Exceptional Excellent Very Good
Here are three more examples of outstanding inexpensive Bordeaux from the 2015 and 2016 vintages. And since the weather is finally changing, it’s time to stock up on rosés for the summer.
Bordeaux, France, $16
This wine is an overachiever. It hails from near the small city of Libourne, adjacent to the appellation of Fronsac, but it tastes as though its sights are set a little farther east in Saint-Emilion. It’s merlot at its best — big and warm, like the feeling of satisfaction you get from a trickle of sweat down your back after a long day and a job well done. Alcohol by volume: 14 percent.
Distributed by M. Touton: Widely available in the District and Maryland. Available in Virginia at Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean, Libbie Market in Richmond, Wegmans (various locations), Whole Foods Market (various locations).
Deep and dark colored, this savory merlot, with some cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc rounding out the blend, strikes a modernist note: It emphasizes fruit over the traditional minerality. It’s beautifully balanced, with an energy that sustains it over several hours or days, so consider decanting. And it’s produced by a female winemaker, which is not too common in Bordeaux. ABV: 14.5 percent.
Distributed by Elite: Available in the District at Arrowine and Spirits, Calvert Woodley, Cork & Fork, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Wardman Wines, Whole Foods Market (Foggy Bottom, P Street); on the list at 1230 DC, Macon Bistro & Larder. Available in Maryland at Bin 604 Wine Sellers, Grand Cru and Wine Source in Baltimore; Iron Bridge Wine Co. in Columbia; Mills Fine Wine and Spirits in Annapolis; Vini Culture in Frederick; Vintage Cellars in Clarksville; Town Liquors in Thurmont; on the list at Mussel Bar and Passion Fish in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese, Bistro 360, Crystal City Wine Shop and Oby Lee Winery in Arlington; Balducci’s in Alexandria; Locke Store in Millwood; Oakton Wine Shop in Oakton, Once Upon a Vine (South) in Richmond, Wine Cabinet in Reston, WineStyles in Dumfries, Whole Foods Market (Arlington); on the list at 1836 Kitchen and Taproom in Lovettsville, Ashby Inn in Paris, L’Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls.
Simple, straightforward and delicious, this wine pleases both palate and pocket. At this price (and a case discount), it’s a candidate for “house red” for the summer, great sipping by itself or with burgers from the grill. ABV: 13 percent.
Distributed by M. Touton: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Capital City Wine & Spirits, Giant Liquor, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Angel’s Food Market in Pasadena, the Bottle Shop in Potomac, California Wine & Spirits in California, Champion Liquor and Chesapeake Liquors in Glen Burnie, Colony Liquors and Londontowne Wine & Spirits in Edgewater, Country Boy Market and Snider’s Super Foods in Silver Spring, Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg, Gilly’s Craft Beer & Fine Wine in Rockville, Kelly’s Fine Wine & Spirits in Ellicott City, Oakland Mills Liquors in Columbia, Old Farm Liquors and Riverside Liquors in Frederick, Roland Park Wines & Liquors in Baltimore, Shawan Liquors in Hunt Valley.
Alpes de Haute Provence, France, $15
Escapism has always been part of rosé’s appeal. This aptly named wine, packaged in an attractive bowling pin-shaped bottle, can’t transport us to Provence, but add some olives, fougasse and perhaps a Nicoise salad or pain bagnat, and well, let your imagination take over. ABV: 13 percent.
Distributed by DMV: Available in the District at Paul’s of Chevy Chase. Available in Maryland at Beers & Cheers in Germantown, Beers & Cheers Too in Gaithersburg, Bethesda Market in Bethesda, Dunkirk Wine & Spirits in Dunkirk, Fenwick Beer & Wine in Silver Spring, Goska’s Liquors in Severna Park, the Italian Market in Annapolis, Montgomery County Liquor & Wine (Clarksburg Village, Fallsgrove, Seneca Meadows, Silver Spring, Walnut Hill, White Oak), Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, Port of Call Liquors in Solomons, the Winery in Chester, Town Center Wine & Spirits in Hyattsville, Urbana Liquors in Urbana.
Western Cape, South Africa, $20
Mourvedre is the grape of the famous rosés of Bandol, a subregion of Provence in southern France. This delicious example from South Africa is fresh and vibrant, with a jolt of acidity that perks up the palate and revitalizes the spirit. Serve well chilled, with a side of sunshine. ABV: 13 percent.
Distributed by Global Wines: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, DCanter, Gallagher & Graham Fine Spirits, MacArthur Beverages, Wardman Wines. Available in Maryland at Capital Beer & Wine and Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda; Finewine.com in Gaithersburg; Red: Wine, Beer & Spirits in Clarksville; the Wine Harvest (Gaithersburg, Potomac).
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.