Columnist, Food
Recommendations

★ ★ ★Exceptional  ★ ★Excellent ★Very Good

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.


(Deb Lindsey/For The Washington Post)

Following up on last week’s recommendations of wines from the former Ottoman Empire, here are more from Turkey and Bulgaria, plus a delightful grüner veltliner from Austria.

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Castra Rubra 2010

★ ★ ★

Thracian Valley, Bulgaria, $28

This modern-style Bordeaux blend, based on merlot, shows the influence of famed French consultant Michel Rolland. It’s big, polished and seamless, with mouth-coating fruit and well-structured tannins to give it heft. This wine shows that Bulgaria is not just a source of bargains but has potential for greatness, as well. Alcohol by volume: 14.5 percent.

G&B: New to the market but should soon be available in the District at Calvert Woodley; in Maryland at Finewine.com in Gaithersburg, the Wine Harvest (Gaithersburg, Potomac).

Castra Rubra Nimbus Premium Syrah 2013

★ ★ 1 / 2

Thracian Valley, Bulgaria, $28

A tad more rustic than the Castra Rubra Bordeaux blend, the Nimbus syrah is lush and powerful, its effusive fruit just barely kept in check by the tannins that emerge on the finish. Decant this for an hour or two, and if you don’t finish the bottle, be sure to try it again the next day. ABV: 14.5 percent.

G&B: New to the market but should soon be available in the District at Calvert Woodley; in Maryland at Finewine.com in Gaithersburg, the Wine Harvest (Gaithersburg, Potomac).

Kavaklidere Cankaya 2013

★ ★ 1 / 2

Anatolia, Turkey, $12

I was entranced by this blend of narince and emir – Turkey’s most important white grape varieties – and sultana, the world’s most commonly planted grape (better known in the United States as Thompson Seedless). A wine snob might expect such a mix to yield something innocuous, but this citrusy blend beguiles with flavors of tangerine and lime accented by jasmine. As with most delicate whites, you shouldn’t drink this too cold; let it warm up if it has been chilling in the refrigerator. ABV: 13.5 percent.

Stefano Selections: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Potomac Wine & Spirits; on the list at Agora, Ankara. Available in Maryland at Asadur’s Market & Wine in Rockville, Broadway Liquors in Baltimore, Jason’s Wine & Spirits in Ellicott City, Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, the Perfect Pour in Elkridge; on the list at Ayse Meze Lounge in Frederick, Cazbar in Baltimore, Rudy’s Mediterranean Grill in Columbia.

Anton Bauer Rosenberg Grüner Veltliner 2014

★ ★ 1 / 2

Wagram, Austria, $20

Racy and electric like most fine grüners, this wine tastes as though it springs from deep within the Earth. It’s invigorating. ABV: 12.5 percent.

Siema in the District, Maryland and southern Virginia; Select in Northern Virginia: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Cork & Fork, Wardman Wines, Whole Foods Market (Tenleytown), the Wine Specialist. Available in Maryland at Balducci’s and Cork & Fork in Bethesda, Finewine.com and Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape in Gaithersburg, Iron Bridge Wine Co. in Columbia, Mills Fine Wine and Spirits in Annapolis, Old Town Market in Kensington, Wine Source in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington; Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean) and Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean; Cork & Fork in Gainesville; Foods of All Nations, Market Street Wineshop and Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville; Red, White & Bleu in Falls Church; Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview); Wine Crudy’abinet in Reston. On the list at Acacia Mid-town in Richmond, L’Auberge Chez François in Great Falls, Screwtop Wine Bar in Arlington, Tavola in Charlottesville, Trummer’s on Main in Clifton.

Turasan Kalecik Karasi 2013

★ ★

Cappadocia, Turkey, $20

Part of the fun of exploring the world of wine is the sense of discovery when tasting a new grape variety. Kalecik Karasi is not new, technically, as it has been grown in Turkey for centuries. But it is a novelty in the States. The red wine is medium-bodied and fruity, with bright acidity to make it food-friendly. ABV: 13.5 percent.

Siema: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, DCanter, Rodman’s; on the list at Ankara. Available in Maryland at Cork 57 and Cork & Fork in Bethesda, Fenwick Beer & Wine in Silver Spring, Hair O’ the Dog in Easton, State Line Liquors in Elkton; on the list at Rudy’s Mediterranean Grill in Columbia. Available in Virginia at Little Washington Winery Tasting Room in Washington, Planet Wine & Gourmet in Alexandria; on the list at Kapnos Taverna and Yayla Bistro in Arlington.