★★1 / 2
Irouleguy, France, $22
This blend is 80 percent tannat, the rest cabernet franc. Its structure speaks of the mountains (Irouleguy is nestled among the foothills of the Pyrenees), yet the cab franc lends a softness and a Bordeaux sensibility that makes the wine eminently accessible now, while easily worthy of five or six years in your cellar.
Wine Traditions: Available in the District at Cork Market. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Whole Foods Market in Arlington.
★★1 / 2
Madiran, France, $18
Wine Traditions: Available in the District at MacArthur Beverages. Available in Virginia at J. Emerson Fine Wines & Cheese in Richmond, Market Street Wineshop in Charlottesville.
Fronton, France, $14
Elite: Available in the District at Arrowine, Rodman’s, Whole Foods Market (various locations); on the list at Bourbon Steak. Available in Maryland at Wine Cellars of Annapolis. Available in Virginia at Arrowine in Arlington, Whole Foods Market (various locations).
Marcillac, France, $18
Wine Traditions: Available in the District at Cork Market, MacArthur Beverages; on the list at Cork Wine Bar. Available in Virginia at Arrowine in Arlington.
Jurancon, France, $35
This sweet dessert wine made entirely from the petit manseng grape could be the poor man’s Sauternes: rich and honeyed, without the sublime knee-buckling focus, to be sure, but also without the knee-buckling price tag. This is a model for sweet wines from this grape in Virginia. Camin Larredya also makes delicious dry wines from gros manseng and petit manseng at more affordable prices.
Wine Traditions: Available in Virginia at the Wine Cabinet in Reston; on the list at Bastille in Alexandria.
★Exceptional ★Excellent ★Very Good
Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.
The husband-and-wife team of Ed Addiss and Barbara Selig have specialized in importing wines from southwestern France under their Falls Church-based Wine Traditions label, representing family-owned wineries that use environmentally friendly farming to produce wines that reflect individuality and terroir. They give Washington area wine lovers a unique opportunity to explore this region. — D.M.