Biblia Chora Areti 2012√
Pangeon, Greece, $30
Areti means virtue in Greek, though the virtues of that rare grape apparently have been lost on Greece’s winemakers. Blended here with assyrtiko, the more familiar white grape of the Greek islands, it produces a rich wine that tastes of an orchard in a glass: apricots, peaches, pears and something exotic, maybe Meyer lemon or kumquats. We’re used to red wines developing flavors in the glass as they breathe, but this terrific white also benefits from patience. Linger over it with grilled fish.
Dionysus: Available in the District at MacArthur Beverages; on the list at Kellari Taverna and Mourayo. Available in Maryland at Vlamis’ Cut-Rate Liquors. Available in Virginia at Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview); on the list at Nostos in Vienna.
Legado del Conde Albariño 2012
Rías Baixas, Spain, $17
Albariño, from the Rias Baixas region of Galicia in northwest Spain, essentially has two expressions: mineral and fruit. The Legado falls in the more traditional mineral style, with a focus on stony, saline flavors, hints of tree fruits and a squeeze of citrus. From Classical Wines, an importer to note for traditional-styled Spanish wines.
Country Vintner: Available in the District at Arrowine and Spirits, MacArthur Beverages; on the list at Jaleo, Occidental Grill, Posto, Vinoteca. Available in Maryland at Finewine.com in Gaithersburg, Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda; on the list at Volt in Frederick. Available in Virginia at Dominion Wine & Beer in Falls Church; on the list at Jaleo in Crystal City.
La Cana Albariño 2011
Rías Baixas, Spain, $17
This albariño is more on the fruity side, with ambrosial citrus and tropical-fruit aromas and flavors. As such, it is easier to sip as a cocktail wine or aperitif than the more mineral Legado, but don’t neglect this with food. Just think of it as more casual. From Jorge Ordonez, another leading importer of Spanish wines.
Country Vintner: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Lee-Irving Liquor, Modern Liquors, Paul’s of Chevy Chase; on the list at Jaleo. Available in Maryland at Finewine.com in Gaithersburg, Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda, Pine Orchard Wine in Ellicott City; on the list at Jaleo in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at Dominion Wine & Beer in Falls Church, various Total Wine & More locations, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview), various Whole Foods Market locations.
Le Petit Balthazar Rosé 2012
Languedoc, France $9
Notes of bracing cantaloupe, watermelon and a touch of aromatic herbs make this one of the best rosés I’ve tasted this year. Celebrate summer with this wine as if you were already at the beach.
Dionysus: Available in Maryland at Balducci’s (Bethesda), Iron Bridge Wine Co. in Columbia, Wine Cellars of Annapolis. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean), Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview), Whole Foods Market (Alexandria, Arlington, Vienna); on the list at Selba in Richmond, Tavola in Charlottesville.
Le Petit Rouvière Rosé 2012
Var, France, $10
Is there a whiff of the sea here? A hint of garrigue, that herbal scruff of lavender and thyme that defines Provence in our imaginations? If we value wine for its ability to transport us from the quotidian to stardust, this is a vacation in a glass.
M Touton Selection: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Rodman’s, Watergate Wine & Beverage. Available in Maryland at Cork & Fork and Westlake Wine & Beer in Bethesda, Greenbelt Co-op, Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, Party Time Liquors in Mount Rainier, Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington, Snider’s Super Foods in Silver Spring, Wheaton Winery, Wine Source in Baltimore, Yes! Organic Market in Hyattsville; on the list at Wine Kitchen in Frederick. Available in Virginia at Foods of All Nations and Whole Foods Market in Charlottesville, J. Emerson Fine Wines & Cheese and Once Upon a Vine in Richmond, the Vineyard in McLean.