The Best Red Wines of Summer: Cultivar’s New Releases

At Cultivar Wine, we’re driven to create the very best, small-batch, hand-crafted wines from the premier growing regions throughout the state. It’s our mission and our passion. So when we come up with something really special, we are thrilled to share it with you. That’s why this summer is so exciting. We’ve produced four extraordinary red wines that not only reflect the uniqueness of the vineyards they come from but are perfect for summer drinking.

2019 Pinot Noir, Russian River, Sonoma

If you’ve been drinking Cultivar Wine for a while now, you know that Pinot Noir is a recent obsession for us. We released our first Russian River Pinot Noir with the 2018 vintage, and are more excited than ever to offer our new 2019 vintage. Sourced from the same sustainably farmed vineyard as the 2018, this Pinot swirls with aromas of cherry, mushroom, earth, cola, mint, and eucalyptus. Subtlety is the key here, with raspberry, strawberry, and pomegranate gently flowing across the palette. The wine’s youth is reflected in the caramel notes of the oak, but the soft and lingering tannins through the finish tell you this wine is ready to be one of the best red wines of summer.

A bottle of 2019 Cultivar Wine Russian River Pinot Noir is one of the best red wines for summer

Pair this wine with grilled salmon, lamb chops with rosemary, and all your favorite summer salads. Light pasta dishes with Roma tomatoes, capers and olive oil are perfect with this Pinot as well. 2019 will be remembered as a season where the threat of frost during spring held the grapes back a bit. But that only created a lighter sugar content and a brighter acid profile, making this Russian River Pinot Noir versatile and delicious.

2015 Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, Mendocino

Did we mention we’re currently obsessed with Pinot Noir? This is another little gem you can’t resist. The wine shows the hallmarks of great Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, with equal parts lushness and beauty. Located about 100 miles north of San Francisco in Mendocino County, Anderson Valley is blessed with cool marine air, steep hills, and nearly-level alluvial terraces. This micro-climate and soil create perfect growing conditions for the thin-skinned pinot noir grape.

A bottle of 2015 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir from Cultivar Wine is one of the best red wines for summer

The first thing you notice about this Anderson Valley Pinot Noir is its distinct, pale ruby hue. The intensity it brings on the nose is mesmerizing. Waves of black peppercorns and stewed plums that swirl with classic mushroom and forest aromas. Each sip reveals subtle yet complex layers of Rainer cherries, mulled wine spices, cherry pie, anise, and dates. The finish is defined by a vivid acid that tells you this wine is made to pair with dishes like flatbread pizza with caramelized onion & ham, teriyaki salmon, herbed meatballs, and truffled pasta with seasonal vegetables like zucchini & tomatoes harvested straight from your garden. We recommend you decant this bottle or use an aerator to discover even greater complexity.

2018 Zinfandel, Calistoga, Napa Valley

Our first bottling of Zinfandel,  Calistoga, the further-most appellation in Napa Valley, has long been prime Cabernet country. But we’ve always believed that the volcanic soil and often extreme temperature variations are perfect for Zinfandel. With a deep ruby color that borders on Blood Orange, our Zinfandel explodes with blueberry, muddled raspberry, chocolate, and lavender. It’s big fruit with a medium body and low viscosity. On the finish, the signature white pepper lingers, supported by delicate tannins and balanced acid.

A bottle of 2018 Cultivar Wine Calistoga Zinfandel is one of the best red wines for summer

Better still, 2018 was a near-perfect growing season that saw ideal weather conditions throughout the Calistoga AVA. Both bud break and flowering occurred a bit late, but still created plentiful and even fruit set. Summer brought generous sun by day and cool marine influences by night, with virtually no major heat spikes. This was followed by extended fall sunshine that created ideal conditions that allowed the fruit to accumulate flavor complexity. Enjoy this wine with grilled burgers, salmon, mushroom risotto, or a creamy corn dish.

This 2018 Calistoga Zinfandel is another reason it’s great to be a member of the Cultivar Wine Club. We only made enough for our club members to enjoy, and quantities are extremely limited!

2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Coombsville, Napa Valley

Coombsville, the last appellation in Napa Valley to get its designation, is one of the most diverse AVAs in all the valley. A combination of both hillside and valley vineyards, the area has the unique combination of gravel soil, high temperatures, and a constant breeze off of San Pablo Bay. This brings a power and intensity to the Cabernets grown there that is unlike any other from Napa.

A bottle of the 2012 Cultivar wine Cabernet Sauvignon, Coombsville, Napa Valley is one of the best red wines for summer

Our Coombsville Cabernet greets the nose with strawberry, dried roses, cardamom, and that signature gravel minerality. Soft and complex layers of plum, boysenberry, and licorice mingle with leather and tar on the mid-palate. This is followed by a lingering finish of subtle oak and fine tannins. 18 months in barrel and another two years in the bottle have softened this wine up beautifully. It’s light enough to sip on its own, yet bold enough to stand up to lamb stew or marinated tri-tip. Another five years in the bottle will reveal even deeper complexity.

If you’ve been looking for the best red wines of summer, look no further. Available at Cultivar SF by the glass or bottle Pick up a few of your favorites, or get a case and save an extra 10%. Let us know if you would like us to cold-pack your shipping!

Cheers!