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Recommended Charles Krug wines

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Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage Selection 2008

***

Napa Valley, Calif., $69

Created by Cesare Mondavi, this wine is made only on the best vintages. It is mouth-filling, with spicy licorice notes, soft tannins and a long finish. It will reward cellaring.

Available in the District at Schneider’s of Capitol Hill; on the list at area Morton’s the Steakhouse locations.

Charles Krug Chardonnay 2009

** 1/2

Carneros, Napa Valley, Calif., $20

This chardonnay shows why the Carneros area is justly famous for the grape. It exhibits a skillful marriage of fruit and oak, with firm acidity to give it structure and length without flabbiness. Quality at this level often costs a good deal more.

Available in the District at PanMar Wine & Liquor, various Safeway locations, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, State Liquors. Widely available in Maryland, including at Montgomery County liquor stores. Available in Virginia at most Giant, Harris Teeter, Safeway, Target and Wegmans locations.

Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

** 1/2

Napa Valley, Calif., $27

This wine represents nearly half of the winery’s total production. At first taste, I found it too oaky, but after just a few minutes, the fruit came alive and showed the black currant and licorice notes characteristic of Napa cabernet. With most Napa cabs pushing $40 and above, this is an excellent way to move above generic cabernet and experience what Napa is all about without breaking the bank.

Available in the District at PanMar Wine & Liquor, various Safeway stores, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, State Liquors. Widely available in Maryland, including at Montgomery County liquor stores. Available in Virginia at most Giant, Harris Teeter, Safeway, Target and Wegmans locations.

Charles Krug Merlot 2008

**

Napa Valley, Calif., $24

Merlot has been the neglected stepchild of California wine for too long. This one, with nice plummy fruit and an attractive dusting of cocoa on the palate, should serve as a reminder of why we used to like the grape.

Available in the District at PanMar Wine & Liquor, various Safeway stores, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill and State Liquors. Widely available in Maryland, including at Montgomery County liquor stores. Available in Virginia at most Giant, Harris Teeter, Safeway, Target and Wegmans locations.

Charles Krug Generations 2008

* 1/2

Napa Valley, Calif., $51

Peter Mondavi Jr. acknowledges that the family is harvesting later for its reserve wines in order to achieve more power and alcohol, attributing the decision to market demand. While the Vintage Select Cabernet carried the heft well, I felt the alcohol was out of balance on the Generations, producing a slight burn that detracted from the fruit. Fans of the bigger style might very well disagree.

Available in the District at D’Vines, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill; on the list at area Morton’s the Steakhouse locations.

Charles Krug Sauvignon Blanc 2010

* 1/2

Napa Valley, Calif., $18

The grapes are picked at night and chilled with dry ice to preserve freshness. Harvest occurs in two stages to capture the flavor spectrum of sauvignon blanc, from citrus to ripe tree fruit, Mondavi says. This wine is closed with screw caps, a move the winery is also considering for the chardonnay.

Available in the District at PanMar Wine & Liquor, various Safeway stores, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, State Liquors. Widely available in Maryland, including at Montgomery County liquor stores. Available in Virginia at most Giant, Harris Teeter, Safeway, Target and Wegmans locations.

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.

The Charles Krug Appellation Series of wines is distributed fairly widely in the District, Maryland and Virginia. Store listings were provided by the winery. Distributors are RNDC in the District, F.P. Winner in Maryland and Virginia Distributing Co. in Virginia.

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