★1 / 2
Bacchus in the District and Maryland, Republic National in Virginia: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Pearson’s; on the list at Article One, DC Coast, Veritas Wine Bar. Available in Maryland at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits and Eastport Liquors in Annapolis, Pine Orchard Wine in Ellicott City, Roundabout Fine Wine & Spirits in Laurel. Available in Virginia at Fern Street Gourmet in Alexandria, Norm’s Beer & Wine in Vienna; various Total Wine & More and Wegmans locations; the Wine Cabinet in Reston.
★★1 / 2
Burgundy, France, $30
This wine comes from a U.S. project focusing on pinot noir and chardonnay from around the world. Though pricey for a “basic” Bourgogne, this tastes more like a meursault: rich and full, with plenty of minerality and toasty oak to balance the depth of the fruit.
J.W. Sieg: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits. Available in Virginia at Planet Wine & Gourmet in Alexandria, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview).
Saumur-Champigny, Loire Valley, France, $23
From a ripe vintage in France, this cabernet franc from the Loire Valley does not have the typical “Grandpop’s library” character of old leather books and tobacco smoke. Rather it is fruity and ripe, yet elegant, as though the winemaker took what the vintage gave him rather than seizing an opportunity to experiment. Good choice.
Elite: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Cork Market, MacArthur Beverage, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, Whole Foods Market (P Street, Tenleytown). Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria), Out of Site Wines in Vienna; on the list at Bistro l’Hermitage in Woodbridge.
Barossa Valley, Australia, $18
Elite: Available in the District at Cork and Fork, MacArthur Beverage, Rodman’s; on the list at Range, Ris, the Source by Wolfgang Puck, Vidalia. Available in Virginia at Arrowine in Arlington; Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean); Grape + Bean, Society Fair and Planet Wine and Gourmet in Alexandria; Out of Site Wines in Vienna.
Jumilla, Spain, $16
Country Vintner: Available in the District at DeVines, D’Vino’s, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Georgetown Square Beer and Wine in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at Slater’s Market in Alexandria, Total Wine & More (Alexandria, Fairfax, McLean, Springfield), various Wegmans locations.
Alsace, France, $15
This is my sleeper pick of the week: Delicious and dry from an unheralded grape, it is unfortunately hard to find because most retailers are reluctant to stock wines that don’t sell themselves. This one should sell easily, if only because it says “Thomas Calder Selection” on the back label — a reliable indication of quality.
Potomac Selection: Available in Maryland at Dawson’s Market in Rockville, State Line Liquors in Elkton. Available in Virginia at Ellwood Thompson Natural Market in Richmond; on the list at Lyon Hall in Arlington, Vermilion in Alexandria.
r r rExceptional r rExcellent rVery Good
Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.
Here are six wines to explore this week, and not a vinegar in the bunch. — D.M.