Exceptional Excellent Very Good
This week’s recommendations feature two beauties from a French winery that is rapidly climbing my list of favorites. Christian Collovray and Jean-Luc Terrier are based in the Macon region of Burgundy, but La Closerie des Lys is their property in the mountains of the southwest, near Limoux. I’ve raved about their chardonnay under the Antugnac label. Their pinot noir is a stunning value at $17. You can compare its light, delicate approach with a heartier Oregon style from Boedecker for less than the price of many pinots.
And because Halloween is coming, we have two wines with scary labels — but don’t be frightened, the wines are as delicious as full-size candy bars.
La Closerie des Lys Les Fruitières Blanc 2017
Pays d'Oc, France, $12
Here’s an unusually serious wine for $12. It has notes of citrus and white flowers, anchored by a strong mineral core that reflects the wine’s mountain origin in the Haute Vallee de l’Aude near Limoux. The blend is chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and vermentino. Alcohol by volume: 13 percent.
Imported by Vintage ’59, distributed by Winebow: Available in the District at Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Beer, Wine & Co. and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg.
La Closerie des Lys Pinot Noir 2017
Pays d'Oc, France, $17
Wow, here’s a delicious pinot noir that seems to defy gravity: Its color, body and flavors leave an impression of weightlessness. There’s no obvious power to this wine, yet its essence reverberates like an echo in the mountains. Absolutely delightful. ABV: 13 percent.
Imported by Vintage ’59, distributed by Winebow: Available in the District at Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Beer, Wine & Co. and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda; Friendship Gourmet Market in Chevy Chase. Available in Virginia at Oakton Wine Shop in Oakton.
Bodegas Tobia Daimon Tinto 2017
Rioja, Spain, $15
Spicy and energetic, with a sense of flirting with danger, this is a lively red wine bursting with flavors of dark fruits and wild herbs and — dare I say it — a haunting finish. It’s a blend of garnacha and tempranillo. Don’t try to keep this spirit bottled up, and don’t limit it to October — it’s year-round delicious. ABV: 14 percent.
Imported by Tri-Vin, distributed by DMV: Available in the District at Modern Liquors, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Beer, Wine & Co. in Bethesda; Diamond Square Beer & Wine and Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg; Dunkirk Wine & Spirits in Dunkirk; Eastport Liquors in Annapolis; Fairground Discount Beverages in Timonium; Frederick Wine House and Old Farm Liquors in Frederick; Gourmet Wine & Spirits and the Vine on Main in Sykesville; Hop N Cru in Germantown; Longmeadow Wine & Liquors in Hagerstown; Sunderland Wine & Spirits in Sunderland; Wine Bin in Ellicott City; Waugh Chapel Wine & Spirits in Gambrills; Wildewood Wine & Spirits in California.
Boedecker Cellars Pinot Noir 2016
Willamette Valley, Ore., $28
This is solid Oregon pinot at a reasonable price. It features lively flavors of black cherry, mushroom and root beer spice, with a long finish that will leave you wanting more. ABV: 13.5 percent.
Distributed by Elite: Available in the District at Daily 14 Mart, Modern Liquors, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Wine Cellars of Annapolis. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s in Reston, Locke Store in Millwood, Wine Guild in Charlottesville.
Vinyes Ocults Malbec 2016
Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina, $20
This malbec is not as scary as its label might suggest, but it does display a nervous tension, the kind of energy that makes a wine lively and tasty. Enjoy this with burgers, steaks, chops — any kind of meats, really. ABV: 13.8 percent.
Imported by Tri-Vin, distributed by DMV: Available in the District at Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Riggs Liquors, Rodman’s, Yes! Organic Market (Georgia Avenue). Available in Maryland at Beer, Wine & Co. in Bethesda; Best Wine & Spirits in Cambridge; Bethesda Co-Op in Cabin John; Diamond Square Beer & Wine and Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg; Eastport Liquors in Annapolis; Frederick Wine House, Old Farm Liquors, Riverside Liquors and Trout Liquors in Frederick; Hop N Cru in Germantown; Leonardtown Wine and Spirits in Leonardtown; Longmeadow Wine & Liquors in Hagerstown; Lyndwood Square Wine and Spirits in Elkridge; McHenry Beverage Shoppe in McHenry; Parkway Deli & Restaurant in Silver Spring; Thirsty’s Wine and Spirits in Oxon Hill.
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.