Exceptional Excellent Very Good
As we move into summer, here’s the bargain red wine of the year (so far), along with a delightful rosé, a minerally sauvignon blanc and an enticing pinot noir from Patagonia.
Côtes de Provence, France, $19
Notes of strawberry and watermelon give this lively, pale rosé a refreshing, thirst-slaking acidity. Serve it well chilled, with garlicky or briny appetizers, or a good Nicoise salad, and imagine you’re on the Riviera. Alcohol by volume: 13 percent.
Distributed by Bacchus: Available in the District at A-1 Wines & Liquors, Cork ’N Bottle Wine & Spirits, Modern Liquors, Wide World of Wines; on the list at Bourbon Steak, Vinoteca. Available in Maryland at Bradley’s Wine and Spirits in Phoenix, Cranberry Liquors and College Square Liquors in Westminster, Cranbrook Liquors and Shawan Liquors in Cockeysville, Dunkirk Wine & Spirits in Dunkirk, Eddie’s of Roland Park, North Charles Fine Wine & Spirits in Baltimore, the Wine Loft in Pikesville, Fairgrounds Discount Beverages in Timonium, Honeygo Wine and Spirits in Perry Hill, Port of Call Liquors in Solomons, Wine Merchant in Lutherville.
Jumilla, Spain, $10
If you’re looking for a summer house red, this is an ideal candidate and a good match for burgers and steaks from the grill. It’s made from monastrell (known as mourvedre in France), and features dark cherry and dried fig flavors with hints of black olive, tea and tobacco. Made from organically grown grapes. This may be the best $10 red I’ve tasted in a long time. Alcohol by volume: 14 percent.
Distributed by DMV: Available in the District at Paul’s of Chevy Chase, World Market. Available in Maryland at Aloha Liquor, Bristol Wine & Spirit, Mt. Vernon Supermarket and Smitty’s Cut Rate Liquor Store in Baltimore, Liquor Pump in Parkville, Dulaney Wines & Spirits in Towson, Dunkirk Wine & Spirits in Dunkirk, Franklin Liquors in Ijamsville, Frederick Wine House, Riverside Liquors, Spin the Bottle Wine Co. and Trout Liquors in Frederick, Hunt Valley Wine, Liquor & Beer in Cockeysville, Italian Market in Annapolis, Montgomery Village Beer & Wine in Gaithersburg, Town Center Wine & Spirits and Yes! Organic Market in Hyattsville, the Winery in Chester, World Market in Rockville.
Patagonia, Argentina, $22
This is on the lighter side of pinot noir, with bright cherry and cranberry flavors and a lifted herbal note of menthol and thyme. The finish is quite long and satisfying. ABV: 14 percent.
Distributed by Lanterna in the District and Maryland, Virginia Imports in Virginia: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Cork & Fork, Grand Cata, Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine & Spirits, Rodman’s; on the list at Barcelona Wine Bar (14th Street, Cathedral Heights), Rural Society. Available in Maryland at Wine Cellars of Annapolis. Available in Virginia at Blue Ridge Bottle Shop in Crozet, Classic Wines in Great Falls, Screwtop Wine Bar & Cheese Shop in Arlington; on the list at 2941 in Falls Church, Barcelona in Reston, Dolce Vita in Fairfax.
Loire Valley, France, $18
Quincy (pronounced CAN-see) is a minor appellation in the Loire Valley, overshadowed by Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé — which often means distinctive wines offering great value. This is sauvignon blanc — not the grassy style New Zealand became known for, and not the ripe orchard fruit of Napa or a top Sancerre. This one is stony and crisp, with a freshness suggesting it just bubbled up from a mountain spring. ABV: 12.5 percent.
Distributed by Dionysus: Available in the District at A. Litteri, Rodman’s; on the list at Le DeSales. Available in Maryland at Balducci’s and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Wine Source in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean), Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview), Vienna Vintner.
Bordeaux Superieur, France, $13
An inexpensive Bordeaux from a fantastic vintage makes a great formula. This has classic Bordeaux flavors of graphite and cassis, with sleek acidity for style points. ABV: 13.5 percent.
Distributed by Elite: Widely available in the District, Maryland and Virginia.
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.