Recommended wines from the Vino50 portfolio

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Here are Dave McIntyre's picks from the Vino50 portfolio. Except where noted, they are distributed by Siema Wines in Virginia, Washington, Maryland and Florida.

Arizona Stronghold Vineyards "Tazi" White Table Wine, 2008
** 1/2
Cochise County, Ariz., $23
(Great Value)

This unusual blend boasts sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, Riesling and malvasia bianca. Sommelier and Vino 50 brand manager Andrew Stover describes it as "Arizona's version of Conundrum" (a popular California white) but "without the residual sugar." It's terrific: a cornucopia of exotic fruit flavors with a long, dry finish that is quite food-friendly.

Available in the District at Modern Liquors; on the list at Oya. Available in Maryland at Finewine.com in Gaithersburg, Boonsboro Liquors; on the list at Palettie in Boonsboro. Available in Virginia at Grand Cru Wine Store & Cafe in Clarendon, Whole Foods Markets in Arlington and Alexandria, the Wine Seller in Herndon.

L. Mawby Blanc de Blanc Cuvée 135
**
Leelanau Peninsula, Mich., $24

This is a nice sparkling wine, made in the traditional Champagne method in which the second fermentation (the one that produces the fizz) takes place in the bottle. The blend is chardonnay and pinot gris, and the wine shows good structure and firm, palate-tickling bubbles. A second-label bubbly called

M. Lawrence "Wet" ($19) is fermented in the tank and should appeal to fans of sparkling cider.

Available in the District at U Street Beer & Wine; on the list at Charlie Palmer Steak, Oya, the Passenger, the Reserve, Vinoteca. (Not available in Virginia.)

Arizona Stronghold Vineyards "Nachise" Red Table Wine, 2008
* 1/2
Cochise County, Ariz., $25

This Rhone-style blend of syrah, grenache, petite sirah and mourvedre offers enticing aromas of cherry, vanilla and spices. The finish is a bit dry and oaky, but this is stylish winemaking.

Available in the District at Modern Liquors; on the list at Ardeo, Bardeo, Sei. Available in Maryland at Boonsboro Liquors; on the list at Palettie in Boonsboro. Available in Virginia at Norm's Beer & Wine in Vienna, Whole Foods Markets in Glen Allen and Alexandria, the Wine Seller in Herndon.

Sawtooth Winery Syrah, 2004
* 1/2
Snake River Valley, Idaho, $16


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