california wines for spring

21 Stunning California Wines for Spring

Temperatures are slowly warming. Flowers are blooming. Animals are waking from their winter slumber. Those harbingers can only mean one thing: spring has sprung! Need some tips on what to sip on patios, by pools and oceanside all season long? Here are some sensational options that run the gamut from red and white to pink and bubbles. The only thing they all have in common? Each is wholly grown and made in California.

Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve California Sauvignon Blanc

A porch-pounder and crowd-pleaser if there ever was one, this medium-bodied white delight is crispy and aromatic with lemongrass, light fig and ripe pear. Of course, there is a punch of grapefruit in every sip as well, and it is perfection. $15

Allegretto Rosé of Malbec NV

Delicate and lightly pink with very little residual sugar, Allegretto takes great care to let the strawberry and watermelon shine in this California wine for spring without getting at all sweet. It is the perfect rosé option for any lover of wines on the drier side for sure. $34

Louis M. Martini 2021 Cellar No. 254 Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé

Plush and a deeper pink hue than a traditional California rosé, there is an explosion of tropic fruit here including guava and passionfruit. They give way to what can best be described as strawberries and cream and then watermelon, which both play on the palate with just a touch of citrus zest that makes for a really interesting finish. $35

Clif Family Winery - Mendocino Rose of Grenache California spring wine1

Clif Family 2022 Rosé Of Grenache

Made from 100 percent Mendocino County Grenache and aged 100 percent in stainless steel, this is a crowd-pleaser in every sense of the word. Visually stunning, its bouquet is just as lovely. And the flavor notes? A perfect combination of watermelon, strawberry and peach with just enough acid for balance. $30

Bricoleur 2021 Unoaked Chardonnay

The only thing better than the crisp pear in this estate Chardonnay are the notes of honeydew and aromas of white flowers. Certainly, there is a bit of that brioche bread oft observed in Chardonnay as well, but it does not overwhelm. In fact, it helps bring out the notes of the other elements while adding a sophistication and suppleness to each sip. $36

Jordan 2017 Chardonnay

Given the 2017 harvest was smaller than most, this vintage of Russian River Valley Chardonnay has a bright crispness that literally tastes like spring. There is honeysuckle and pear, but also some zesty, oak-kissed citrus and a touch of white peach. $42

2019 Schramsberg Blanc De Noirs

Schramsberg pioneered the Blanc de Noirs (white wine from red grapes) style in the United States, and this vintage will make anyone understand why they continue to be leaders in this seductive style. There is a lot to taste here, including passionfruit, ginger, orange zest, tropical fruits and strawberries, and all of it is heaven in a glass. $44

Larkmead Vineyards

Larkmead Vineyards, 2021 Lillie Sauvignon Blanc

Aged for nine months in 47 percent new French oak helps gives this bright beauty a burst of floral and tropical fruits on the nose ranging from white peach to lemon curd. These elements are deftly balanced with a delightful minerality and even a hint of nuttiness, almost a touch like Chardonnay. $75.

Halter Ranch 2021 Viognier

Hello, apricot! It is impossible not to taste the juicy-yet-tangy fruit in every sip of this surprisingly soft, rich California wine for spring. A 100 percent Viognier, the apricot also has some other friends in the glass, notably peaches, white flowers just beginning to bloom, ripe melon and cream. $45

Jessup Cellars 2021 Ma Chérie Rosé Mendocino

Among the winemaker’s personal favorites, this semi-translucent magenta is a blend of Grenache and Carignane varietals. The result is refreshing yet sumptuous with a dash of cranberry, kiss of white peach, wink of white strawberry and just a touch of lychee fruit. $45

Capo Creek 2021 Playlist

An inspired white blend made from primarily Rhone-style grapes including Clairette Blanch, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Petit Manseng and Picpoul, it is a celebration of stone fruit, pear and lime perfect for a picnic or by the pool anytime of day or night. $45

Baldacci_PopsSparkling California spring wine

Baldacci Pops Sparkling Wine

Bright and crisp, Pops is special in that it is the only wine produced from the vineyard’s 2020 harvest. The nose on this wine is a stunning combination of red apple and raspberry with a hint of cherry blossom, and flavor profile offers notes of green apple and citrus zest. $50

Gary Farrell Winery 2019 Chardonnay, Olivet Lane Vineyard

Made with the surrounding environment in mind, this exceptionally sustainable California wine for spring is silky yet lingering on the nose and palate with notes of Meyer lemon, stone fruits and honeysuckle that will make the hair on one’s arm stand on end (in the best possible way). $50

Barton Family Wines 2020 California Love

Meant to be paired with sunset on the beach (ask the winemaker!), this is a truly stunning blend of Grenache and Counoise grapes. It is a twist on what one might expect from Southern Rhone red blends and dances with notes of brambleberry, strawberry, red plum and a touch of fennel. $65

Papapietro Perry 2019 Pinot Noir, Leras Family Vineyards 

Papapietro Perry is marking its 25th anniversary in 2023, and Leras is one of their original vineyard partners. This wine beckons, first with cherry and strawberry, but then with a touch of oak and even small hints of caramel. And the texture? Rich and luscious all the way down with plenty of that famed Russian River Valley minerality. $66

Lynmar Estate Adam’s Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2018

Ripe, red fruits dominate the nose and palate to perfection here. It is a celebration of the best of the warmest terroir in Lynmar’s collection, Adam’s Vineyard, and there is a lot to love here, from the raspberry and plum to the sassafras and Rainier cherries. $76

stags leap california wine for spring
Stags’ Leap

Stags’ Leap Winery Limited Edition 2018 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

While it may look like a winter red, the blooming bouquet wafting from the bottle – blackberry, rose petals, sage and maybe even some mint – feels exuberantly fresh. On the palate, while full-bodied, each sip is juicy with flavors of blackberry, red cherry, additional rose petals and chocolate. $120

2018 Palmaz Vineyards Amalia Chardonnay

Though the founder of the winery, Julio Palmaz, wanted to solely focus on Cabernet, his wife Amalia made him open to the idea of delighting in a few select whites. And thank goodness, because this California wine for spring is a revelation. It opens with honeysuckle before giving way to green apple in all of its tart glory before finishing with mango and spiced honeycomb. $80

Adelaida Cabernet Franc, Viking Estate District 2018

Thanks to the moderate and consistent temperatures throughout 2018, this wine leaps from the bottle with dizzyingly delightful notes of baking spices, vanilla and a hint of graphite. To the taste, revel in the layers of fruit and structured, robust backbone in every sip. $80

Le Cuvier Littoral Cuvée Red

Bold yet with juicy fruit notes, this Paso Robles award-winner is an ideal spring dinner party wine. It is a Bordeaux blend with a lovely combination of blueberry, clove, currants and black cherries in every sip. $84

Williamson Wines Ravish Mélange

Given the name “ravish” because the winemaker thinks it will hold any drinker spellbound this spring with delight, wonder and enchantment, Ravish Mélange is inspired by the Pomerol wines of Château Pétrus. Structured with a strong nose of spice, plums and truffles, expect it to tantalize the tastebuds with a variety of ripe flavors, including cherry, cranberry and raspberry. $145

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