Recommendations

★ ★ ★Exceptional  ★ ★Excellent ★Very Good

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.


(Scott Suchman for The Washington Post)

This week’s recommendations include a fantastic white wine that is just reaching the market and should pop up in more stores and restaurants soon. Plus, bargain reds to pair with meats from the grill, a rosé of pinot noir and a liquid ticket to a Mediterranean island cruise.

Alheit Vineyards Cartology 2013

★ ★ ★

Western Cape, South Africa, $50

Hyperbole does not do it justice. This is one of the most profound white wines I have ever tasted, a blend of 88 percent chenin blanc and the rest semillon. Chenin’s homeland is the Loire Valley in France, but South Africa could make a rival claim with this wine, sourced from some of the country’s oldest vines. It almost defies description: It is mineral and intense, drawing you in with the first sip. Like a warm hug from Mother Earth. Alcohol by volume: 14 percent.

Country Vintner: Available in Maryland at Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits & Bistro in Beltsville.

Tons de Duorum 2012

★ ★ 1 / 2

Douro Valley, Portugal, $14

This seems like a simple red, but it has terrific acidity and the complexity that comes from a blend of grapes — in this case, some of the traditional grapes that go into port but without being fortified. ABV: 13.5 percent.

Winebow: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, MacArthur Beverages, Paul’s of Chevy Chase. Available in Maryland at Wine Source in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Unwined (Alexandria).

François et Jean-Marie Cherrier Rosé 2014

★ ★ 1 / 2

Sancerre, Loire Valley, France $21

Soft and limpid, this fine rosé made entirely from pinot noir tastes of cantaloupe that’s just a few hours shy of peak ripeness. There is anticipation of good times to come. ABV: 13.5 percent.

Dionysus: Available in the District at Arrowine & Spirits, Rodman’s, Whole Foods Market (Foggy Bottom, P Street NW, Tenleytown). Available in Maryland at Balducci’s and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda; Finewine.com in Gaithersburg; Rodman’s (White Flint); Wine Cellars of Annapolis. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean); J. Emerson Fine Wines & Cheese in Richmond; Union Market in Charlottesville; Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview); Whole Foods Market (Alexandria, Arlington, Charlottesville, Fair Lakes, Tysons Corner, Vienna); on the list at C&O in Charlottesville.

Cantina Santadi Villa Solais Vermentino 2014

★ ★ 1 / 2

Sardinia, Italy, $13

Vermentino is an ideal warm-weather wine. It offers flavors of sun-ripened peaches and apricots, often with a freshness and salinity that suggest sea air. This wine had a calming effect on me. The first glass took the edge off the day, the second eased me into evening. ABV: 13.5 percent.

Bacchus: On the list in the District at Dino’s Grotto, Graffiato, Hank’s Oyster Bar (Q Street NW), Mcafe Bar, Maple. Available in Maryland at Eastport Liquors in Annapolis, Hair o’ the Dog in Easton, the Winery in Chester, Pinehurst Wine Shoppe and Wine Source in Baltimore; on the list at the Chesapeake in Baltimore.

Castillo Ducay 2013

★ ★

Cariñena, Spain, $9

This is a delightful red for casualmeals on the patio with grilled meats and poultry. It’s a blend of garnacha (grenache), tempranillo and cabernet sauvignon. ABV: 13 percent.

The Spanish Wine Importer: Available in the District at Batch 13; on the list at Bodega Spanish Tapas & Lounge. Available in Virginia at Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean, Cheesetique (Alexandria, Shirlington), Clifton Wine Shop; Planet Wine & Gourmet and Society Fair in Alexandria; on the list at Bistro 360 and Northside Social in Arlington.