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When Riesling is “on,” it can be one of the most thrilling wines. This week’s selections include a scintillating example from Alsace, made from organic grapes, plus a lovely Rhone red and an electric white from Sicily. For novelty, how about a tasty kosher rosé from Italy and a gentle frizzante sparkler from Italy?
Alsace, France, $23
This is a fantastic single-vineyard Riesling, made from organic grapes. It shows zesty lime flavors on top of ripe tree fruit (peaches and apricots) and full body. It is dry, but that ripeness gives a hint of sweetness to appeal to wine lovers with a sweet tooth. Alcohol by volume: 13 percent.
Distributed by Dionysus: Available in the District at Mom’s Organic Market (New York Avenue), Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Balducci’s and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Mom’s Organic Market (Rockville), Wine Source in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean), Mom’s Organic Market (various locations), Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview).
Costieres de Nimes, France, $15
Southern Rhone Valley at its best, this lovely red is a blend of syrah, Grenache, mourvedre, carignan and marselan. It tastes of sun-drenched red fruits, with a hint of wild herbs and sea air. It’s a robust wine for robust foods. ABV: 14 percent.
Distributed by Simon N Cellars: Available in Virginia at Leesburg Vintner, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview).
Sicily, Italy, $24
This brilliant white wine is made from a grape called catarratto, native to Sicily. The wine is crisp and citrusy, with lemon and lime flavors and an appealing mineral freshness that seems to come from a spring. ABV: 12.5 percent.
Distributed by Rapp Wine & Co.: Available in the District at Batch 13, Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, S&R Liquors; on the list at Centrolina, Dino’s Grotto, Lupo Verde, Pesce, Tartufo.
Galilee, Israel, $23
Okay, this rosé is expensive. But it has a lot going for it. It’s quite good, for one thing, a blend of cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon blanc, an unconventional combination to make a Provencal-style rosé. The packaging is striking, if you’re into that sort of thing. And it’s from Israel, and kosher. ABV: 12.5 percent.
Distributed by M. Touton: Available in the District at Capital City Wine & Spirits, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Bethesda Co-Op in Cabin John, Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Old Farm Liquors in Frederick.
Fizzy white wines from Italy were popular in the 1970s but have fallen out of favor. That’s too bad. This isn’t a serious wine, but it’s seriously fun. The spritz from the bubbles — much softer than champagne or other wines made in that style — is gently palate cleansing. It leaves you ready for the next sip or bite to move your meal along. Try this as an aperitivo or with light pasta dishes. ABV: 12 percent.
Distributed by Simon N Cellars: Available in the District at A. Litteri; on the list at Lupo Verde.
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.