In my corkscrew travels I often like to revisit familiar, favorite regions looking for unfamiliar wines. Here’s a thrilling Chianti Classico, a vivid reminder not to take Tuscany for granted. We also have a deep, savory red from Portugal’s Douro Valley, and a powerful Rhone Valley blend that resembles a higher-priced Chateauneuf-du-Pape. To wrap up the week, we also have a delicious and lively red from Uruguay and a refreshing sauvignon blanc from Chile.


L'Erta di Radda Chianti Classico 2017


Tuscany, Italy, $22

Limited to one word to describe this wine, I’d say “energetic.” It has the classic chianti flavors of dried cherry and cocoa from the sangiovese grape, with hints of rosemary and sage. While there’s an earthy element in stony minerality, this wine seems to reach for the sun with its brightness. The importer says this wine won the annual chianti consorzio tasting, in which winemakers evaluate one another’s’ wines. Alcohol by volume: 13.5 percent.

Imported and distributed by Le Storie: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Calvert Woodley. Available in Virginia at Branch & Vine in Richmond; Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean; Dominion Wine and Beer in Falls Church; Grape + Bean and Unwined (Bradlee) in Alexandria; Oakton Wine Shop in Oakton; Osteria da Nino in Arlington; Vino Market in Midlothian.

Churchill's Estates 2017


Douro, Portugal, $21

Churchill’s is known primarily for port, but this unfortified table wine makes me wish they’d explore this category more. This delightful red is a blend of touriga nacional, touriga franca and tinta roriz, three grape varieties that form the mainstay of traditional port blends. A vibrant violet color meets the eye, while aromas of blackberry, pine and stones entice the nose. Plush texture and soft tannins carry the flavors of boysenberry and herbs to a fine finish. ABV: 13.5 percent.

Imported and distributed by Elite: Available in the District at Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Cork 57 in Bethesda; in Gaithersburg; Orion Wine & Spirits in Frederick.

Domaine la Roubine, La Grange des Briguières 2018


Sablet, Cotes du Rhone Villages, France, $22

Hearty, earthy and deep — ideal for hearty winter stews — this one is for people who love their wines big, or for budget-minded fans of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. It’s a traditional southern Rhone blend of grenache with some syrah and cinsault, pushed to the ripeness limit. The depth of the fruit manages to carry the high alcohol. ABV: 15.5 percent.

Imported and distributed by Elite: Available in the District at Old City Market and Oven, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Columbia Fine Wine & Spirits and Decanter Fine Wines in Columbia. Available in Virginia at 1836 Kitchen and Taproom and the Restaurant at Patowmack Farm in Lovettsville; Del Ray Pizzeria and Unwined (Bradlee) in Alexandria; Locke Store in Millwood; the Town Duck in Warrenton; Tuscarora Mill in Leesburg; the Wine Guild of Charlottesville in Charlottesville.


El Capricho Assemblage TTC 2017


Uruguay, $17

Assemblage TTC stands for tannat, tempranillo and cabernet sauvignon, the blend for this juicy red wine. Look for rustic flavors of blueberry, sour cherry and wild sage, with a hint of “lifted” aromas that curl up from the glass. ABV: 13 percent.

Imported by Lanciano Imports, distributed by Salveto: Available in the District at La Cosecha, Grand Cata. Available in Virginia at Department of Beer and Wine, Planet Wine & Gourmet and Unwined (Belleview, Bradlee) in Alexandria; Puck’s Market in Henrico; Screwtop Wine Bar & Cheese Shop in Arlington; Union Market in Richmond; the Wine Attic in Clifton; the Wine Outlet (Great Falls, McLean, Vienna).

Loma Larga Vineyards, Lomas del Valle Sauvignon Blanc 2019


Casablanca Valley, Chile, $17

Here’s a crisp, minerally sauvignon blanc from a region in Chile that enjoys cooling ocean breezes, which help maintain acidity in the grapes. This wine is not grassy in the New Zealand-style that Chile often emulates. Instead, it’s ripe, with notes of guava and star fruit and a hint of wild herbs. Fair-trade certified. ABV: 13 percent.

Imported by Tri-Vin, distributed by DMV: Available in the District at Giant (7th Street, Wisconsin Avenue), Magruder’s, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Yes! Organic Market (Georgia Avenue). Available in Maryland at A&A Wine & Spirits in Gambrills; Bethesda Co-Op in Cabin John; Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda; Colonial Liquors in La Plata; Crescent Wine & Spirits in Bowie; Eastport Liquors in Annapolis; Fishpaws Marketplace in Arnold; Frederick Wine House in Frederick; Giant (White Oak); Hunt Valley Wine, Liquor & Beer in Cockeysville; Landover Liquor in Landover; Liquor Locker in Hagerstown; Market Tavern in Sykesville; McHenry Beverage Shoppe in McHenry; Pine Liquors in Fort Washington; Quarry Wine & Spirits in Baltimore; Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-Op in Takoma Park; Town Center Market in Riverdale Park; Village Pump Liquors in College Park. Available in Virginia at Giant (various locations) and Wegmans (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 to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

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