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Warm weather has me thinking of Italian white wines and, of course, rosé. This week’s selections include two top-notch whites from Italy and two rosés from southern France, fresh with the new vintage. And our greatest value of the week is a yearly favorite rosé from Portugal, a winner for taste and value. Note that the 2019 rosés are just entering the market, so availability should improve in the coming weeks.
With retail restrictions imposed by local governments because of the covid-19 pandemic, I recommend calling a store or checking its website to see if it is open. Many are offering delivery or curbside pickup service.
Fratelli Rabino Roero Arneis 2018
Piedmont, Italy, $19
Here’s a tricky wine. My first impression was a shrug: It’s nice, but not like I remember the 2017 from the same producer. About 20 minutes later, after it had shaken off its refrigerator chill, the wine’s floral and spice notes seemed to float above my glass, beckoning me to take another sip. The texture was liquid gossamer. Alcohol by volume: 14 percent.
Imported and distributed by Simon N Cellars: Available in the District at A. Litteri. Available in Virginia at Tastings of Charlottesville and Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview), the Wine Outlet in Great Falls.
Michele Satta Costa di Giulia Bolgheri Bianco 2018
Tuscany, Italy, $24
Vermentino gives this wine richness and body, along with flavors of pear and straw. About 30 percent of the blend is sauvignon blanc, which adds acidity and mineral structure. This is another example of a white wine you should not drink too cold — take it out of the refrigerator and stand it on the counter while you prepare dinner. If you can resist the urge to sample it while you cook, it will make an excellent partner for grilled seafood or creamy pasta dishes. Unfortunately, current distribution for this wine is quite limited. ABV: 13.5 percent.
Imported and distributed by M. Touton Selection: Available in the District at Rodman’s, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits. Available in Maryland at Rodman’s in White Flint.
Château de Ségriès Tavel 2019
Rhone Valley, France, $26
Tavel is an appellation in the Rhone Valley of southern France that was famous for its rosé wine long before rosé became a fad in this country. And despite the trendy preference for paler pinks, Tavel maintains its tradition of deeply colored rosé with enough heft to accompany heartier foods. This wine is not for casual sipping along the Cote d’Azur, or even on your patio. Have this with a seafood stew, grilled fish or barbecued pork. ABV: 14.5 percent.
Imported and distributed by Kysela: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, MacArthur Beverages, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Longmeadow Wine & Liquors in Hagerstown, Maple Lawn Wine & Spirits in Fulton, McHenry Beverage Shoppe in McHenry, Pine Orchard Liquors in Ellicott City, Wells Discount Liquors in Baltimore, Wine Loft in Pikesville. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean), Cheese Shop in Williamsburg, Little Washington Winery Tasting Room in Washington, the Vine in Irvington.
Castelmaure Vin-Gris Corbières 2019
Languedoc, France, $17
Traditional southern French grapes grenache, carignan and cinsault, left on their skins just long enough to tinge the juice a pale pink, or gris, color, make up this blend. The wine is delightfully fruity and refreshing as an aperitif, or with salads and spicy Asian dishes. ABV: 14.5 percent.
Imported and distributed by Kysela: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Eye Street Cellars, Magruder’s, Rodman’s, Wardman Wines. Available in Maryland at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits in Annapolis, Maple Lawn Wine & Spirits in Fulton, Wine Loft in Pikesville. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean, Reston); Belmont Butchery, Farm Fresh and Kroger (Gaston Road) in Richmond; Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville.
Lab Rosé 2019
Lisbon, $10 for 750-milliliter, $25 for three-liter box
Here’s a crowd-pleaser: Zippy acidity, bright berry fruit flavors and a hint of residual sugar just to take the edge off, without tasting sweet. It’s also cheap, and available in three-liter boxes, perfect for parties and picnics, for when social distancing is over. The 2018 made my greatest values of the year list, and this vintage is a repeat candidate. ABV: 12.5 percent.
Imported by Tri-Vin, distributed by DMV: Available in the District at Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, S&S Liquors, Yes! Organic Market (various locations). Available in Maryland at Canton Crossing Wine + Spirits and Wine Source in Baltimore; Crescent Beer & Wine in Bowie; Dunkirk Wine & Spirits in Dunkirk; Eastport Liquors and Mills Fine Wine & Spirits in Annapolis; Edgewater Liquors in Edgewater; Fairgrounds Discount Beverages in Timonium; Fishpaws Marketplace in Arnold; Greenbelt Co-Op in Greenbelt; Kings Contrivance Liquor Shop in Columbia; Maple Lawn Wine & Spirits in Fulton; Marlin Market in Pocomoke City; Old Farm Liquors in Frederick; Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits & Bistro in Beltsville; Patuxent Wine & Spirits in Lusby; the Perfect Pour in Elkridge; Red: Wine, Beer & Spirits in Clarksville; Wine Bin in Ellicott City; Village Pump Liquors in College Park. Available in Virginia at Cheesetique (Alexandria, Arlington), Wegmans (various locations).
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.