5 fruity Californian wines to try

Columnist February 4
Recommendations

★★★Exceptional  ★★Excellent ★Very Good

Availability information is based on distributor records. Wines might not be in stock at every listed store and might be available at additional stores. 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

The New California wines that San Francisco Chronicle wine editor Jon Bonné recommends tend to be in short supply, and many are available only through direct-to-consumer sales. Here are a few wines that either are included in the book or fit Bonné’s ideal of harking back to California’s golden years.

Marietta Old Vine Red Lot Number 60

★★★

California, $15

Bonné lauds the Marietta Old Vine Red as an example of a traditional-style wine that provides value at a reasonable price. I’m old enough to remember when this wine, which is not vintage-dated but numbered by lots, cost less than $10. Even at its current price, the Old Vine Red is a tremendous value: zinfandel-based, earthy and complex. Alcohol by volume: 13.5 percent.

Bacchus: Available in the District at Burka’s Wine & Liquor, Calvert Woodley, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, MacArthur Beverages, Magruder’s, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Pearson’s, Safeway (Georgetown), Whole Foods Market (Glover Park, P Street, Tenleytown). Country Vintner in Maryland: Available at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits, Eastport Liquors and Mills Fine Wine and Spirits in Annapolis; Belby Discount Beer & Wine in Rockville; Bethesda Chevy Chase Beer & Wine and Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda; the Bottle Shop in Potomac; Chevy Chase Supermarket; Franklin Liquors in Ijamsville; Iron Bridge Wine Co. in Columbia; Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits & Bistro in Beltsville; the Perfect Pour in Elkridge; Pine Orchard Wine in Ellicott City; Rodman’s (Wheaton, White Flint). Select: Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean); Norm’s Beer & Wine and Vienna Vintner in Vienna; various Giant, Safeway, Total Wine & More, Wegmans and Whole Foods Market locations.

Calera Chardonnay 2012

★★

Central Coast, Calif., $22

Calera is not exactly “new” California, but its wines embody a traditional style that has emphasized fruit and earth over power and oak. ABV: 14.3 percent.

Country Vintner: Available in the District at Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits, Dean & DeLuca, Rodman’s; on the list at NoPa Kitchen and Spices. Available in Virginia at Curious Grape in Arlington, Fern Street Gourmet in Alexandria, Norm’s Wine & Beer in Vienna, Total Wine & More (Alexandria, McLean).

Field Recordings Fiction White Blend 2011

★★

Central Coast, Calif. $20

This is the type of white blend I love: a mixture of pinot gris, sauvignon blanc and muscat that doesn’t fit any model from traditional Old World wine regions. It’s lovely, aromatic, fruity and yet dry, delicious by itself or with casual seafood dishes. There is also a delicious red blend ($23) based on zinfandel. ABV: 12.9 percent.

Free Run: Available in the District at Central Liquors, Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits, DCanter; on the list at Art & Soul. Available in Virginia at Oakton Wine Shop.

Birichino Malvasia Bianca 2011

★★

Monterey, California, $20

Fans of Bonny Doon’s late, lamented Ca’ del Solo Mavasia will enjoy this one, with its exotic floral aromas and intriguing dry-fruit flavors. Excellent with simple shellfish dishes or just by itself. ABV: 13 percent.

Williams Corner: Available in the District at Chat’s Liquor, Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits; on the list at Boundary Road, Doi Moi, Proof. Available in Maryland at Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits & Bistro in Beltsville. Available in Virginia at La Fromagerie in Alexandria, the Whole Ox in the Plains.

Vina Robles Red4 2009/10

★★

Paso Robles, Calif. $18

This blend of petite sirah, grenache, syrah and mourvedre is at once traditional in the style of Côtes du Rhône and yet very Californian in its ripeness and style. ABV: 14.9 percent.

Robins Cellars: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Smucker Farms of Lancaster County. Mondovino in Maryland: Available at Jason’s Wine & Spirits in Ellicott City; Mays Chapel Wine & Spirit Shop in Timonium; Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits and Bistro in Beltsville; Wells Discount Liquors in Baltimore; various Montgomery County Liquor Stores. Robins Cellars in Virginia: Available at Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean, Norm’s Beer & Wine in Vienna, Whole Foods Market (Arlington).

SECTION: {section=lifestyle, subsection=food}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=3, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=15, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: {allow_comments=true, allow_photos=false, allow_videos=false, comments_period=14, comments_source=washpost.com, default_sort=, default_tab=, display_comments=true, is_ugc_gallery=false, max_items_to_display=15, max_items_to_display_top=3, moderation_required=false, stream_id=}!!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=3, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=15, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Comments
SECTION: {section=lifestyle, subsection=food}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=3, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=15, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: {allow_comments=true, allow_photos=false, allow_videos=false, comments_period=14, comments_source=washpost.com, default_sort=, default_tab=, display_comments=true, is_ugc_gallery=false, max_items_to_display=15, max_items_to_display_top=3, moderation_required=false, stream_id=}!!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=3, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=15, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Show Comments