Thibaut-Janisson Winery, Xtra Brut NV
Claude Thibaut’s Blanc de Chardonnay, introduced in 2007, helped open doors for Virginia wine in restaurants and retail shops across the country. A few years ago, he offered this Xtra Brut, a slightly drier version. Both are classy, sophisticated bubblies that remind us that these are at heart really good wines. Consider this a recommendation for either one, and an invitation to compare. Alcohol by volume: 12.5 percent.
Distributed by Elite Wines: Available in the District at District Liquors, Dixie Liquor, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Capital Beer & Wine in Bethesda, Finewine.com in Gaithersburg, Knowles Station Wine & Co. and Old Town Market in Kensington, Town & Country Wine Liquor Etc in Easton. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese, the Italian Store (Westover), Pentagon City Wine Merchant and Westover Market in Arlington; the Bottle Stop in Occoquan; the Caboose Market & Cafe in Ashland; the Cheese Shop in Williamsburg; Field & Main in Marshall; Knead Wine and Red Fox Tavern in Middleburg; Leesburg Gourmet in Leesburg; Locke Store in Millwood; Oxford Cellars in Richmond; Wine Cabinet in Reston; WineStyles in Dumfries.
Cenyth Rosé of Cabernet Franc 2019
Sonoma County, Calif., $30
This beguiling rosé is a collaboration between winemaker Hélène Seillan and Julia Jackson, of Jackson Family Wines. It’s made entirely from cabernet franc, which is unusual for Sonoma County, where pinot noir reigns in rosé. Look for aromas of jasmine and roses just opening to release their scent, followed by flavors of wild berries and herbs. ABV: 13.5 percent.
Distributed by RNDC/Monument Fine Wines: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits; Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine & Spirits; Hop, Cask & Barrel; Pearson’s. Available in Maryland at Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg, Highland Wine & Spirits in Highland, the Wine Merchant in Lutherville.
The Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Gris 2018
Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Ore., $23
Oregon wine pioneer David Lett first planted pinot gris in the Willamette Valley in 1970, and today his son Jason continues to produce the standard-bearer for this grape in the Pacific Northwest. Pinot gris has lost some cachet among Oregon winemakers, who now are focusing on chardonnay and riesling, but this wine is a good reminder of the grape’s distinctive expression. It sings of fall fruit flavors, such as apple, pear and Asian pear, with a hint of hazelnut and almond. Stylistically, it falls between the crisp Italian pinot grigio and the hefty pinot gris of Alsace. Please, Oregon — don’t give up on pinot gris. ABV: 12.5 percent.
Distributed by Salveto: Available in the District at Batch 13, Calvert Woodley, Chat’s Liquors, S&R Liquors. Available in Maryland at the Wine Merchant in Lutherville. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington, Department of Beer and Wine and Unwined (King Street, Belleview) in Alexandria, Foods of All Nations in Charlottesville, J. Emerson Fine Wines & Cheese in Richmond, Norm’s Beer & Wine in Vienna, Vino Bistro in Leesburg, Wine House in Fairfax, the Wine Outlet (Great Falls, McLean, Vienna), Whole Foods Market (Alexandria, Ashburn, Tysons).
Boxwood Estate Rosé 2019
Middleburg, Va., $22
Here’s a rosé featuring a blend of traditional bordeaux grapes — including sauvignon blanc — so it’s not your archetypal Provence pink, which tend to be made with Rhone grapes such as carignan, cinsault and grenache. It is delicious, though, with a spicy, brambly note over the strawberry and melon fruit flavors. This would be an excellent wine to ease your way into a Thanksgiving dinner over an assortment of appetizers. ABV: 12.5 percent.
Distributed by Lanterna: Available in the District at Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine & Spirits, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits. Available in Virginia at Eden’s Natural Market in Gainesville, Town Duck in Warrenton, and at 70 Virginia ABC stores. Also available at Boxwood winery in Middleburg and online at boxwoodwinery.com.
Janna de Mare Alghero Torbato 2019
Sardinia, Italy, $15
What an intriguing wine. Don’t drink it cold, as you might most whites. It shines best just cooler than room temperature, when the indistinct but comforting aromas and flavors of a garden in bloom embrace you. I believe this wine would be a fine partner to a holiday meal, but if it is overshadowed by others, don’t fret. Save it for yourself to savor afterward. ABV: 13.5 percent.
Imported and distributed by Simon N Cellars: Available in the District at A. Litteri. Available in Virginia at Basic Necessities in Nellysford, Tastings of Charlottesville and Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, Wine Outlet (McLean, Vienna).
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.
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