Wines that can grab your attention

Columnist September 3, 2013

★★★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

These five wines, including two standouts from a new line by a popular Chilean winery, are good enough to grab your attention.

Domaine de la Becassonne Blanc 2012

★★★

Cotes du Rhone, France, $16

White wines from Cotes du Rhone can be hard to like: They tend to be austere, as if the region really has its heart in reds. Becassonne, from the noted winemaker Andre Brunel, is an exception. This blend of roussanne, Grenache blanc and clairette is ripe and unctuous with nectarine, apricot and jasmine flavors. Savor it by itself or with seafood, poultry or cheese. Bravo! 13 percent.

Kacher/Washington Wholesale: Available in the District at Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, MacArthur Beverages, Safeway (Georgetown), Whole Foods Market (P Street). Available in Maryland at Wells Discount Liquors and Wine Source in Baltimore, Bin 201 Wine Sellers in Annapolis, Cranberry Liquors in Westminster, Edgewater Liquors.

Ottella, Lugana 2012

★★★

Veneto, Italy, $19

Trebbiano is a white grape usually made into cheap, innocuous wines. The Ottella is neither. Rather, it is an example of what the grape can be when the viticulture is careful. With apricot and quince flavors, plus a little tangerine and lemon thyme, the wine is ideal for a weekend brunch on the patio or a first course of seafood salad. This is new to the D.C.-area market, but I hope it becomes a standard. 12.5 percent.

Kysela: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Georgetown Wine & Spirits, Magruder’s. Available in Maryland at Goska’s Liquors in Severna Park, Ye Old Spirit Shop in Frederick. Available in Virginia at Aldie Peddler, Clifton Wine Shop, the Italian Store and Screwtop Wine Bar & Cheese Shop in Arlington, Locke Modern Country Store in Millwood, Unwined (Alexandria and Belleview).

Damilano Barbera d’Asti 2010/2011

★★1 / 2

Piemonte, Italy, $19

A lovely barbera that shows the ideal food-friendly combination of fruit and acidity, along with enough tannins to allow it to age gracefully for a few years. But why wait? I tasted the 2010; the distributor is now changing over to the 2011, so both are in the market. If you find the younger wine, open it an hour or so before drinking, then stock up to drink in six months or so.
14 percent.

Vias/Country Vintner: Available in the District at Hayden’s Liquor, MacArthur Beverages, Paul’s of Chevy Chase; on the list at Acqua al 2, Central Michel Richard, Vinoteca. Available in Maryland at Frederick Wine House; I.M. Wine in Fulton; Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits & Bistro in Beltsville. On the list at Assaggi in Bethesda.

Errazuriz Max Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

★★

Aconcagua Valley, Chile, $15

Errazuriz is famous as one of Chile’s top producers of cabernet sauvignon, and this wine does not disappoint. The new Max Reserva line combines its previous reserve wines and single-vineyard bottlings. This wine shows the black currant and berry flavor typical of cabernet, with good oak flavor that supports but does not overshadow the fruit. Great with grilled burgers or steaks. 14 percent.

M Touton Selection: Available in the District at Capital City Wine & Spirits, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Paul’s of Chevy Chase. Available in Maryland at Allview Liquors in Ellicott City; College Square Liquors and House of Liquors in Westminster; East Port Liquors in Annapolis; Franklin’s Restaurant, Brewery and General Store in Hyattsville; Georgetown Square Wine and Beer and Westlake Wine & Beer in Bethesda; Old Farm Liquors and Ye Old Spirit Shop in Frederick; Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington; the Wine Harvest in Potomac; Wine Source in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Bean Good and Crystal City Wine Shop in Arlington; Chain Bridge Cellars and the Vineyard in McLean; D’Vine Wines in Winchester; Leesburg Vintner; Out of Site Wine in Vienna; Red, White & Bleu in Falls Church; the Wine Cabinet in Reston; Unwined in Alexandria.

Errazuriz Max Reserva Chardonnay 2011

★★

Casablanca Valley, Chile, $15

Toasty oak, followed by peach, caramel and even some tropical citrus dominate the aromas of this dexterous wine. The flavor starts with the oak notes then yields quickly to the tropical fruits and lemon curd, before turning toward the caramel flavors. 13.5 percent.

M Touton Selection: Available in the District at Capital City Wine & Spirits, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Paul’s of Chevy Chase. Available in Maryland at Allview Liquors in Ellicott City, College Square Liquors and House of Liquors in Westminster, East Port Liquors in Annapolis, Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, Quench! Beer-Wine-Deli in Colesville, Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington, the Wine Harvest in Potomac, Wine Source in Baltimore; on the list at Bistro Blanc in Glenelg, Red Horse Steakhouse in Frederick. Available in Virginia at Crystal City Wine Shop in Arlington, Foods of all Nations in Charlottesville, Out of Site Wines in Vienna, the Vineyard in McLean, Wine Cabinet in Reston, Unwined in Alexandria.

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