Five American wines to try
By Dave McIntyre,
Recommendations ★★★Exceptional ★★Excellent ★Very Good Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor. Here are some of my recommendations from “the other 47” that exemplify the exciting growth in American wine as captured by Jancis Robinson and Linda Murphy in their new book, “American Wine: The Ultimate Companion to the Wines and Wineries of the United States” (University of California Press).— D.M.
Boordy Vineyards Cabernet Franc Reserve 2010
Boordy is Maryland’s oldest winery, yet this selection represents the state’s new wave of high-quality wine. This is part of the first release from Boordy’s replanted vineyards, a major effort to improve quality — and what a debut. The wine is compact and focused, with bing cherry and white pepper flavors that show cab franc character, and it is impeccably balanced.
Prestige Beverage in the District. Reliable Churchill in Maryland: available at the winery in Hydes and at Wells Discount Liquors and Wine Source in Baltimore.
Basignani Lorenzino Reserve 2006
This is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and merlot, made only in exceptional vintages by Bert Basignani as a tribute to his youngest son. While the Boordy shows supple fruit, this wine is brasher and more earthy in its flavors, a function of age as much as style. The winery has sold out of the 2006 and is now offering the 2007, from an even better vintage; stock up on both if you can.
Basignani: Available in Maryland at the winery and at Beltway Fine Wine & Spirits in Towson, Bin 201 Wine Sellers in Annapolis, Bin 604 Wine Sellers and Wells Discount Liquors in Baltimore, Catonsville Discount Liquors and Montgomery Plaza Liquors in Catonsville, Dawson’s Market in Rockville, Lyndwood Square Wine and Spirits in Elkridge, Wine World Beer & Spirits in Abingdon.
McPherson La Herencia 2010
★★1 / 2
The Lone Star State is producing some juicy, spicy tempranillo, and this delicious blend shows Texas’s Spanish heritage. It’s 78 percent tempranillo, with 12 percent mourvedre (called monastrell in Spain), 5 percent grenache (garnacha) and 5 percent syrah. Think black fruits and a hint of leafy tobacco, with the heat of the desert sun tempered — or grounded — by the cool earth.
Siema: Available in the District at Chat’s Liquors, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits, Wagshal’s Market. Available in Maryland at the Bottle Shop and World Gourmet Wine & Beer in Potomac, Fenwick Beer & Wine in Silver Spring, Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape in Gaithersburg. Available in Virginia at Ashburn Wine Shop, Little Washington Winery, Oby Lee Winery in Arlington, Vienna Vintner, the Virginia Wine Experience in Fredericksburg; on the list at Fuego in Arlington, Wine Kitchen in Leesburg.
Arizona Stronghold Tazi 2010
★★1 / 2
This luscious aromatic white blend showcases the best grapes that grow in two particular vineyards in southeastern Arizona. This vintage is a blend of malvasia, sauvignon blanc, Riesling, pinot gris and chardonnay. It’s floral and tropical, with sweet-ripe flavors that should pair well with Asian or Tex-Mex cuisine.
Siema: Available in the District at Chat’s Liquors, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits, Wagshal’s Market; on the list at Charlie Palmer Steak, Oya, Zentan. Available in Maryland at Cork & Fork in Bethesda, Frederick Wine House, Wine Harvest in Gaithersburg and Potomac. Available in Virginia at Ashburn Wine Shop, Little Washington Winery, Norm’s Beer & Wine in Vienna, Oby Lee Winery in Arlington, Planet Wine & Gourmet in Alexandria, Whole Foods Market (Arlington, Fairfax); on the list at Fuego in Arlington; Goodstone Inn & Restaurant in Middleburg, Grandale Restaurant in Purcellville.
Red Newt Cellars Riesling 2011
★1 / 2
Finger Lakes, N.Y., $15
This introductory Riesling from a top Seneca Lake producer is often called the “Circle” Riesling because of the large circle on the label. It shows the lively citrus zest character of Finger Lakes Riesling, softened by a pinch of sweetness that makes it a nice partner for spicy foods.
Potomac Selections: On the list in the District at Proof. Available in Maryland at Iron Bridge Wine Co. in Columbia, Wells Discount Liquors in Baltimore. On the list in Virginia at Maple Ave Restaurant in Vienna.
More from Food: Spirits Column Beer Column Vin and Valentine’s Day: Spend wisely Sommelier-recommended V-Day wines