Exceptional Excellent Very Good
This week’s selection of five delicious, affordable wines starts with three from Italy — an absolutely outstanding Montepulciano d’Abruzzo; a simple, tasty rosso for pasta night; and a delightful, slightly bitter rosato. We round out the list with two classic values from France, a Cotes du Rhone red blend and a chardonnay from Burgundy’s value-oriented appellation, the Macon.
Villa Medoro Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2018
This wine sports a sticker of Tre Bicchieri, the top rating from Gambero Rosso, Italy’s premier wine magazine. It’s easy to see why: From the first sniff, the wine promises complexity and personality, and it delivers more with every sip. The flavors start off simple and fruity, but develop woodsy, floral and spice notes with time in the glass. A terrific bargain for the price. Alcohol by volume: 13.5 percent.
Imported by Banville, distributed in the District and Virginia by Banville, in Maryland by Artisans & Vines: Available in the District at A. Litteri, Calvert Woodley, Magruder’s, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Radici, Whole Foods Market (H Street, P Street, South Capitol). Available in Maryland at Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda; Decanter Fine Wines and Iron Bridge Wine Co. in Columbia; Di Pasquale’s Marketplace and Wine Source in Baltimore; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg; Fenwick Beer & Wine in Silver Spring; Franklins Restaurant, Brewery and General Store in Hyattsville; Fulton Wine & Spirits in Fulton; Greenbelt Co-Op in Greenbelt. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese and the Italian Store (Lyon Village, Westover) in Arlington; Whole Foods Market (Alexandria, Arlington, Ashburn, Fairfax, Reston, Pentagon City).
Chateau de Marjolet Cotes du Rhone 2018
Rhone Valley, France, $17
Deep flavors of dark plums, berries and dried figs combine with sage, thyme and violets in this classic-style red from the southern part of the Rhone Valley. Those seeking a little more depth and heft should look for the chateau’s Cotes du Rhone-Village Laudun Cuvee Tradition for just a few dollars more. ABV: 14.5 percent.
Imported and distributed by Lanterna: Available in Maryland at Chesapeake Wine Co. in Baltimore, Dawson’s Market in Rockville, Finewine.com in Gaithersburg, Snider’s Super Foods in Silver Spring. The Laudun Tradition 2017 can be found in Maryland at Bin 201 Wine Sellers in Annapolis, and in Virginia at the Wine Mill in Winchester. The Laudun Cuvee Tradition 2018 can be found in the District at Vitis Fine Wines & Spirits, in Maryland at Locavino in Silver Spring, and in Virginia at Wine Mill in Winchester.
Domaine du Mont Épin L'Étoile, Macon-Péronne 2018
Burgundy, France, $22
The Macon subregion of Burgundy is known for its value-priced chardonnays that approach the more vaunted Cote de Beaune appellations in character, if not depth, complexity or price. This beauty is lithe and energetic, with flavors of peach, apricot and pear dancing on a balance beam of oak, and sticking the finish with refreshing acidity that carries the flavors for several seconds. ABV: 14.1 percent.
Imported by Artisans & Vines; distributed in the District and Maryland by Artisans & Vines, in Virginia by LK Wine Tours & Sales: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Rodman’s, S&S Liquor. Available in Maryland at Apple Greene Wine & Spirits and Dunkirk Wine & Spirits in Dunkirk; Beer Wine & Co., Bradley Food & Beverage and Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda; Crescent Wine & Spirits in Bowie; Dawson’s Market in Rockville; Finewine.com in Gaithersburg; Franklins Restaurant, Brewery and General Store in Hyattsville; Hop N Grape in North Bethesda; Knowles Station Wine & Co. in Kensington; Locavino and Snider’s Super Foods in Silver Spring; Rodman’s in White Flint; Wine Bin in Ellicott City; the Wine Merchant in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Aldie Peddler in Aldie, Balducci’s in Alexandria, the Buttery at Locke Store in Millwood, Murphy Beverage and Wine Mill in Winchester, Mt. Airy Farm Market in Boyce, Rio Hill Wine & Beer in Charlottesville, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview).
Saraceno Negroamaro Rosato 2019
Puglia, Italy, $13
Negroamaro is a dark-skinned grape from the heel of Italy’s boot. This bracing rosé features flavors of tart cherries accented by wild herbs and, as the name suggests, a slightly bitter finish. ABV: 12 percent.
Imported and distributed by Bravo: Available in the District at A. Litteri, MacArthur Beverages, Radici. Available in Virginia at A Deli, Crystal City Wine Shop and the Italian Store (Lyon Village, Westover) in Arlington; Aldie Peddler in Aldie; Barrel Chest Wine & Beer and Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar in Roanoke; Classic Wines in Great Falls; Foods of All Nations and Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville; Gallery 108 and Planet Wine & Gourmet in Alexandria; J. Emerson Fine Wines & Cheese, Once Upon a Vine and Oxford Cellars in Richmond; Pickford’s Fresh Seafood & Gourmet in Harrisonburg; the Town Duck in Warrenton; Vintage Cellar in Blacksburg; Wine Cabinet in Reston; Wine Mill in Winchester.
Il Conte Villa Prandone Conte Rosso 2017
Marche, Italy, $13
Blended from montepulciano and sangiovese grapes, this delightful red is an ideal wine for pizza night. Serve it slightly chilled. ABV: 13.5 percent.
Imported by Caput Mundi, distributed by Impero: Available in the District at A. Litteri, Batch 13, Imperial Wine & Spirits, MacArthur Beverages, Rodman’s, Salumeria 2703. Available in Maryland at Di Pasquale’s Marketplace in Baltimore; Dawson’s Market in Rockville; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer, Finewine.com and Gemelli’s Italian Market in Gaithersburg; Fishpaw’s Marketplace in Arnold; Giolitti Delicatessen in Annapolis; Longmeadow Wine & Liquors in Hagerstown; Old Farm Liquors and Orion Wine & Spirits in Frederick; Rodman’s in White Flint. Available in Virginia at City Vino in Fredericksburg, Crystal Palate in Norfolk, the Italian Store (Lyon Village, Westover) in Arlington, Market 2 Market in Alexandria, Rigoletto Italian Bakery & Cafe and Yiannis Wine & Food in Virginia Beach, Vienna Vintner in Vienna, the Wine Attic in Clifton, WineStyles (Montclair, Chantilly).
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.