Tuesday, January 11, 2011; 12:46 PM
Dave McIntyre's January list of value wines priced at $15 or lower includes stellar examples from the exemplary 2009 vintage in France.
Albert Bichot Morgon 2009
Beaujolais, France, $15
A delightful cru Beaujolais bursting with cherry flavors, it achieves an ideal balance among ripe fruit, bright acidity and the earthiness of terroir. An ideal "bistro wine": cheerful, gulpable, food-friendly and reasonably priced. Bravo.
Constantine: Available in the District at Broad Branch Market, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Cork 'N Bottle, De Vinos, Schneider's of Capitol Hill.
Domaine Eugene Carrel Jongieux 2009
Savoie, France, $11
Grown on steep limestone slopes in the French Alps, this crisp, minerally white is fresh and delicate, with hints of lime and talc.
Country Vintner: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits. Available in Maryland at Eddie's of Roland Park in Baltimore, I.M. Wine in Fulton; on the list at Vineyard Wine Bar in Havre de Grace. (Another wine from the same producer is on the list at Proof and Central Michel Richard in the District and at Restaurant Eve in Alexandria.)
E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone (Blanc) 2009
Rhone, France, $13
This sumptuous white is half viognier, with the rest Marsanne, Rousanne, Bourboulenc and grenache blanc. It is rich, floral and - a factor of the vintage - quite ripe. Unlike many Rhone whites, it is ready to drink now.
M Touton Selection: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Burka's Wine & Liquor, Calvert Woodley, Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, Circle Wine & Liquor, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Magruder's, Paul's of Chevy Chase, Rodman's, S&S Liquors; on the list at Petits Plats and Granville Moore's. Available in Maryland at Balducci's and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits in Annapolis, Franklin Liquors in Ijamsville, Nick's of Clinton in Waldorf, Old Farm Liquors and Ye Old Spirit Shop in Frederick, Rodman's in White Flint, Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington, Town & Country Wine Liquor Etc. in Easton. Country Vintner in Virginia: Available at Le Tastevin Fine Wines in Alexandria, various Wegmans locations; on the list at Cafe Parisien in Arlington, La Bergerie in Alexandria.
Parducci Petite Sirah 2007
Mendocino County, Calif., $11
Fine for burgers and casual red-meat meals, this is a perennial favorite from a winery that practices sustainable and biodynamic viticulture.
Republic National: Available in the District at Burka's Wine & Liquor, Continental Wine & Liquor, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Rodman's, Sheffield Wine & Liquor Shoppe.
Faraway Farm Bosman's Crossing Chenin Blanc 2009
Western Cape, South Africa, $10
Medium-bodied and slightly sweet, it has lovely apricot and pear fruit.
Country Vintner: Available in the District at Cork 'N Bottle, Rodman's; on the list at Busboys and Poets, Cedar Crossing Tavern and Wine Bar, Leopold's Kafe and Konditorei, P.J. Clarke's, Potenza. Available in Maryland at Rodman's in White Flint and Wishing Well Liquors in Easton. Available in Virginia at Out of Site Wines in Vienna, the Wine House in Fairfax, Wine Seller in Herndon; on the list at Evening Star Cafe in Alexandria.
Liberty School Cuvee 2007
Central Coast, Calif., $12
It's a field blend, which means the winery doesn't tell us the breakdown. But who cares? This wine is bright and smooth, with cherry and cranberry flavors.
Washington Wholesale: Available in the District at A. Litteri, Bell Wine & Spirits, Calvert Woodley, Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits; on the list at Clyde's of Gallery Place, Kramerbooks and Afterwords, News Cafe.
***Exceptional **Excellent *Very Good
Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.