A widely available, inexpensive malbec from Argentina ideal for summer grilling highlights this week’s list, along with a French rosé that earns the highest rating I’ve given a rosé. We also have a trio of aromatic whites: an outstanding riesling from the Finger Lakes, a torrontés from Argentina and a spicy gewürztraminer from California.
Trapiche Oak Cask Malbec 2021
Mendoza, Argentina, $11
Argentina’s malbec offers fine value red wine across the price range, from juicy crowd-pleasers to profound expressions of terroir in the nooks and crannies of the alluvial fans of the Uco Valley. But let’s not get wonky here — Trapiche’s Oak Cask Malbec is a reliable, affordable value for casual dining. Fire up the grill for your own asado meat extravaganza or just burgers. This wine will bring a smile with each sip. Alcohol by volume: 13.5 percent. Bottle weight: 400 grams (Light).
Imported by Universal Wine Network; distributed by RNDC, Virginia Imports. Widely available.
Andeluna 1300 Torrontés 2020
Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina, $15
The name for this wine refers to the altitude of the vineyards, in view of the Andes reaching for the sky. Torrontés, like gewürztraminer, can be excessively floral. This Andeluna is tightly wound with orange blossom, lemon curd and minty notes wrapped around a minerally core — mountain spring water in a garden in bloom. Certified vegan. ABV: 12.5 percent. BW: 400 grams (Light).
Imported and distributed by Banville Wine Merchants; distributed in Maryland by Artisans & Vines: Available in the District at Grand Cata (La Cosecha, Shaw), Magruder’s, Rodman’s, Wardman Wines. Available in Maryland at Apple Greene Wine & Spirits in Dunkirk; Beer Wine & Co. in Bethesda; Bella’s in Annapolis; Crescent Wine & Spirits in Bowie; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg; Faze 4 Liquors in Dundalk; Greenbelt Co-Op in Greenbelt; Knowles Station Wine & Co. in Kensington; Tonic Beer, Wine & Spirits in Marriottsville; Wine Bin in Ellicott City. Available in Virginia at Department of Beer & Wine in Alexandria; Crash Test Yummies, Crush Wine Bar, Gringo Gordo, Murphy Beverage, Willie Sutton’s in Winchester; Dominion Wine and Beer in Falls Church; PaveMint Smokin’ Taphouse in Front Royal; Vintage Wines in Harrisonburg.
Gundlach Bundschu Dry Gewürztraminer Estate Vineyard 2020
Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, Calif., $24
Gewürztraminer is a tricky wine to make, because the grapes lose acidity precipitously as they ripen. And it’s a tricky wine to sell, in part because of its name, but also because it can be unpredictable in style. Gewürz can be overpoweringly floral, as though you spilled a bottle of perfume (instead of a dab behind the ear) and then washed your mouth out with soap. But when done right, as here by Gundlach Bundschu, the grape yields a tightly knit wine with hints of litchi and a scent of jasmine and honeysuckle. The texture is rich and mouth filling, with lanolin and beeswax. Try this with ham or sausages. ABV: 13.5 percent. BW: 450 grams (Light).
Distributed by Breakthru Beverages: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Georgetown Wine & Spirits, Hop Cask & Barrel, MacArthur Beverages, Magruder’s, Rodman’s, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits, Washington Wine & Liquor. Widely available in Maryland. Available in Virginia at Crystal City Wine Shop in Arlington; Grape + Bean, La Fromagerie in Alexandria.
Puech-Haut Argali Rosé 2021
Pays d’Oc, France, $24
The best rosé I’ve tasted so far this year. Strawberry, watermelon, honeydew, orange peel, the scent of wild herbal scrub carried on a Mediterranean breeze — it’s all here in this heavy, oddly shaped frosted bottle. It’s a victory dance in a glass, that sensation when you cross the finish line of a race, spike a football in the end zone, peel off the final notes of a jazz riff, or hit send on the last chapter of a manuscript — a big “Yes!” to life with every sip. ABV: 13 percent. BW: 760 grams (Heavy).
Imported by Folio Fine Wines; distributed by M. Touton Selection: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Bacchus Wine Cellar, Calvert Woodley, Central Liquors, Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, Gallagher & Graham Fine Spirits, H Street Fine Wines and Liquors, Hop Cask & Barrel, Market at Columbia Plaza, Michigan Liquors, Rodmans, Virginia Market, Wide World of Wines. Available in Maryland at Angel’s Food Market in Pasadena; Angel’s Share Wine & Spirits in Gambrills; Bethesda Co-Op in Cabin John; Chester River Wine & Cheese Co. in Chestertown; Christos Discount Liquors in Ferndale; Crescent Wine & Spirits in Bowie; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg; Dunkirk Wine & Spirits in Dunkirk; Eastport Liquors, Giolitti Delicatessen, Wine Cellars of Annapolis in Annapolis; Fishpaws Marketplace in Arnold; Grosvenor Market in Rockville; Hair o’ the Dog in Easton; Jason’s Wine & Spirits, Petite Cellars, Pine Orchard Liquors in Ellicott City; Kings Contrivance Liquor Shop in Columbia; Montpelier Liquors in Laurel; Rodman’s in White Flint; Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington; Wine Merchant in Lutherville; Wine Source in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Ashburn Wine Shop, Pazzo Pomodoro in Ashburn; Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean; Dominion Wine and Beer in Falls Church; Grape + Bean, Unwined (Belle View, King Street) in Alexandria; Leesburg Gourmet in Leesburg; Libbie Market in Richmond; Norm’s Beer & Wine in Vienna; Screwtop Wine Bar & Cheese Shop in Arlington.
Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard Riesling Dry 2020
Seneca Lake, Finger Lakes, N.Y., $25
From a ripe vintage, this wine is slyly deceptive. It doesn’t have the acid on the attack that I expect from a zesty Finger Lakes riesling, yet there is plenty of structure to carry lush orchard fruit flavors of peach and apricot seasoned with a hint of ginger through to an exceptionally long finish. The texture is ample without being flabby or cloying. In a recent tasting at the winery, I was impressed by the elegance and depth of all of winemaker Fred Merwarth’s wines. ABV: 12 percent. BW: 440 grams (Light).
Distributed by Lanterna: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Flight Wine Bar, Rodman’s, Rumi’s Kitchen, the Salt Line. Available in Maryland at Liquid Assets in Ocean City; Off the Rox Wine & Beer, Wine Source in Baltimore; Perennial in Towson; Rodman’s in White Flint. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington; Bottle House in Charlottesville; Unwined (Belle View, King Street) in Alexandria.
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.