(Jennifer Chase/For the Washington Post)
Columnist, Food

Exceptional   Excellent   Very Good

It’s patio season. Here are three delicious white wines, a “gris” (think rosé) made from a rare grape in the Loire Valley, and a juicy red from South Africa to accompany your weekend cookouts.

Howard Park, Miamup Chardonnay 2015

Margaret River, Australia, $24

From a cool-climate area of Western Australia, this racy chardonnay has tons of fruit and well-integrated smoky oak flavors. Alcohol by volume: 13 percent.

Distributed by Country Vintner: Available in the District at Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor; on the list at Old Ebbitt Grill. Available in Virginia at Grand Cru and Oby Lee Winery in Arlington, Oakton Wine Shop, Unwined in Alexandria, Wine Cabinet in Reston; on the list at Del Ray Cafe in Alexandria.

Zonte’s Footstep, Excalibur Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Adelaide Hills, Australia, $20

Rife with citrus flavor and refreshing acidity, this is a zesty sauvignon blanc. Enjoy it with seafood salad and other summery seafood dishes. ABV: 13 percent.

Distributed in the District and Virginia by Hop and Wines, in Maryland by Artisans & Wines: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Cork & Fork, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Cork & Fork in Bethesda, Dawson’s Market and Grosvenor Market in Rockville, Fenwick Beer & Wine in Silver Spring, Takoma-Silver Spring Co-Op in Takoma Park, the Wine Harvest (Gaithersburg, Potomac); on the list at Persimmon in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at Altura Wine & Gourmet in Alexandria, Cheesetique in Shirlington.

GREAT VALUE
Domaine des Herbauges, Eléon’Or 2016

Loire Valley, France, $16

The grape behind this wine, grolleau gris, is a relatively obscure variety grown in the Loire Valley of France. It has a pale pink color, sort of like a pinot gris that’s left on the skins after pressing. The flavors are tree fruits and flowers, with medium body. It’s sort of like a rosé, but with a bit more heft. ABV: 11.5 percent.

Distributed by Lanterna: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Cork & Fork, Rodman’s, Yes! Organic Market (14th Street, Petworth); on the list at Montmartre, Whaley’s. Available in Maryland at Bo Brooks Lighthouse Liquors in Baltimore, Wine Cellars of Annapolis, Wine Harvest (Gaithersburg, Potomac).

GREAT VALUE
The Legend of Big Bill 2014

Western Cape, South Africa, $11

The playful label of this red screams marketing, explaining how it is named for a famous boxer and the 22,000-liter oak vat named for him. But the wine, a blend of petit verdot, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz, is as sophisticated as it is fun, with juicy red and black fruit flavors. Try this with burgers, pizza or even a nice grilled steak. ABV: 14 percent.

Distributed by DMV: Available in the District at Paul’s of Chevy Chase. Available in Maryland at Benny’s 2 Go in Hagerstown; Columbia Fine Wine & Spirits; Parkway Deli & Restaurant, Snider’s Super Foods, Spring Beer & Wine and Woodmoor Supermarket in Silver Spring; Crescent Beer & Wine in Bowie; Don Tonio’s in Chestertown; Franklin’s Restaurant, Brewery and General Store in Hyattsville; Greenbelt Co-Op; Grosvenor Market and Rollins Beer-Wine-Deli in Rockville; Country Boy Market in Wheaton; Hampden Park Liquors and Wine Source in Baltimore; the Italian Market in Annapolis; La Plata Liquors; Pine Liquors in Fort Washington; Redmill Beer and Wine in Derwood; Riverside Liquors and Trout Liquors in Frederick; Southern Liquors in Solomons; Sunny’s Fine Wines & Liquors in Eldersburg; Twisted Cork in Elkridge; Vintage Cellars in Clarksville; on the list at Fifer’s Seafood in Pasadena.

Haut Marin, Les Fossiles 2016

Cotes de Gascognes, France, $11

A bright, fresh white from southwestern France, this wine is ideal for patio sipping or with summer salads. ABV: 11.5 percent.

Distributed by Elite: Available in the District at Capitol Hill Wine and Spirits, Cork & Fork, Freedom Market, Jefferson Liquor, Mac Market, Modern Liquors, Pearson’s, Rodman’s, Streets Market and Cafe, Yes! Organic Market (Georgia Avenue). Widely available in Maryland. Available in Virginia at Aldie Peddler; Arrowine & Cheese, Oby Lee Winery and Streets Market and Cafe in Arlington; the Town Duck in Warrenton; Vienna Vintner; Whole Foods Market (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.

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