Exceptional Excellent Very Good
Summer weather has me looking at life through rosé-filled glasses. This week’s picks include a fine pale pink from Provence and two juicier, darker-hued ones from Tavel. And fans of picpoul de pinet, a refreshing, simple white wine from southern France, will enjoy a riper version from the Texas Highlands by McPherson Cellars.
★ ★ ★
Côtes de Provence, France, $19
Pale pink and crisp, with zingy raspberry and melon flavors, this Provençal rosé managed to capture the ripeness of the 2015 vintage while retaining the refreshing acidity we expect from rosé. Alcohol by volume: 13.5 percent.
Distributed by M. Touton: Available in the District at Cairo Wine & Liquor, Capital City Wine & Spirits, Georgetown Wine & Spirits, Oasis Gourmet Deli, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits, Yes! Organic Market (various locations). Available in Maryland at Old Farm Liquors in Frederick.
★ ★ 1/2
High Plains, Texas, $18
Rather than the crisp, simple wine this grape typically makes in southern France, this Texas version is ripe and full, with melon, peach and roasted apricot flavors. Delicious by itself or with simple summer salads. ABV: 12.8 percent.
Distributed by Siema: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Cork & Fork; on the list at Oyamel. Available in Maryland at Bay Wine & Spirits in North Beach, Cork 57 Beer and Wine in Bethesda, Cranberry Liquors in Westminster, Fenwick Beer & Wine in Silver Spring, Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape in Gaithersburg. Available in Virginia at Little Washington Winery Tasting Room in Washington.
★ ★ 1/2
Tavel, Rhone Valley, France, $14
Tavel rosés traditionally are deep-hued, in contrast with the paler pinks of Provence. This year’s Les Lauzeraies is bright with strawberry flavors and a kind of balsamic minerality to keep the wine in focus. ABV: 14 percent.
Distributed by M. Touton: Available in the District at Bloomingdale Liquor, Burka’s Wine & Liquor, Cairo Wine & Liquor, Capital City Wine & Spirits, Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, Hayden’s Liquor, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Samber Market, Sheffield Wine & Liquor Shoppe, Virginia Market, Yes! Organic Market (various locations). Distributed in Maryland at Dorsey’s Search Wine & Spirits in Columbia, Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, Petite Cellars and Pine Orchard Liquors in Ellicott City; on the list at City Cafe in Baltimore.
★ ★ 1/2
Tavel, Rhone Valley, France, $22
Here’s a richer, riper Tavel, sappy and just a tad sweet — not from residual sugar in the wine but from the ripe vintage. This one may appeal more to those with a sweet tooth, while wine geeks may favor the more complex Les Lauzeraies. ABV: 14.5 percent.
Distributed by Kysela: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Cairo Wine & Liquor, Calvert Woodley, DCanter, MacArthur Beverages, Magruder’s, Rodman’s, Whole Foods Market (various locations). Available in Maryland at Balducci’s and Lance’s Beer and Wine in Bethesda; Bin 201 Wine Sellers and the Italian Market in Annapolis; Bin 604 Wine Sellers, Eddie’s Liquors, Graul’s Wine & Spirits, the Old Vine, Wells Discount Liquors and Wine Source in Baltimore; College Square Liquors in Westminster; Edgewater Liquors; Friendship Wine & Liquor in Abingdon; Jason’s Wine & Spirits and Pine Orchard Liquors in Ellicott City; Longmeadow Wine & Liquors in Hagerstown; Montgomery County Liquors in Potomac; Town & Country Wine Liquor Etc. in Easton. On the list at Barrel & Crow in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese and Screwtop Wine Bar & Cheese Shop in Arlington, Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean), Basic Necessities in Nellysford, Foods of All Nations and Market Street Wineshop (Downtown, Uptown) in Charlottesville, Grapevine and the Town Duck in Warrenton, Little Washington Winery Tasting Room in Washington; Whole Foods Market (Springfield).
Bot River, South Africa, $28
Bright, raspberry flavors spiced with black pepper characterize this juicy red. Chill it slightly and enjoy it with simple meals from the grill. ABV: 13.5 percent.
Distributed by Country Vintner: On the list in the District at Plume. Available in Maryland at Wine Cellars of Annapolis. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington.
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.