Exceptional Excellent Very Good
When the classic wines of the world start getting too expensive, enterprising winemakers search for vineyard land where reputations, and therefore real estate prices, are not so lofty. Enterprising wine lovers know to search for these wines, because they can be among the best values on the market. Our Greatest Value of the Week is an example, a lovely chardonnay grown in southwestern France by two brothers-in-law from Burgundy. We also have an exceptional zinfandel from Sonoma County, a tasty sauvignon blanc from Bordeaux and two classic rosés to slake your August thirst.
Domaine Antugnac Chardonnay 2018
Haute Vallee de L'Aude, France, $14
We don’t expect to find chardonnay grown in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains in the western reaches of Languedoc, but brothers-in-law Christian Collovray and Jean-Luc Terrier are chardonnay experts in the Macon region of Burgundy. They are among several Burgundian producers who are exploring less-expensive land in the south of France in an effort to produce great value wines. They have succeeded with this beautiful chardonnay, bursting with flavors of fresh fruit and flowers, with a filigree of minerality. Alcohol by volume: 13 percent.
Imported by Vintage ’59, distributed by Winebow: Available in the District at Grape Intentions, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Beer, Wine & Co. and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg; Fenwick Beer & Wine in Silver Spring; Montgomery County Wine & Liquor Stores in Potomac; Westside Wine Cellar & Beer in Derwood.
Valravn Zinfandel 2017
Sonoma County, Calif., $21
Spicy and fruity in classic Sonoma County zinfandel style, this juicy red wine bursts with ripe flavors of raspberries and blackberries, seasoned with wild herbs. An appealing tartness keeps the wine energetic before yielding to a long, sweet-tasting finish. ABV: 14.8 percent.
Distributed by Elite: Available in the District at Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Rodman’s, Whole Foods Market (H Street, P Street, South Capitol Hill). Available in Maryland at Columbia Fine Wine & Spirits and Decanter Fine Wines in Columbia, Frederick Wine House in Frederick, Foundry Row Wine & Spirits in Owings Mills, the Happy Grape in Baltimore, Maple Lawn Wine & Spirits in Fulton, Pine Orchard Liquor in Ellicott City, Vintage Cellars in Clarksville, Wine World Beer & Spirits in Abingdon. Available in Virginia at Cheesetique in Alexandria, Foods of All Nations and the Wine Guild in Charlottesville, Green Mansions in Leesburg, Libbie Market in Richmond, Locke Store in Millwood, Whole Foods Market (Arlington, Fair Lakes, Reston), Wine Outlet in Great Falls.
Famille Combard Figuière Le Saint André 2018
Mediterranee, France, $15
This delicious rosé from the south of France is ideal for late summer evenings as a starter wine or to match light suppers on the patio. ABV: 13 percent.
Imported and distributed by Winebow: Available in the District at the Bottle Shop, Cairo Wine & Liquor, Dupont Market, Manhattan Market, Rodman’s, S&R Liquors, Whole Foods Market (P Street), Wine & Butter, World Liquors. Available in Maryland at Beer, Wine & Co., Bethesda Market and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda; Fenwick Beer & Wine and Veridian Market & Wine in Silver Spring; Grosvenor Market in Rockville; Montgomery County Wine & Liquor Stores (Hampden Lane, Kensington, Westwood); Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-Op in Takoma Park. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington, Cheesetique in Alexandria, Glascock Grocery in Marshall, Wine House in Fairfax.
Esprit Gassier 2018
Cotes de Provence, $20
Classic Provençal rosé, with flavors of watermelon, mint and sea air. It tastes like refreshment. ABV: 13 percent.
Imported by Wilson Daniels; distributed by Bacchus: Available in the District at Cairo Wine & Liquor, Cork & Fork, Magruder’s, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Beers & Cheers Too in Gaithersburg; Bin 201 Wine Sellers; Chesapeake Wine Co., Eddie’s of Roland Park, North Charles Fine Wine & Spirits in Baltimore; the Bottle Shop in Potomac; Chester River Wine & Cheese Co. in Chestertown; Fairgrounds Discount Beverages in Timonium; Sunoco in Fruitland; Honeygo Wine and Spirits in Perry Hall; Port Tack Wine & Spirits in Arnold; Shawan Liquors in Hunt Valley; Town & Country Wine Liquor Etc. in Easton; Wine Merchant in Lutherville; the Winery in Chester.
Chateau La Mothe du Barry, Cuvée French Kiss 2018
Entre-Deux-Mers, Bordeaux, France, $15
Winemaker Joel Duffau consistently makes delicious wine at affordable prices at his Chateau La Mothe du Barry. Entre-Deux-Mers, which translates as “between two seas,” refers to the area between the Gironde and the Dordogne rivers, as they flow toward the city of Bordeaux to form the Garonne estuary, leading to the Atlantic. The area specializes in white wines based primarily on sauvignon blanc. A splash of muscadelle in the blend adds an aromatic lift and some fruitiness. This is a tasty wine on its own, for grazing snacks, or with lighter seafood dishes. ABV: 13 percent.
Imported and distributed by Elite: Available in the District at the Bottle Shop, District Liquors, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Pearson’s, Virginia Market, Wardman Wines. Available in Maryland at Orion Wine & Spirits in Frederick, Pine Orchard Liquors in Ellicott City, Wine Underground in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s in Reston, Cheesetique (Alexandria, Ballston, Shirlington), Fern Street Gourmet in Alexandria, Kroger in Midlothian, Private Stock Cigar & Wine Co. in Richmond, Unwined in Alexandria.
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.