Russian River Valley wines to try

Columnist
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 the wine columnist for The Washington Post. He also blogs at dmwineline.com. View Archive

Russian River Valley wines are found more often on restaurant wine lists than on retail shelves, primarily because of limited production.

Inman Family Pinot Noir 2008

★★★

Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, Calif., $30

This wine features delicious black-fruit flavors, a hint of spice and the suggestion of a hidden story line waiting to emerge with the next sip. I certainly wanted to keep on drinking it. Also look for the Olivet Grange and Thorn Ridge bottlings.

Broadbent Selections/Country Vintner: Available in the District at Ace Beverage; on the list at Corduroy, Elisir. Available in Maryland at Richburn Discount Liquors in Columbia, Total Discount Liquors in Eldersburg, the Wine Merchant in Lutherville; on the list at Bluegrass in Baltimore. On the list in Virginia at Poplar Springs in Casanova.

Inman Family Chardonnay 2011

★★1 / 2

Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, Calif., $32

A lovely chardonnay; it has flavors of lemon curd and peach, plus enough acidity to give it structure and a long, complex finish. I don’t understand why more stores don’t carry this gem.

Broadbent Selections/Country Vintner: On the list in the District at Corduroy, Old Ebbitt Grill.

Martin Ray Chardonnay 2012

★★1 / 2

Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, Calif., $19

Lively and finely balanced, this citrusy and toasty chard is a crowd-pleaser at a reasonable price.

Country Vintner: Available in the District at Paul’s of Chevy Chase. Available in Maryland at Georgetown Square Wine and Beer. Available in Virginia at Dominion Wine & Beer in Falls Church, Oakton Wine Shop, Wegmans (various locations).

Hartford Court Pinot Noir 2011

★★1 / 2

Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, Calif., $40

This wine, from the Green Valley subsection of the Russian River Valley appellation, showcases the dark-fruit character of pinot noir from this region, with Bing cherry and black berry flavors.

Monument/Republic National: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine & Spirits, Pearson’s, Wagshal’s Deli, Whole Foods Market (P Street); on the list at Marcel’s. Available in Maryland at Balducci’s, Beer Wine & Co. and Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda; Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits and Bin 201 in Annapolis; Bin 604 Wine Sellers and the Wine Source in Baltimore; Highland Wine & Spirits; Montgomery County Dispensary in Potomac; Roots Market in Olney; the Wine Rack in Ocean City. On the list at Black’s and Grapeseed in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at Out of Site Wines in Vienna, the Tasting Room Wine Bar & Shop in Reston; on the list at L’Auberge Chez François in Great Falls.

Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay 2011 Russian River Ranches

★★

Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, Calif., $22

Sonoma-Cutrer has had success in marketing its chardonnays for restaurants. This single-vineyard wine from its estate vineyard in the Russian River Valley is an example.

Washington Wholesale/Reliable Churchill: On the list in the District at BLT Steak, Bullfeathers, Georgia Brown’s, the Monocle, Paolo’s, Rosa Mexicano (Chevy Chase), Sea Catch. Available in Maryland at Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda.

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