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Wine recommendations from Dave McIntyre

Carmel Road Pinot Noir 2009

**

Monterey, Calif., $20

Here’s a nicely fragrant pinot that hits all the high notes: red, raspberry fruit, some floral aspects and good balance. The Arroyo Seco 2007 ($33, **) is a deeper, earthier wine, rather different in style and not as widely available.

Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Circle Wine & Liquor, MacArthur Beverages, Paul’s of Chevy Chase. Available in Maryland at the Potomac Dispensary, Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington, Wine Source in Baltimore, the Winery in Chester, Ye Old Spirit Shop in Frederick. Available in Virginia at various Harris Teeter locations.

Cambria Pinot Noir Julia’s Vineyard 2008

**

Santa Maria Valley, Calif., $25

Soft and a bit sweet, with pronounced attractive floral aromas, this popular pinot from Santa Barbara County has long been a thoroughbred in the Jackson Family stable of wines.

Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Circle Wine & Liquor, MacArthur Beverages, Paul’s of Chevy Chase. Available in Maryland at the Potomac Dispensary, Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington, Wine Source in Baltimore, the Winery in Chester, Ye Old Spirit Shop in Frederick. Available in Virginia at various Giant, Safeway and Wegmans locations.

La Crema Pinot Noir 2009

*1/2

Sonoma Coast, Calif., $24

This good-quality pinot noir reflects the cool climate of Sonoma County’s coastal appellations, with the added advantage of being widely available. The much-harder-to-find Anderson Valley bottling ($50, **1/2) was my favorite of the tasting.

Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Circle Wine & Liquor, MacArthur Beverages, Paul’s of Chevy Chase. Available in Maryland at the Potomac Dispensary, Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington, Wine Source in Baltimore, the Winery in Chester, Ye Old Spirit Shop in Frederick. Available in Virginia at various Giant, Safeway and Wegmans locations.

Kendall-Jackson Pinot Noir “Vintner’s Reserve” 2009

*1/2

California, $17

Made in a simple, crowd-pleasing style, this tastes like pinot noir — which, despite the “duh!” factor, is saying something for a wine under $20. It finishes a tad sweet, and that might not appeal to avid wine lovers. But I suspect it will find fans in many consumers who want a wine to enjoy without having to think too much about it.

Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Circle Wine & Liquor, MacArthur Beverages, Paul’s of Chevy Chase. Available in Maryland at the Potomac Dispensary, Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington, Wine Source in Baltimore, Winery in Chester, Ye Olde Spirit Shop in Frederick. Available in Virginia at various Giant, Safeway and Wegmans locations.

Key

***Exceptional  **Excellent *Very Good

Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

These pinot noirs from my recent tasting with Melissa Stackhouse are available in the Washington area. I have not included the Seco Highlands 2007 because it is highly allocated, mostly to restaurants. Jackson Family Estate Wines are distributed in the District and Maryland by Monument Fine Wines, and in Virginia by Service Distributing.

Dave McIntyre writes about wine weekly. He also blogs at dmwineline.com.
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