The Top 10 Wines for Summer 2024

The Top 10 Wines for Summer 2024

Ready for warmer weather? Well, it’s coming like it or not, and even if you’re not a fan of hotter days and nights, summertime does mean we’ll get a chance to break out some more seasonally appropriate whites and reds that pair well with the warmer months of the year. Drop the parka and dive in: Here’s our top 10 wines, based on recent coverage, that we recommend for summer sipping.

Want to buy them? Remember: Check Total Wine and for the best deals on all of these picks! You can also search multiple stores at wine-searcher to find the best prices on all these products and more.

1. 2021 Rodney Strong Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir – Rodney Strong is best known as a workhorse brand that churns out a huge range of wines primarily targeted at the middle shelf. Don’t sleep on the Reserve line, though, particularly this standout pinot noir, which is a hearty and rich wine lush with iconic notes of black cherries, cola, and tea. The overall tone remains light enough for summertime, finishing on a floral touch. $60 -CN

2. 2022 Langlois Chateau Sancerre AOP – Sancerre is always a quintessential part of summer, and this is a delightful example. Somehow both sophisticated and simply delicious, this wine presents fresh notes of coconut that lead into bright lemon curd, flower, and subtle minerality. There isn’t a wrong time to pour good Sancerre, so bring on the warmer weather! $23 -RL [BUY IT NOW FROM WINE.COM]

3. 2022 Dutton Estate Chardonnay Morelli Lane Vineyard – Sonoma’s Dutton Estate killed it with chardonnay this year, particularly this single vineyard bottling that melds melon and tropical elements with classic vanilla custard and bright lemon acidity. Some salinity on the finish is what seals the deal, turning a California classic into something decidedly special. $65 -CN

4. 2019 Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir Goldrock Estate – A killer pinot noir from an iconic (and still rising) California winemaker, its mineral-driven core taking notes of graphite and slate and folding in ample notes of plums and blackberries. It threatens to take things into territory that’s a bit too sweet, yet manages to temper any jammy tendencies with acidity. $80 -CN

5. 2019 Chateau Bonnet Saint-Amour – Want a less expensive and perhaps more intriguing alternative to pinot noir? Check out cru Beaujolais such as this bottling from the far-northernly region of Saint-Amour, which seduces with notes of red fruit, tea leaf, violets, and Biscoff cookies. A lively, delightful bargain. $22 -CN [BUY IT NOW FROM WINE.COM]

6. 2021 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Dach Anderson Valley – This was one of the boldest and richest wines from the slate of pinot noirs we reviewed from the iconic producer this year, its classic cherry notes balanced by earth and a drop of balsamic. Bold, herbal, and built for days where a healthy breeze is in the forecast. $75 -CN

7. 2020 Halter Ranch Ancestor – Hotter months traditionally call for wines that refresh and carry minimal heft. However, when there are moments requiring something with more gravitas, this blend of cabernet, petit verdot, and malbec is more than ready to answer the call. Rich and elegant, it is loaded with blackberry, cassis, and currant throughout, with the oak influence from the barrel providing extra dimension and complexity on the finish. Fire up the grill with some veggies and a high-quality steak, and place something on the turntable for an idyllic trio on a cooler evening. $85 -RT

8. NV Basta Spirit Vermut Flores Rosé – Complex in its construction, this rosé showcases floral notes before yielding to strawberry and grapefruit and a bright finish full of botanicals. This one receives the approval of two out of three Roberts currently on staff, and I am certain if the third had an opportunity to try this it would be a unanimous choice. Serve this on ice and watch your guests gawk. $16 -RT

9. 2021 Etude Pinot Noir Carneros – Pinot noir may be the perfect red wine for summer with its light tannins and bright fruit, and this is an excellent example of why it works so well this time of year. The wine bursts with black cherry, sour cherry, and pomegranate, all complemented by black pepper and flower notes. The wine’s high acidity and silky tannins promise it will pair beautifully with the foods of summer, particularly grilled fish and chicken. $47 -RL [BUY IT NOW FROM WINE.COM]

10. Dassai Blue Type 23 Junmai Daigingo Sake – Okay, so technically sake isn’t wine, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t perfect for summer. This sake is bright and evocative, with aromas of honeydew, Asian pear, and cucumber. The palate offers lightly salted honeydew and cucumber along with additional complexity. I can imagine sipping this by the pool with friends who can appreciate its bright, delicate, and complex charm. $72 -RL

Additional reporting by Rob Theakston and Robert Lublin.

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Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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