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Here's a good way to wind down summer: Two delicious wines from Australia — a crisp invigorating Riesling and a spicy Shiraz-based red blend — highlight our weekly selection. Add an old-vine colombard from South Africa, a hearty Bordeaux and a fun rosé sparkler, and you have a party.
Pewsey Vale Dry Riesling 2016
Eden Valley, Australia, $18
Australia produces rieslings that seem honed as sharp as a surgeon's scalpel. Eden Valley, in the Barossa region of South Australia near Adelaide, is a prime region for the grape. This wine slices across the palate with zesty flavors of apricot, peach and nectarine. Alcohol by volume: 12 percent.
Distributed by Bacchus in the District and Maryland, Roanoke Valley in Virginia: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits, Cork & Fork, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, DCanter, Gallagher & Graham Fine Spirits, Rodman's, Wardman Wines, Whole Foods Market (Tenleytown); on the list at Black Salt, Bourbon, Del Frisco's Grille, Doi Moi, Le Diplomate, Proof. Available in Maryland at 94th Street Beer & Wine in Ocean City, Chestnut Ridge Gas & Liquors in Grantsville, Columbia Palace Wine & Spirits and Decanter Fine Wines in Columbia, Finewine.com in Gaithersburg, Goska's Liquors in Severna Park, Pine Orchard Liquors and Petite Cellars in Ellicott City, State Line Liquors in Elkton, Wine Source in Baltimore. Available in Virginia (2015 vintage) at Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean, Swirl & Sip in Fairfax; on the list at Dolce Vita Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar in Fairfax.
Clare Valley, Australia, $20
This red blend of shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and Malbec is racy with black currant, blackberry and plum fruit, with hints of mint and eucalyptus. It also offered a teaching moment: When I first removed the screw cap, the wine tasted a bit sulfury. It just needed to gasp for air a bit; after a half-hour, it showed beautifully. So always remember to give a suspect wine a second taste. ABV: 14.2 percent.
Distributed by Bacchus in the District and Maryland, Roanoke Valley in Virginia: Available in Maryland at Rip's Wine and Spirit Shop in Bowie; on the list at Artisan Wine Co. in Westminster and Monocacy Crossing in Frederick. Available in Virginia at WineStyles (Chantilly, Montclair).
Bordeaux, France, $19
This blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc offers flavors of cherries and blackberries, plus some white pepper spice once the wine opens up. Quite tasty. ABV: 13.5 percent.
Distributed by Simon N Cellars: On the list in the District at Beuchert's Saloon, Bistrot Lepic & Wine Bar and La Piquette. Available in Maryland at Wine Cellars of Annapolis; on the list at Les Folies in Annapolis. Available in Virginia at Tastings of Charlottesville and Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville.
Millennial pink comes to mind, both with the label and the color of the wine. This sparkler, made from gamay and poulsard, is juicy, slightly sweet and loads of fun. Enjoy it by itself or with light appetizers or even barbecue. With its low alcohol level, enjoy it with lunch. ABV: 8 percent.
Distributed by Simon N Cellars: Available in the District at Potomac Wine & Spirits; on the list at Bistrot Lepic & Wine Bar, Brasserie Beck, Le Chat Noir, Le Grenier, Proof. Available in Virginia at Tastings of Charlottesville; on the list at Commonwealth Restaurant and Skybar in Charlottesville, Screwtop Wine Bar & Cheese Shop in Arlington.
Swartland, South Africa, $13
Colombard is not considered one of the great wine grapes and is used mostly for cognac in France and white jug wine in California. This old vine example from South Africa, though, is delicious. Crisp and refreshing with zesty acidity, it's a delightful wine to start a party. ABV: 12.5 percent.
Distributed by Kysela: Available in the District Broad Branch Market, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Magruder's, Rodman's, on the list at Soapstone Market. Available in Maryland at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits and Eastport Liquors in Annapolis, Bethesda Co-Op in Cabin John, Dulaney Wines and Spirits in Towson, Festival Major Liquors and Orion Wine & Spirits in Frederick, Finewine.com in Gaithersburg, Maple Lawn Wine & Spirits in Fulton, Oakdale Fine Wine & Spirits in Catonsville, the Perfect Pour in Elkridge, Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-op in Takoma Park, Snider's Super Foods in Silver Spring, Village Beer & Fine Wine in Rockville, the Wine Bin in Ellicott City, Wine Merchant in Lutherville, Wine Source in Baltimore; on the list at Wilcom's Inn in Monrovia. Available in Virginia at Bottleworks, Ellwood Thompson's Natural Market and J. Emerson Fine Wines & Cheese in Richmond, Downtown Wine & Gourmet in Harrisonburg, Gentle Harvest in Marshall, Jordan Springs Market in Stephenson, Kelsick Specialty Market in Gloucester; on the list at Grandale in Purcellville and Northside Social 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.
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