Wines for late spring sipping

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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

John Forrest’s wines are imported by Pacific Prime Wines, a cooperative venture of several small New Zealand wineries with an artisanal focus. Here are his Botrytis Riesling and his lower-alcohol sauvignon blanc, plus some other wines worthy of your springtime sipping.— D.M.

Forrest Botrytised Riesling 2011

★ ★ 1 / 2

Marlborough, New Zealand, $26, 375 ml

Honeyed and lush, yet not over-the-top sweet, this lovely Riesling is fine by itself as dessert or as a foil for funky blue cheese. Alcohol by volume: 9.5 percent.

Elite: Available in the District at Paul’s of Chevy Chase; on the list at Rasika. Available in Maryland at Canton Crossing Wine & Spirits in Baltimore, Fenwick Beer & Wine in Silver Spring, King’s Contrivance Liquor Shop in Columbia, the Perfect Pour in Elkridge, Preserve Wine & Spirits in Hanover; on the list at Grapeseed in Bethesda, the Grilled Oyster Co. in Potomac. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean).

Louis Konstantin Guntrum Louis Dry Riesling 2012

★ ★ 1 / 2

Rheinhessen, Germany, $14

My most-ignored New Year’s resolution each year, besides exercising and eating better and avoiding road rage and just all-around being nicer to people, is to drink more Riesling. This one helps get me back on track. Vibrant, fruity, mineral and refreshing, with a nice balance of acidity and sweetness — the hallmark of a good Riesling. ABV: 12.7 percent.

Country Vintner: Available in the District at Rodman’s; on the list at Fainting Goat. Available in Maryland at Franklin Liquors in Ijamsville, Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at Dominion Wine and Beer in Falls Church.

Alexander Valley Vineyards Dry Rosé of Sangiovese 2013

★ ★ 1 / 2

Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, $15

This is one of my favorite California rosés every year. It has a vibrant red color and ripe, sappy flavors of strawberry and watermelon. There’s just a hint of sweetness, if you compare it with the best French rosés, but that comes from the ripeness of the grapes rather than any residual sugar in the finished wine. Yum! ABV: 13.2 percent.

Bacchus: Available in the District at Burka’s Wine & Liquor, Calvert Woodley, Circle Wine & Liquor, Cork Market, Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine & Spirits, Magruder’s, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Safeway (Georgetown), Whole Foods Market (Foggy Bottom, Tenleytown); on the list at I Ricchi. Widely available in Maryland, including at Bin 201 Wine Sellers in Annapolis; Bin 604 Wine Sellers, Eddie’s Liquors, Pinehurst Wine Shoppe and Wells Discount Liquors in Baltimore; I.M. Wine in Fulton; Pine Orchard Liquors in Ellicott City. 

Forrest the Doctor’s Sauvignon Blanc 2013

★ ★

Marlborough, New Zealand, $20

It shows textbook New Zealand characteristics for sauvignon blanc, yet there’s something missing — oh, wait, is it alcohol? By limiting this wine to 9.5 percent, John Forrest has given us all the punch without the wallop. Less is more in this case. ABV: 9.5 percent.

Elite: Available in the District at Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s; on the list at Pearl Dive Oyster Bar. Available in Maryland at Fenwick Beer & Wine in Silver Spring. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington, Opera House Gifts & Gourmet in Manassas, Out of Site Wines in Vienna, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview), Wine House in Fairfax, WineStyles in Chantilly.

Tommasi Le Volpare Soave 2012

1 / 2

Soave, Italy, $15

If you think of Soave as an insipid, boring white wine, think again. This Tommasi features apricot and peach flavors suggestive of a seafood salad on the patio. ABV: 12 percent.

M Touton: Available in the District at Best in Liquors, Capitol City Wine & Spirits, Capitol Hill Wine and Spirits, Chinatown Liquor, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor. Available in Maryland at the Bottle Shop in Potomac, Choice Wine & Beer in Wheaton, Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg, Georgetown Square Wine and Beer and Montgomery Gourmet Beer & Wine in Bethesda, Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, Quench! Beer-Wine-Deli in Silver Spring, Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington.

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