Domaine Lucien Lardy "Opaline" 2008
Beaujolais-Villages, France, $13
Salmon color, with an intriguing nose of wild strawberry and mint, followed by a vibrant expression of the gamay grape with citrus, clove and cardamom. Exotic for a rosé, combining traditional structure with modern fruity exuberance. There are more classic rosés, but few better. The grapes are from vines averaging 50 years of age.
Wine Traditions: available in Maryland at Finewine.com in Gaithersburg; available in Virginia at Arrowine in Arlington, Cecile's Wine Cellar in McLean.
Jean-Luc Colombo, 2008
Cote Bleue, France, $12
Exotic aromas of orange peel and cardamom, enticing balance and mouth-filling fruit that belies the pale salmon color.
Republic National: available in the District at Circle Wine & Liquor, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Rodman's; on the list at Cafe du Parc, Cedar, Juniper, L'Enfant Cafe-Bar. Available in Virginia at Wegmans locations.
Alain Jaume et Fils "Clos de Sixte" 2008
Lirac, France, $27
Vibrant deep red color, mouth-filling and exuberant; a textbook rosé from the southern Rhone Valley.
Kysela: available in the District at Calvert Woodley; on the list at Michel Richard Citronelle. Available in Maryland at Mills Fine Wine and Spirits in Annapolis. Available in Virginia at Out of Site Wines in Vienna, Vineyard of Virginia in McLean, Wegmans locations; on the list at Eiffel Tower Cafe in Leesburg, Tallula in Arlington.
Domaine de Cambis, "La Vie en Rose" 2008
Saint-Chinian, France, $16
Pale and delicate in color and flavor, with strawberry, watermelon and cherry along with a hint of salty sea air.
OSLO Enterprise/Voila Collection: available in the District at Ace Beverage, Bell Wine & Spirits, MacArthur Beverages. Available in Maryland at Franklin's Restaurant, Brewery and General Store in Hyattsville, Rip's Wine and Spirit Shop in Bowie, Iron Bridge Wine in Columbia, Mills Fine Wine and Spirits in Annapolis, the Wine Source and Bin 604 in Baltimore; on the list at Cafe de Paris in Columbia.
Mas de Gourgonnier 2007
Les Baux-de-Provence, France, $10
Discounted because it is considered ancient at the grand old age of two. Maturity suits it well, with intriguing flavors of wood spice and wild fruit. Organic.
Dionysus: available in the District at various Whole Foods Market locations; on the list at Restaurant Nora. Available in Maryland at MOM's in Rockville; available in Virginia at MOM's in Alexandria, Whole Foods Market locations.
1+1=3 Cabernet Sauvignon Rosado 2008
Penedes, Spain, $16
Modern in style: full-bodied for a rosé, with sappy, sweet-ripe fruit.
Grapes of Spain/Elite: available in the District at Bell Wine & Spirits, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, MacArthur Beverages, Schneider's of Capitol Hill, various Whole Foods Markets, Wide World of Wines; on the list at Bodega, Jaleo, La Tasca (all area locations), Taberna del Alabardero. Available in Maryland at Finewine.com in Gaithersburg. Available in Virginia at Arrowine in Arlington, Whole Foods Markets; on the list at El Manantial in Reston.
Masciarelli Rosé d'Abruzzo 2008
Abruzzo, Italy, $12
A delightful, refreshing quaffer with a "Fritalian" name. Juicy and fun.
Constantine: widely available, including in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, De Vinos, Marvelous Market (Georgetown), Yes! Organic Market (Brookland); in Maryland at Chesapeake Wine Co., Grand Cru and the Wine Source in Baltimore.
Finca Torremilanos Montecastrillo Rosado 2008
Ribera del Duero, Spain, $15
Bright strawberry-red color and exuberant fruit; slightly tart but an excellent foil for acidic foods such as olives and anchovies.
Grapes of Spain/Elite: available in the District at MacArthur Beverages, Wide World of Wines; available in Maryland at Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington, Spirits of Mount Vernon in Baltimore; available in Virginia at Arrowine in Arlington, Cecile's Wine Cellar in McLean, Food Matters in Alexandria.