Exceptional   Excellent   Very Good


(Deb Lindsey /For The Washington Post)

Who can have too much champagne? This week’s recommendations include three: the Jean Vesselle and Gonet-Medeville are “grower” champagnes, denoted by the difficult-to-read, minuscule production codes on the label that begin with “RM.”

Dave McIntyre

Jean Vesselle, Oeil de Perdrix Brut NV

Champagne, France, $47

Oeil de Perdrix, or “eye of the partridge,” is a type of rosé with a pale pink, almost bloodlike tinge. It has a sexy, silky texture that grabs your attention, but also intellectual stuffing to sustain the conversation through a long, lovely evening. Alcohol by volume: 12 percent.

Distributed by Dionysus: Available in the District at Arrowine and Spirits, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Rodman’s, Whole Foods Market (Foggy Bottom, P Street); on the list at RPM Italian Cafe. Available in Maryland at Balducci’s and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Dawson’s Market in Rockville, Finewine.com in Gaithersburg, Wine Source in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington, Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean), Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview), Vinosity in Culpeper, Whole Foods Market (Arlington, Alexandria).

Gonet-Medeville Rosé Extra Brut Premier Cru NV

Champagne, France, $60

This gorgeous premier cru rosé champagne bursts with strawberry and red currant flavors, backed by firm acidity and an elegant finish. ABV: 12.5 percent.

Distributed by Elite: Available in the District at Wide World of Wines; on the list at Et Voila, Malmaison. Available in Maryland at Bin 201 Wine Sellers and Wine Cellars of Annapolis in Annapolis, Viniferous in Frederick; on the list at Magdalena in Baltimore, Petit Louis Bistro in Columbia. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington; on the list at L’Auberge Chez François in Great Falls.

Domaine du Pas de L’Escalette, Petits Pas 2015

GREAT VALUE

Languedoc, France, $20

Julien Zernott and Delphine Rousseau are among my favorite producers in Languedoc. This tasty, velvety blend based on grenache calls for a hearty stew or roast. ABV: 13.5 percent.

Distributed by Elite: Available in the District at Cork & Fork, Metro Wine & Spirits; on the list at La Piquette, Macon Bistro & Larder, Petit Plats, Zentan. Available in Maryland at Cork & Fork in Bethesda, West Street Liquors and the Wine Bin in Annapolis; on the list at B Bistro in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington; on the list at Ashby Inn in Paris, Bistro 360 in Arlington, Brine and Requin in Fairfax.

Charles de Cazanove, Stradivarius Brut 2007

Champagne, France, $50

Stradivarius is a cuvee from a champagne house that perennially produces some of the best bargain-priced champers available. And it’s a bargain for a vintage champagne. ABV 12 percent.

Distributed by M. Touton Selection: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine & Spirits, Rodman’s, Wide World of Wines. Available in Maryland at Old Farm Liquors in Frederick. Available in Virginia at Leesburg Vintner.

Cascina Fonda Brachetto Bel Roseto 2015

Piemonte, Italy, $20

Brachetto is a slightly sweet, fruity sparkling red wine ideal for dessert. Perhaps surprisingly, it is a fantastic partner to chocolate and its dessert-based pastries. Even better at the end of a long meal, it’s low on alcohol. ABV: 6 percent.

Distributed by Dionysus: Available in the District at A. Litteri, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Balducci’s and Bradley Food and Beverage in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean), Italian Store (Arlington, Westover), Grand Cru in Arlington, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview), Wegmans (various locations).

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 Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.