5 bargain wines for May

Columnist May 7, 2013
Bargain Bottles

★★★Exceptional  ★★Excellent ★Very Good

Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

Dave McIntyre is a wine columnist for The Washington Post. He also blogs at dmwineline.com. View Archive

Here’s this month’s selection of wines, priced from $9 to $16, that over-perform in value for their very reasonable price. They include a delightful white and two rosés that will help you welcome the warm weather of spring.

— D.M.

Las Colinas del Ebro Garnatxa Blanca 2012

★★1 / 2

Terra Alta, Spain, $12

This is one of the best inexpensive white wines I’ve tasted this year: focused and mineral, with chalky talc flavors to balance the quince and pear fruit. It might not be the best wine for just sipping; have it with salty appetizers or tapas instead. Olives and anchovies should make it shine.

Elite: Available in the District at Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, Rodman’s, various Whole Foods Market locations; on the list at BlackSalt, La Tasca. Available in Maryland at Balducci’s (Bethesda), the Bottle Shop in Potomac; on the list at Jaleo in Bethesda, La Tasca in Rockville. Available in Virginia at Arrowine in Arlington, Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean); on the list at La Tasca in Alexandria.

Chateau Vignol Rosé 2012

★★

Bordeaux, France, $13

This juicy, vibrant rosé will be an excellent partner to any summer fare on the patio.

Oslo Enterprise/Voila! Wines: Available in the District at Chat’s Liquors, Dean & DeLuca, Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine & Spirits, Rodman’s, Sheffield Wine & Liquor Shoppe, U Street Wine & Beer, Wagshal’s Market. Available in Maryland at Decanter Fine Wines in Columbia; Eddie’s of Roland Park, Grand Cru, Graul’s Wine & Spirits, Spirits of Mt. Vernon, Wells Discount Liquors and Wine Source in Baltimore; Fishpaws Marketplace in Arnold; Frederick Wine House; Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits & Bistro in Laurel; the Wine Merchant in Lutherville.

Thunevin-Calvet, Cuvée Constance 2008

★★

Cotes du Roussillon Villages, France, $16

A 50-50 blend of grenache and carignan, it shows southern France at its best, with scents and flavors of thyme, lavender and roast beef. I recommend opening it a few hours before dinner or decanting it to allow the flavors to develop; otherwise, stock up and let it age for a year or two in your cellar.

M Touton Selection: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits. Available in Maryland at Bethesda Co-Op in Cabin John; Franklin’s Restaurant, Brewery and General Store in Hyattsville; Lewes Market Liquor & Wine in Chestertown; Montgomery County Dispensary in Potomac; Old Farm Liquors in Frederick; Rosewick Wine & Spirits in La Plata; Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington; Wheaton Winery. Available in Virginia at the Vineyard in McLean.

Rosa de Arrocal 2012

★★

Ribera del Duero, Spain, $13

From a noted producer, this juicy rosé of tempranillo grapes is racy with strawberry flavors and zippy acidity. It's crisp and refreshing, just what the rosé doctor ordered for warm weather.

Elite: Available in the District at Rodman’s; on the list at Comet Ping Pong, Poste Moderne Brasserie. Available in Maryland at the Bottle Shop in Potomac. Available in Virginia at Grateful Red Wine & Gift Shop in Arlington, Unwined in Alexandria.

Los Haroldos Chardonnay 2011

Mendoza, Argentina, $9

Fans of Kendall-Jackson’s chardonnay, famous for its slightly sweet finish, will enjoy this wine for a few dollars less.

Constantine: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, De Vinos, D’Vines, Rodman’s, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill; on the list at Woodward Table. Available in Maryland at Annebeth’s in Annapolis, Bin 604 Wine Sellers in Baltimore, Castle’s Liquors in Williamsport, Cork ’n Bottle Liquor in Laurel, Cranberry Liquors in Westminster, Cranbrook Liquors in Cockeysville, Friendship Wine & Liquor in Abingdon, Wine Market in Baltimore; on the list at Mrs. K’s Toll House Restaurant and Parkway Deli & Restaurant in Silver Spring.

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