Every day during the week sales people come in with wines to try and, hopefully sell. This is not a bad thing. Except for staying awake until closing, but it really is an exciting time for a wine "nut". I know, get a life but tasting wine from almost every corner of the world and the different styles and tastes is an incredible experience. The one thing that is , to me, readily apparent is the universal high quality. Do I like every wine? Certainly not but they are all worth the experience and most all are balanced and flavorful and worth consideration The "old world" have been praticing for hundreds of years and seems to have gotten it right most times.
That brings us to "new World" and their "experience" It didn't take much fooling around to know the Napa Valley was very good for Cabernet but they've wasted time and money trying Pinot Noir there. Time has shown that Carneros, Russian River and the more southern climes(Santa Barbera etc) make better Pinot's. Napa is too hot and the cooler regions allow for more hang time and consequently, better Pinot. Takes us off in a tangent but yes, the southern coast in Ca. is cooler than Napa and Sonoma, much further north. Why? The mountains. Up north of San Francisco the mountain's go north to south along the coast effectively stopping the cooling sea breezes and fog that delays ripening and dictates a longer "hang time" from reaching Sonoma or Napa. Below San Francisco the mountains go east to west allowing the afformentioned breezes to flow into the vineyards slowing the ripening and making better hang time and better Pinot. Why Carneros since it is located north of SF? Because its position close to San Francisco bay creates cooling fog most every night. With Pinot Noir, cooler is better---see Oregon So. Cal ,Burgundy,and New Zealand.
Those are my personal thoughts concerning quality and you, of course, may disagree. It makes the wine world go round.