Dave McIntyre's recession busters
Here are Dave McIntyre's November recommendations for bargain wines, providing great value for $15 and under.
Simonnet-Febvre Bourgogne Chardonnay, 2008
Burgundy, France, $13
This leading Chablis producer offers an enticing bargain made from "declassified" fruit: grown within the Chablis appellation but labeled as a simple Burgundy because, for whatever reason, the makers didn't think it merited the Chablis label. But it is terrific chardonnay, featuring intense minerality, laserlike focus and a core of orchard fruit that just might fool the canniest of Chablis lovers.
M. Touton Selections: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Best D.C. Supermarket, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Paul's of Chevy Chase, Rodman's. Available in Maryland at Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington, Wine Shoppe in Waldorf, Frederick Wine House and Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, Rosewick Wine & Spirits in La Plata, Wine & Liquor Depot in Brandywine.
Castelmaure Col Des Vents Corbieres, 2008
Languedoc, France, $8
This is one of my favorites, year in, year out, because of its bright fruit and acidity, its floral aromas and its impeccable balance. The Languedoc produces an ocean of wine, and this one is regularly a standout value.
Kysela: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Magruder's, Marvelous Market Capitol Hill, Paul's of Chevy Chase. Available in Virginia at Balducci's locations in McLean and Alexandria; various Total Wine & More, Wegmans and Whole Foods Market locations; Unwined in Alexandria and Belleview; Rick's Wine & Gourmet in Alexandria; Norm's Beer & Wine in Vienna; Opera House Gifts & Gourmet in Manassas; Paeonian Grocery & Gourmet in Paeonian Springs; the Town Duck in Warrenton; and Salute Wine Market and Throx Country Store in Winchester.
Domaine Carpy "Les Pins" Fitou 2008
Languedoc, France, $10
This traditional southern French blend of grenache, syrah, carignan and mourvedre skews toward the earthy side rather than the floral, stones rather than sunshine. It is a great partner for hearty meat dishes.
Dionysus: Available in the District at A. Litteri, Rodman's, Wagshal's Market, Whole Foods Market P Street. Available in Maryland at Balducci's and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Finewine.com in Gaithersburg, Wine Cellars of Annapolis. Available in Virginia at Balducci's locations in McLean and Alexandria, Cecile's Wine Cellar in McLean, Unwined in Alexandria and Belleview, Whole Foods Market Alexandria, Market Street Wineshop in Charlottesville; on the list at Bizou in Charlottesville.
Paul D. Gruner Veltliner, 2009
Austria, $11 for a 1-liter bottle
This delightful, citrusy refresher comes in a 1-liter bottle (price equivalent of about $8 for a standard bottle), which is a good thing because you might not realize how fast you're sucking it down. There is also a very good 2008 Zweigelt for red lovers.