★★★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.
The surging popularity of rosé means there are many more available on the market than there were just a few years ago. Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped prices from creeping above $15 for many of the wines. Bargain hunters should search the closeout bins at local wine stores for special deals on 2012 rosés, which will still be delicious.
Here are five rosés from the current 2013 crop to get our warm-weather sipping started, including one charmer that keeps the price as casual as the wine. Keep in mind that more rosés will be reaching our stores in coming weeks, and I will offer recommendations in future columns.
Tavel, Rhone Valley, France, $13
Tavel is an appellation that specializes in rosé, typically deep red in color and more full-bodied and sappy than other rosés. The Sol’ Acantalys is redolent of strawberries, raspberries and Rainier cherries. This is the bolder side of rosé that should appeal to a wide range of American palates. ABV: 13.5 percent.
Dionysus: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Rodman’s, Whole Foods Market (Foggy Bottom, P Street, Tenleytown); on the list at Bistro D’oc. Available in Maryland at Balducci’s, Bethesda Chevy Chase Beer & Wine and Bradley Food and Beverage in Bethesda; on the list at La Ferme in Chevy Chase, Raku in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean), Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean, Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market in Richmond, Whole Foods Market (Alexandria, Arlington, Charlottesville, Reston, Vienna).
Côtes de Provence, France, $15
Francophilic oeno-nerds (and, yes, there are some oeno-nerds who are not Francophilic) tend to idealize Provence for its food, its wine, its lifestyle. Well, at least I do. This wine, in an unusual bottle that looks like Mrs. Butterworth’s on a diet, captures that fantasy. ABV: 13.5 percent.
M Touton Selection: Available in the District at Capitol Hill Wine and Spirits, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Cork & Fork, Paul’s of Chevy Chase. Available in Maryland at Baker’s Liquors in Chester; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg; Franklin’s Restaurant, Brewery & General Store and Yes! Organic Market in Hyattsville; Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda; Old Farm Liquors and Riverside Liquors in Frederick; Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington; Victoria’s Fancy Foods in Severna Park; the Wine Harvest in Potomac. On the list at Praline in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at Crystal City Wine Shop, J. Emerson Fine Wines & Cheese in Richmond, the Vineyard in McLean.
Sicily, Italy, $14
Made from the Sicilian red grape nerello mascalese, this wine is vibrant and refreshing. ABV: 12 percent.
Winebow: Available in the District at Cork & Fork; on the list at Etto and Ghibellina. Available in Maryland at Vino Volo in Bethesda.
★★1 / 2
Languedoc, France, $8
This pale beauty hearkens back to the days not so long ago when good rosé was a wine lover’s secret and much of the enjoyment was in thinking about how cheap it was. Worth stocking up on for the summer. ABV: 11 percent.
Dionysus: Available in the District at De Vinos, D’Vines, Rodman’s, Wagshal’s Deli, Whole Foods Market (Foggy Bottom, P Street, Tenleytown). Available in Maryland at Balducci’s, Bradley Food & Beverage and Cork & Fork in Bethesda; Finewine.com in Gaithersburg; Rodman’s (Wheaton, White Flint); Wine Cellars of Annapolis. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean), Grapevine in Warrenton, Wine Guild and Market Street Wineshop in Charlottesville, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview), Whole Foods Market (Alexandria, Arlington, Vienna, Tysons Corner).
★★1 / 2
Salento, Italy, $17
The label claims this was the first Italian winery to produce a rosato, back in 1943. The wine is bright red in color, juicy and elegant in flavor. ABV: 12 percent.
Winebow: Available in the District at A-1 Wines & Liquors, Ace Beverage, Dupont Market, Rodman’s, S&R Liquors; on the list at Iron Gate.