Tried and Tasted: 5 Best California Wines You Should Try Too

5 Best California Wines You Should Try featured by top LA wine blogger, Alicia Tenise

As much as I love my Virginia wine and miss the low-key wineries in my home state, I’m having a blast exploring the wine regions of California. Most of my weekend trips this summer were to wineries in Southern California and the Central Coast, and I’m hoping to squeeze a couple of trips up to Northern California before the year is over!

Now that summer has come to a close, and I properly celebrated California Wine Month this September, I wanted to share some of the best California wines I’ve tried these past few months. If you’re not in California, don’t fret — these wineries can ship to many states across the United States if you’d like to give them a try!

5 Best California Wines Tasted in Summer of 2021 You Should Try

Akash Winery 2017 Zinfandel

I first visited Akash Winery back in 2019, and I instantly fell in love. It’s an Indian-owned winery located in Temecula, and IMO; it’s one of the best wineries in the area. Not only are the wines incredible, but the ambiance is top-notch as well. It’s been incredible to see their tasting room expand over the years, and I’m always looking forward to new releases from Akash.

One of my favorite wines from Akash is their 2017 Zinfandel. This juicy wine has dark cherry, peppercorns, and oak notes and is ready to drink now. Enjoy this with food or on its own.

The 2017 Zinfandel is available for wine club members only, but you can purchase the 2018 Zinfandel on their website.

Danza Del Sol Winery 2018 Mourvèdre

Danza Del Sol Winery is another one of my favorite wineries in Temecula. I love most about Danza Del Sol because they produce incredible, high-quality wine at one of the more affordable price points in California. If you’re in Temecula, make sure to pop in for a tasting. If not, consider ordering their wine to try at home!

The 2018 Mourvèdre has notes of plum, black pepper, cedar, and vanilla. You can purchase it here.

Brown Estate 2019 Chaos Theory

I haven’t had the opportunity to visit Brown Estate yet, but it’s the first Black-owned winery established in Napa Valley, and it’s definitely on my list. 

I was wandering through a wine shop in Los Angeles, and I saw Chaos Theory on the shelf, and I knew I had to take it home and give it a try. Chaos Theory is a blend of Petite Sirah, Merlot, and Zinfandel and has blackberry and tobacco notes. I have a second bottle that I plan on aging, but this wine tastes great right now as well.

You can purchase Chaos Theory on Brown Estate’s website or find it at Total Wine

Tablas Creek Vineyard 2019 Espirit de Tablas

I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting their vineyard, but the Visit SLO Cal team was kind enough to send me a couple of wines to try for California Wine Month — and both of those wines did not disappoint!

Tablas Creek Vineyard is located in Paso Robles, and they have established themselves as a source for Rhône-style vine clippings stateside. Their Espirit de Tablas blend consists of Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah, and Counoise. This wine has notes of black cherry, teriyaki marinate, and chocolate. Tablas Creek recommends that you drink this wine between now and 2024 or against starting in 2027.

This wine is biodynamic, regenerative organic, and certified sustainable. You can purchase Espirit de Tablas on Tablas Creek’s website.

Verdad Wine Cellars 2019 Albariño

Verdad Wine Cellars is a critically acclaimed winery located in Edna Valley. I have yet to visit their tasting room, but if you’re looking for biodynamic wines, this is the perfect California winery for you!

The 2019 Albariño is very aromatic with orange blossom and lemon zest aromas, and on the palate, It is lean with loads of white stone minerals. This wine is crisp and refreshing and perfect to pair with chorizo and goat cheese. It also scored 93 points at Wine Enthusiast. 

This wine is biodynamic, organic, and certified sustainable. You can purchase this wine on Verdad Wine Cellars’ website.

What were your favorite wines you tried this summer? Let me know in the comments below!

Photo by Tom McGovern

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