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21 Wines That Welcome Fall  

Forget pumpkin spice! Fall in California means the return of harvest season as well as the prime time to start drinking heavier, more robust wines. Here are some favorites–both red and white varietals–to help welcome back fall.

Etude 2020 Pinot Gris

Everyone always reaches for red in the fall but there are some great white options this time of year as well. Case in point: this classic Pinot Gris. There is Meyer lemon, but also a bit of guava and kiwi, which are an excellent juxtaposition with a great charcuterie or cheese board on the patio with friends. $32

Justin 2020 Isosceles

Each year, this wine just gets better and better. The 2020 vintage is no exception. Full-bodied with killer notes of cherry, cassis and vanilla, there are also lovely bits of oak and baking spice in this particular vintage. $85

Alexander Valley Vineyards 2019 Sin Zin

This vintage mark’s the beloved brand’s 42nd Sin Vin. It is a blend of six Zinfandel lots and perfectly pairs spice – especially black pepper – with fruit ranging from plum to black cherry. There is also just a hint of chocolate on the palate. $24

Cast Wine Meritage Incantation, 2019

The American-born varietal gets its name from “merit” and “heritage” and is a California blend of traditional Bordeaux-grown grapes using Old World techniques. Cast has a terrific version made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc with dizzyingly delightful notes of black cherry, tobacco, black currants and variety of spice. $65


Hope Family Wines Troublemaker “Blend 16” Central Coast

Troublemaker’s latest non-vintage release is a zesty blend of Syrah, Petite Sirah, Mourvèdre, Grenache and Zinfandel. The jamminess of this California wine is addicting (in a good way) as are the notes of boysenberry in every sip. $20

Pedroncelli 2021 Brother’s Mark Cabernet Sauvignon

This well-rounded take on Cabernet has a little bit of everything, from the aromas of cassis and spiced oak on the nose to the cherry, plum and touch of oregano to the taste. $24

ONEHOPE Kosher Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena

Thanks to a flash-pasteurization process that follows the mevushal method, this California wine has all the buzzy beauty of a high-end Cabernet but is 100 percent kosher. The black cherry here is exceptionally tasty whether keeping kosher or not. $120

2019 Far Niente Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville

What a special bottle! The flavors here, both on the nose and palate, are so perfectly balanced that it nearly brings a tear to the eye. Enjoy every drop of this elegantly structured beauty, especially the jammy blackberry and espresso-kissed cocoa notes. $300

Sea Sun Pinot Noir 2021

Another absolute banger from the Wagner family of wines, the nearby Pacific Ocean clearly made an impression on this vintage. It has absolutely gorgeous layers of cherry pie, vanilla and baking spices. $20

2021 Nickel & Nickel Truchard Vineyard Chardonnay, Carneros, Napa Valley

Fresh and slightly tropical, the notes of pear and creamy finish help make this a lovely option for white wine lovers in the fall. There is also a nice hit of juicy acid and just enough toasty oak to take the flavor profile to a whole new level. $65

california wine jordan horizontal for fall

2019 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Balanced and seductively silky, blackberry, blueberry and boysenberry dominate this varietal, but they are tempered with black cherry, graphite and cassis. $60

J. Lohr 2021 Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir

They are making magic in Monterey County, as evidenced by this Pinot. Aromatics leap from the glass upon pouring with notes of strawberry and clove. To the taste, enjoy dried cherries, black tea and watermelon. $17

Flora Springs 2019 Trilogy

Unabashedly bold, this is a Bordeaux blend at its best. The Cabernet Sauvignon with Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc comes together in complete harmony. Enjoy the cassis, currant, plum and vanilla in every sip here. $90

Josh Cellars Hearth Cabernet Sauvignon

Rich and smooth, this Cabernet almost feels warm on the palate. The biggest notes are of blackberry, but there are definitely black cherries and what tastes like baked plums present as well. $17.99

Emmolo Sauvignon Blanc 2022

Looking for a low-alcohol option? Meet this dry, fresh vintage, perfect for those who need a bright acidity in every season. $22

Jackson Estate Santa Barbara Syrah 2021

Inky and incredible, the aromatics of spice and blackberry in this bottle promise something special. Delivering on every level, this bold California wine manages to offer ripe raspberry but also a touch of cola and even some ever-so-slight hints of earth. $50

california wine 2021 Crossbarn Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir V2_Brown Barn Photography (1)

Crossbarn 2021 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Ruby to the eye and radical on the tastebuds, there are bodacious notes of mulberry and raspberry in this California wine. The taste is rivaled only by its bouquet, a dazzling combination of cranberry, cherry and cinnamon. $40

2021 Mer Soleil Chardonnay Reserve Santa Lucia

The fresh-from-the-oven aromatics of croissant emitting from this bottle make it a perfect sipper during brunch all season long. It is creamy and dreamy on the palate with a touch of lemon and honeysuckle. $24

Cass Winery 2020 Damas Noir

Hot Dam…as. Dam-as. This is a big 100 percent Mourvèdre offering brambly berries, leather, earth and even some vanilla bean on the nose and palate. $90

Beringer Vineyards 2020 Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

The Knights Valley AVA does not always get the same love as other nearby wine regions, but it should! This California Cabernet makes a great case for why with its aromatics of dried herbs and blue fruit followed by flavors of mocha and a hint of black olives. $36

Waypoint 2021 Fort Ross Seaview Pinot Noir

Sonoma Coast at its best, enjoy cherry and spice on the nose here before waves of black tea, plum and earth-kissed raspberry roll in with every sip. $60

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