5 wines to try

May 14, 2013
Recommendations

★★★Exceptional  ★★Excellent ★Very Good

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

I recommend these wines totally on their own merits, without knowing or implying whether they contain Brettanomyces . Or not.— D.M.

Altesino Rosso di Montalcino 2010

★★★

Tuscany, Italy, $30

Rosso di Montalcino is sometimes described as “baby Brunello” and is usually made from grapes grown on younger vines. This is at least a teenage Brunello, thrashing at the chains of youth and eager to show its potential. It’s cheaper than Brunello, which usually starts at $40 or higher. Sangiovese at its best.

Winebow: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Rodman’s; on the list at Filomena, Fiola.

Chateau Unang Ventoux 2009

★★1 / 2

Rhone Valley, France, $19

Dense, deep and dark, it could pass for a Gigondas or a Chateauneuf-du-Pape. This wine, and another wonderful bottling called La Croix, demonstrate the quality that can come from lesser-known regions in Provence and the Rhone Valley.

Vintage 59/Country Vintner: Available in the District at A.M. Wine Shoppe; on the list at Bistro Francais. Available in Maryland at Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington. Available in Virginia at Out of Site Wines in Vienna, Slaters Market in Alexandria; on the list at Ashby Inn in Paris.

Finca la Mata 2010

★★1 / 2

Ribero del Duero, Spain, $18

This delicious red from importer Aurelio Cabestrero gets the benefit of tempranillo grapes grown on 80-plus-year-old vines. The wine shows Old World character with earthy yet ripe tannins and an appealing tartness that is quite refreshing on the finish.

Grapes of Spain/Elite: Available in the District at Bell Wine & Spirits, Calvert Woodley, Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits, Cork & Fork, De Vinos, Rodman’s; on the list at Boqueria, Farmers Fishers Bakers, Maple, Mio, Taberna del Alabardero. Available in Maryland at Crush Winehouse in Annapolis; on the list at La Tasca in Baltimore and Rockville.

Prima 2010

★★1 / 2

Toro, Spain, $20

Also from Aurelio Cabestrero, this Spanish charmer shows more modern, international character than the Finca la Mata, with ripe fruit flavors and overt oak. At this price, it is a terrific value for fans of the fruitier, modern style of winemaking.

Grapes of Spain/Elite: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, MacArthur Beverages, Rodman’s, S&R Liquors, Whole Foods Market (Glover Park, P Street, Tenleytown). Available in Maryland at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits in Annapolis; Mt. Airy Liquors; Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits & Bistro in Beltsville; Wine Cellars of Annapolis; Wine Source in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Euro Market & Cafe in Arlington, Balducci’s in McLean, Wine House in Fairfax, Wine Styles in Dumfries, Vino Volo at Dulles International Airport.

Kir-Yianni Akakies Rosé 2012

★★

Amyndeon, Greece, $14

Here’s an excellent rosé for summer, better than many French rosés from 2012. This one is ripe yet racy, with good acidity to balance the fruit flavors. But enough about the wine; how are you feeling this fine warm day?

Dionysus: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Calvert Woodley, MacArthur Beverages, Rodman’s, Wagshal’s Market, Whole Food Market (Tenleytown); on the list at Cava, Kellari, Morayo, Nostos. Available in Maryland at Balducci’s, Bradley Food & Beverage and Cork & Fork in Bethesda; the Bottle Shop in Potomac; Finewine.com in Gaithersburg. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s and Whole Foods Market in Alexandria, Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean, Unwined in Alexandria and Belleview.

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