Exceptional   Excellent   Very Good


From left, Quarisa Johnny Q Petite Sirah 2017, Quarisa Mrs. Q Shiraz 2016, Couly-Dutheil Les Gravieres d’Amador Abbé de Turpenay Chinon 2017, Croix d’Or Syrah Rosé 2018, Protos Verdejo 2018. (Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post)

The Loire Valley in France produces some delicious red wines from cabernet franc grapes. Here’s a terrific example from Couly-Dutheil, along with two wines from Australia, a tasty French rosé and a rich Spanish white.

GREAT VALUE

Couly-Dutheil Les Gravieres d'Amador Abbé de Turpenay Chinon 2017

Loire Valley, France, $20

Wow — tobacco smoke, white pepper and old leather accent the dark cherry flavors. There’s energy here and a lot going on to carry though a meal. Alcohol by volume: 12.5 percent.

Imported and distributed by Elite: Available in the District at Eye Street Cellars, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Whole Foods Market (Foggy Bottom, H Street, P Street, Tenleytown). Available in Maryland at Mills Fine Wine and Spirits in Annapolis, Wells Discount Liquors in Baltimore, Wine Bin in Ellicott City. Available in Virginia at the Bottle Stop in Occoquan, Market Street Wineshop in Charlottesville, Whole Foods Market (Arlington, Richmond, Tysons).

GREAT VALUE

Quarisa Johnny Q Petite Sirah 2017

New South Wales, Australia, $13

We think of petite sirah as California, if we think of it at all, but this Aussie version is top-notch. It shows the grape’s deep color and plush texture, plus a little down-under swagger. This wine is fun and delicious. ABV: 14.5 percent.

Imported by Tri-Vin, distributed by DMV: Available in the District at Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Riggs Liquor, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Apple Greene Wine & Spirits and Dunkirk Wine & Spirits in Dunkirk, Dawson’s Liquors in Severna Park, Fishpaws Marketplace in Arnold, Frederick Wine House and Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, Highland Wine & Spirits in Highland, the Italian Market in Annapolis, Leonardtown Wine and Spirits in Leonardtown, Pine Orchard Liquors in Ellicott City, Town & Country Wine Liquor Etc. in Easton, Town Center Market in Riverdale Park.

Quarisa Mrs. Q Shiraz 2016

New South Wales, $15

Quarisa makes a Johnny Q Shiraz and a Mrs. Q Shiraz — both are good. The Mrs. Q is delightfully fruity and light, a fun wine perfect for casual drinking rather than a serious one for contemplation. ABV: 14.5 percent.

Imported by Tri-Vin, distributed by DMV: Available in the District at Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Riggs Liquor, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Apple Greene Wine & Spirits and Dunkirk Wine & Spirits in Dunkirk, Dawson’s Liquors in Severna Park, Fishpaws Marketplace in Arnold, Frederick Wine House and Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, Highland Wine & Spirits in Highland, the Italian Market in Annapolis, Leonardtown Wine and Spirits in Leonardtown, Pine Orchard Liquors in Ellicott City, Town & Country wine Liquor Etc. in Easton, Town Center Market in Riverdale Park.

Croix d'Or Syrah Rosé 2018

Pays d'Oc, France, $13

Here’s a simple, straightforward, tasty rosé with crisp strawberry flavors. Enjoy this before dinner or with a light lunch. ABV: 12.5 percent.

Imported and distributed by Artisans & Vines; distributed in Virginia by Hop and Wine: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Bethesda Co-Op in Cabin John; Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda; Dawson’s Market in Rockville; Finewine.com in Gaithersburg; Franklins Restaurant, Brewery and General Store in Hyattsville; Knowles Station Wine & Co. and Old Town Market in Kensington; Parkway Deli & Restaurant in Silver Spring; Roots Market in Olney; Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-Op in Takoma Park; Town Center Market in Riverdale Park.

Protos Verdejo 2018

Rueda, Spain, $15

This is a rich white wine, with oak aging to accentuate its ripe apple and pear flavors. Pair it with lighter seafood dishes or hearty salads. ABV: 13 percent.

Imported and distributed by M. Touton Selection: Available in the District at 7-River Mart, A. Litteri, Bacchus Wine Cellar, Eye Street Cellars, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Pearson’s, Rodman’s, S&S Liquor, Sunset Wine & Spirits, Virginia Market, Wine Specialist. Available in Maryland at Allview Liquors in Ellicott City; Beer Wine & Co. and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda; Brother Liquors and Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington; Choice Wine & Beer in Silver Spring; Village Liquors Of Clarksville in Clarksville; Frederick Wine House, Old Farm Liquors, Riverside Liquors and Viniferous in Frederick; Wine Source in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Bottleworks in Richmond.

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.

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