Here’s a fun experiment if your group and occasion warrant two bottles of wine: Compare the Fossi Bianco 2020, a delightful bargain at $11, and the Tamellini Soave 2020, also a great value at $18. Both are from northern Italy and made from the garganega grape. The Fossi shows how the variety performs outside its classic appellation when handled skillfully. The Tamellini demonstrates why soave is the standard for this grape — its intensity and depth justify the premium in price.
To round out this week’s springtime selection, we have two rosés from southern France and an impressive, inexpensive pinot noir from California.
Fossi Bianco Garganega 2020
Veneto, Italy, $11
Peach, honeydew melon and lemon zest highlight this refreshing white, made from garganega, the grape of soave. This wine is great by itself or with light meals and antipasti. Fossi also makes a nonvintage rosso ideal for pizza night. Alcohol by volume: 12 percent. Bottle weight: 370 grams (Light).
Imported and distributed by Elite Wines: Available in the District at A. Litteri, Best World Supermarket, D’Vines, Odd Provisions, Rodman’s, Sane Wine & Spirits, Wagshal’s Deli, Yes Organic Market (Brookland, Capitol Hill). Available in Maryland at Di Pasquale’s Marketplace, Fleet Street Spirits, Mt. Washington Wine Co. in Baltimore; Friendship Gourmet Market in Chevy Chase; Germantown Beer & Wine in Germantown; Glenmont Beer Wine & Deli, Lenox Beer & Wine, Snider’s Super Foods, Tg Silver Spring Mart, Woodmoor Supermarket in Silver Spring; Howard Wine & Spirits in Elkridge; the Italian Market in Annapolis; Plus Mart in Frederick; Shawan Liquors in Cockeysville. Available in Virginia at Euro Market & Cafe in Arlington; Fastop, Kroger (North Chesterfield) in Richmond; Slaters Market in Alexandria; WineStyles in Montclair.
Domaine Raissac Les Lys Rosé 2021
Pays d’Oc, France, $14
Bright strawberry and red currant flavors highlight this zesty rosé, made from syrah grown near the Mediterranean coast. It’s great for taming the heat of a warm day or a spicy dish. Certified Haute Valeur Environnementale. ABV: 12.5. BW: 420 grams (Light).
Imported and distributed by Baron Francois: Available in the District at the Bottle Shop, Imperial Wine & Spirits, Irving Wine & Spirits, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Old City Market and Oven, Rodman’s, S&S Liquor, U Street Wine & Beer, Wardman Wines, Wine & Butter. Available in Virginia at Norm’s Beer & Wine in Vienna; Planet Wine & Gourmet, Slaters Market in Alexandria; Swirl & Sip in Fairfax.
Sand Point Pinot Noir 2019
Inexpensive pinot noir often tastes of candied fruit. In contrast, this beauty from Sand Point is all dark cherry, root beer and black tea flavors with a hint of aromatic spice. Certified Lodi Rules Sustainable. ABV: 13.5 percent. BW: 490 grams (Light).
Distributed by Baron Francois: Available in the District at the Bottle Shop, Chat’s Liquors, Imperial Wine & Spirits, Irving Wine & Spirits, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Sav-On Liquor, Rodman’s, U Street Wine & Beer, Verified Wines & Fine Spirits, Wardman Wines, Wide World of Wines. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington; Classic Wines in Great Falls.
Plaimont Rosé d’Enfer 2021
Saint Mont, France, $15
If you delight in trying wines from obscure grape varieties, here’s one for you: Rosé d’Enfer is 70 percent pinenc, which is more commonly known as fer. The balance is cabernet sauvignon. This hails from the foothills of the Pyrenees. Both varieties are tannic, which gives this rosé a bit of structure to back up the fruit. Keep a bottle chilled for an infernally hot day. Certified Haute Valeur Environnementale. ABV: 12 percent. BW: 585 grams (Average).
Imported by Tri-Vin, distributed in the District and Maryland by DMV, in Virginia by Republic National: Available in the District at Cairo Wine & Liquor, Classy Corks Wine & Spirits, Mayfair Liquors, Michigan Liquors, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Rodman’s, Yes Organic Market (14th Street, Capitol Hill, Cleveland Park). Available in Maryland at A&A Wine & Spirits in Gambrills; Bethesda Co-Op in Cabin John; Bradley Food & Beverage, Capital Beer & Wine in Bethesda; Carrolltown Liquors in Sykesville; College Square Liquors in Westminster; Dawson’s Liquors in Severna Park; Eastport Liquors in Annapolis; Frederick Wine House, Old Farm Liquors in Frederick; Friendship Wine & Liquor in Abingdon; Greenbelt Co-Op in Greenbelt; Hunt Valley Wine, Liquor & Beer in Cockeysville; Mt. Airy Liquors in Mt. Airy; Mt. Vernon Supermarket, Urban Cellars in Baltimore; Parkway Deli & Restaurant, Snider’s Super Foods in Silver Spring; the Perfect Pour in Elkridge; Town Center Market in Riverdale Park; Wine Bin in Ellicott City. Available in Virginia at Wegmans (various locations).
Tamellini Soave 2020
This wine is similar to the Fossi Bianco in flavor, as it is also made from garganega. But it packs more punch with vibrant acidity, some herbal notes to give the aromas added complexity, and a slightly oily texture for body. Delicious, and as prices have risen for soave in recent years, quite a value. ABV: 11.5 percent. BW: 400 grams (Light).
Imported and distributed by Elite Wines: Available in the District at A. Litteri, Apéro, Chat’s Liquors, D’Vines, Exotic Wine & Spirits, Irving Wine & Spirits, Mood District, Radici, Rosebud Liquor, Rodman’s, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits, Vitis Fine Wine & Spirits, Yes Organic Market (Petworth). Available in Maryland at Di Pasquale’s Market in Baltimore; Howard Wine & Spirits, the Perfect Pour in Elkridge; Shawan Liquors in Cockeysville; Wine Bin in Ellicott City. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese, Grand Cru, the Italian Store (Lyon Village, Westover), Pentagon City Wine Merchant, Westover Market in Arlington; Department of Beer and Wine, Planet Wine & Gourmet, Slaters Market, Sonoma Cellar, Unwined (King Street), Wine Gallery 108 in Alexandria; Kroger (Staples Mill, Willow Lawn), Yellow Umbrella Provisions in Richmond; WineStyles in Montclair; Yiannis in Virginia Beach.
Availability information is based on distributor records. Wines might not be in stock at every listed store and might be sold at additional stores. Prices are approximate. Check wine-searcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.