★ ★ ★Exceptional ★ ★Excellent ★Very Good
Availability information is based on distributor records. Wines might not be in stock at every listed store and might be available at additional stores. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.
John Forrest’s wines are imported by Pacific Prime Wines, a cooperative venture of several small New Zealand wineries with an artisanal focus. Here are his Botrytis Riesling and his lower-alcohol sauvignon blanc, plus some other wines worthy of your springtime sipping.— D.M.
★ ★ 1 / 2
Marlborough, New Zealand, $26, 375 ml
Honeyed and lush, yet not over-the-top sweet, this lovely Riesling is fine by itself as dessert or as a foil for funky blue cheese. Alcohol by volume: 9.5 percent.
Elite: Available in the District at Paul’s of Chevy Chase; on the list at Rasika. Available in Maryland at Canton Crossing Wine & Spirits in Baltimore, Fenwick Beer & Wine in Silver Spring, King’s Contrivance Liquor Shop in Columbia, the Perfect Pour in Elkridge, Preserve Wine & Spirits in Hanover; on the list at Grapeseed in Bethesda, the Grilled Oyster Co. in Potomac. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s (Alexandria, McLean).
★ ★ 1 / 2
Rheinhessen, Germany, $14
Country Vintner: Available in the District at Rodman’s; on the list at Fainting Goat. Available in Maryland at Franklin Liquors in Ijamsville, Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at Dominion Wine and Beer in Falls Church.
★ ★ 1 / 2
Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, $15
Bacchus: Available in the District at Burka’s Wine & Liquor, Calvert Woodley, Circle Wine & Liquor, Cork Market, Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine & Spirits, Magruder’s, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Safeway (Georgetown), Whole Foods Market (Foggy Bottom, Tenleytown); on the list at I Ricchi. Widely available in Maryland, including at Bin 201 Wine Sellers in Annapolis; Bin 604 Wine Sellers, Eddie’s Liquors, Pinehurst Wine Shoppe and Wells Discount Liquors in Baltimore; I.M. Wine in Fulton; Pine Orchard Liquors in Ellicott City.
Marlborough, New Zealand, $20
It shows textbook New Zealand characteristics for sauvignon blanc, yet there’s something missing — oh, wait, is it alcohol? By limiting this wine to 9.5 percent, John Forrest has given us all the punch without the wallop. Less is more in this case. ABV: 9.5 percent.
Elite: Available in the District at Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s; on the list at Pearl Dive Oyster Bar. Available in Maryland at Fenwick Beer & Wine in Silver Spring. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington, Opera House Gifts & Gourmet in Manassas, Out of Site Wines in Vienna, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview), Wine House in Fairfax, WineStyles in Chantilly.
★ 1 / 2
Soave, Italy, $15
If you think of Soave as an insipid, boring white wine, think again. This Tommasi features apricot and peach flavors suggestive of a seafood salad on the patio. ABV: 12 percent.
M Touton: Available in the District at Best in Liquors, Capitol City Wine & Spirits, Capitol Hill Wine and Spirits, Chinatown Liquor, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor. Available in Maryland at the Bottle Shop in Potomac, Choice Wine & Beer in Wheaton, Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg, Georgetown Square Wine and Beer and Montgomery Gourmet Beer & Wine in Bethesda, Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, Quench! Beer-Wine-Deli in Silver Spring, Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington.