Eight Wines for Pumpkin Spice Lovers

Notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove, a.k.a pumpkin spice, are found in wines from Washington State Chardonnay to Alsace Pinot Noir.
Spice up your fall / Getty

It’s the same thing every autumn. Pumpkin spice lattes, Triscuits, chai, Cheerios, and a host of other pumpkin-laced foodstuffs flood grocery stores. It’s become apparent the seasonal craze is less a trend than a way of life. Lucky for you, the baking spices that make up “pumpkin spice”—cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove and sometimes, allspice—are quite prevalent in a range of wine styles.

So if you’re looking for a fine red, white or sparkling wine with hints of pumpkin perfection for fall sipping, here are eight wines to drink until eggnog hits the shelves.

Recommended Wines with Fine Pumpkin Spice Vibes

Heinrich 2011 Terra O. Red (Burgenland); $75, 93 points. A roasted rich note of espresso and grilled pumpkin appears first. The palate is still dense with rich dark-berry fruit. This is full bodied but pervaded by freshness. The finely woven tannin structure is still very firm, very grippy, even though the fruit underneath it begins to show. This is now five years old and has barely begun its trajectory. Lovely now  if you like full-bodied wines. Drink now through 2030. —Anne Krebiehl, MW

Sixto 2014 Moxee Chardonnay (Washington); $55, 93 points. Coming from a vineyard planted in 1973 at an elevation of 1,450 feet, the aromas draw you into the glass, with intoxicating notes of cream, ginger, pumpkin spice and chamomile. The palate possesses a creamy texture but also a sense of weightlessness that provides a lot of appeal. The balance is exquisite. —Sean P. Sullivan

Spindrift Cellars 2014 Late Harvest Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley); $17/375 mL, 92 points. Breakfast tea, grapefruit and orange peel scents and a hint of spiced pumpkin come out of this well-priced sweet wine. With 67 g/L residual sugar and 12% alcohol, it’s not shy by any standard. The acid is sufficient to balance out all that sugar, and it’s rich enough that one half bottle can provide a dessert sip for a party of four. —Paul Gregutt

Whiskey Pumpkin Pie

Abeja 2016 Chardonnay (Washington); $40, 91 points. This wine’s toast, pumpkin spice and peach aromas are followed by lithe, textured stone fruit flavors. It hits a lot of high marks and shows beautiful balance. —S.S.

Bookwalter 2016 Double Plot Conner-Lee Vineyard Chardonnay (Columbia Valley); $38, 91 points. The heart of this wine comes from a block of this vineyard planted in 1989. The aromas recall peaches, lees, pumpkin spice, candy corn, chamomile tea and toast. There’s a sense of seriousness to the palate, with rich fruit flavors and a compelling texture. —S.S.

Emile Beyer 2015 Lieu-Dit Sundel Pinot Noir (Alsace); $45, 90 points. There is a hint of earth and roasted pumpkin on the nose. The palate has a similarly smoky and dusky aspect and surrounds crisp red-cherry fruit. The body is light with a slight but fine tannic grip. A pleasantly bitter finish counters the pumpkin richness. The finish is very fresh and dry but strangely moreish. This will benefit from a bit of bottle age. Drink now through 2022. —A.K.

Casas Del Mar NV Pinot Noir (Cava); $14, 86 points. Subtle aromas of squash and pumpkin open this brut rosé. A basic but honest palate displays good balance and health. Burnt orange and pink-grapefruit flavors finish steady, mild and reflective of a good but regular Pinot Noir-based Cava. —Michael Schachner

Pere Ventura 2013 Gran Reserva Rosé Brut (Cava); $45, 85 points. Pumpkin, root beer and creamy berry aromas are frankly a touch less than fresh. This vintage rosé is narrow and wanting, with an oxidized character infiltrating sour plum and cherry flavors. A skins-like feel and mild oxidized flavors control the finish. —M.S.

Published on October 10, 2018
Topics: Autumn



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