  • Country: United States
  • Region: California
  • Wine Type: Red Wine
  • Varietals: Petite Sirah, Barbera, Tempranillo, Syrah, and Grenache
  • ABV: 15.8%


The wine is inky dark in the bottle, with a rich violet hue around the meniscus. This is some incredibly dense juice and cascades down the side of the glass with seriously heavy legs.


Rich blueberries, wild cherries, fresh blueberries, and dark chocolate leap out of the glass. These aromatics are surrounded by oak, smokiness, vanilla, and a bit of a meaty character.

The high alcohol content of this bottle works wonders for the aromas.

You can practically smell it from a mile away, and the first scents to hit your nose will have your mouth watering before you even take your first sip from the glass.


Complex is an understatement where this bottle is concerned. A lot of the flavor profile follows the nose, with aromatics of rich dark fruit taking center stage.

Lots of oaky characteristics shine through as well, with cocoa, coffee, and rich baking spice throughout.

This bottle is unctuous and sits heavily on the palate. It is the kind of wine that you almost feel as though you are chewing it as much as you are drinking.

The structure matches power with power as well. Solid tannin and mild acidity help keep everything from becoming too juicy or too soft.

What Does Locations by Dave Phinney “CA” Pair With?

This bottle is a heavy-hitter and demands a heavy-hitting pairing. Think smoked duck, roasted pig, and richer beef offerings.

It does especially well with spicier Mexican food, which makes use of plenty of chorizo and queso!

I also absolutely love this bottle as a charcuterie board pairing.

With the complexity and intensity offered, serve this bad boy with smoked sausages and peppered salami, Manchego and blue cheese, and fudge or halva for a bit of richness to end your meal!

What Wines Are Similar to Locations by Dave Phinney “CA”?

I would definitely recommend that you pick up any of the other offerings from Locations.

While they are all sourced from different areas and feature different blends of grapes, there is one thing that ties them all together. That thing is Dave Phinney’s unique and innovative style of winemaking.

Additionally, try some other blends which heavily feature Petite Sirah. The bigger options which are easily found would be Pessimist by Daou, Abstract and Machete from Orin Swift, and Dreaming Tree Crush.

Final Thoughts

This is an exceptional bottle for the money. It is rich and powerful while simultaneously being smooth and easy to drink.

As far as modern California red blends go, I would say this is at the top of the must-try list.