Exceptional Excellent Very Good
To many, summer means making good use of your smoker or grill, as well as some refreshing, light sipping. This week, we have two outstanding reds to pair with grilled or smoked meats: a top-notch zinfandel from Lodi in California and an exciting red blend from South Africa. We also have an excellent rosé from southern France and a refreshing spritzy vinho verde from Portugal ideal for lighter fare. And if you’re grilling seafood, we have a top-notch sauvignon blanc from Northern Virginia.
Hierogram Zinfandel Vineyard Block No. 8 2018
Lodi, Calif., $15
Juicy cranberry, strawberry and currant flavors, with a hint of tobacco and dried grapes — a.k.a. raisins — feature in this lovely zin. Pair it with any grilled red meat or spicy poultry. Alcohol by volume: 15 percent.
Distributed by DMV: Available in the District at Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Yes! Organic Markets (various locations.) Available in Maryland at Friendship Wine & Liquor and Wine World Beer & Spirits in Abingdon, West-O Bottle Shop & Bar in Ocean City.
Badenhorst Family Wines Secateurs Cinsault-Shiraz-Grenache 2016/2018
Swartland, South Africa, $17
Adi Badenhorst produces some terrific values from old vineyards in South Africa’s Swartland region. His Curator white wine, based on chenin blanc, made my greatest values list of 2018. The Secateurs line, named for the shears vineyard workers use to harvest grapes, includes a chenin blanc, a rosé and this red based on the Cotes du Rhone blend of grapes. The wine is juicy and electric, with delicious savory notes of black fruits and spices. I tasted the 2018, which is just coming to market; the 2016 is still to be found on retail shelves. Don’t worry about the vintage. This is one producer to trust — and to buy whenever and wherever you see the wines. ABV: 13.5 percent.
Imported by Broadbent Selections, distributed by Winebow: Available in the District at MacArthur Beverages, Rodman’s, Whole Foods Market (Foggy Bottom, H Street NE). Available in Maryland at Balducci’s, Bradley Food & Beverage and Lance’s Beer & Wine in Bethesda; Bel Pre Beer & Wine in Silver Spring; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer and Finewine.com in Gaithersburg; Maple Lawn Wine & Spirits in Fulton; Quarry Wine & Spirits and Urban Cellars in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington, Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean, Reston); Whole Foods Market (Crystal City).
Boxwood Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2019
Middleburg, Va., $22
Sauvignon blanc may be the sleeper white grape here in the Mid-Atlantic, where it seems to be developing a distinctive expression. Boxwood’s stands out in part because its blend includes sauvignon gris, a related grape. Don’t think grassy savvie here. This wine is ripe and mouth-filling, with hints of quince and white flowers. Just delicious. ABV: 13 percent.
Distributed by the winery: Available at the winery, online at Boxwoodwinery.com, and at more than 60 Virginia ABC stores.
Figuière Méditerranée 2019
Bright strawberry and melon flavors highlight this classic-style rosé. Enjoy it with garlicky or spicy dishes as part of a predinner nosh or a summer patio brunch. ABV: 13 percent.
Imported and distributed by Winebow: Available in the District at Cairo Wine & Liquor, Cork & Fork, Glen’s Garden Market, Grape Intentions, Modern Liquors, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Union Kitchen Grocery (Third Street NE, Ninth Street NW), Wide World of Wines, World Liquors. Available in Maryland at Bel Pre Beer & Wine and Woodmoor Supermarket in Silver Spring; Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer and Finewine.com in Gaithersburg; Takoma Beverage Co. in Takoma Park; the Winery in Chester. Available in Virginia at Cheesetique (Del Ray, Shirlington); Grape + Bean and Unwined (King Street, Belleview) in Alexandria; Locke Store in Millwood.
Tiroliro Vinho Verde 2019
This is a delightful, simple summery white wine, with zesty flavors of lemon and lime and a slight, refreshing spritz. Keep several bottles in your fridge (make room among your sourdough starters), and get the party started the minute you shut down your laptop at the end of the work day. Vegan. ABV: 11 percent.
Imported by Artisans & Vines; distributed by Artisans & Vines in the District and Maryland, by LK Wine Tours and Sales in Virginia: Available in the District at Chat’s Liquors, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Dupont Market, Each Peach Market, Rodman’s, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill. Available in Maryland at Apple Greene Wine & Spirits and Dunkirk Wine & Spirits in Dunkirk; Bethesda Co-Op in Cabin John; Bradley Food & Beverage and Capital Beer & Wine in Bethesda; Cindy’s Spirits in Elkridge; Decanter Fine Wines in Columbia; Di Pasquale Marketplace and Wine Source in Baltimore; Fenwick Beer & Wine in Silver Spring; Franklins Restaurant, Brewery and General Store in Hyattsville; the Girl & the Vine and Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-Op in Takoma Park; Greenbelt Co-Op in Greenbelt; Grosvenor Market in Rockville; Hops & Vines in Odenton; Jason’s Wine & Spirits and Wine Bin in Ellicott City; Knowles Station Wine & Co. in Kensington; Rodman’s (White Flint); Montpelier Liquors in Laurel; Town Center Market in Riverdale Park. Available in Virginia at Aldie Peddler in Aldie; Bonnie Blue Southern Market & Bakery, Crush Wine Bar and Wine Mill in Winchester; Mt. Airy Farm Market in Boyce; Vintage Wines in Harrisonburg.
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.