Wine discovery comes in three particular levels of excitement: There’s the rare, expensive and exclusive wine, which most of us can only hope to taste at some point at a wine event or through the generosity of a collector. There’s the easier-to-find small-production bottle that still requires some effort and expense to acquire. And there’s that occasional inexpensive wine to reassure you that life can be delicious without selling your soul or taking out a second mortgage on your house. The Broadbent Douro Red is firmly in that last category.
We also have a classy rioja from Spain, a deliciously intense sauvignon blanc from Australia, an easygoing chardonnay from Sonoma and a value-priced off-dry riesling from Germany.
Broadbent Douro Red 2019
Douro Valley, Portugal, $12
Longtime readers know I’m a big fan of the Douro Valley and its wines. This vibrant, juicy red anchors a new line of Portuguese wines from importer Bartholomew Broadbent. The line includes an excellent Douro Reserve for just a few dollars more and some outstanding new ports, a white port and 10-, 20- and 30-year-old tawnies. The Douro Red is an amazing value; its verve and tension are stimulating, and its flavors of plums and red berries, seasoned with some wood spice and earth, can match boldly flavored foods. If you open this to sip while cooking, have a second bottle on hand for dinner. You will need it. Alcohol by volume: 13 percent.
Imported by Broadbent Selections, distributed by Winebow: Available in the District at Cairo Wine & Liquors, Cork & Fork, Rodman’s, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill. Available in Maryland at Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Takoma Beverage Co. in Takoma Park. Available in Virginia at Cheesetique (Alexandria, Shirlington).
Bodegas Palacios Remondo La Montesa 2016
Rioja, Spain, $18
Crisp, juicy flavors of cherries and raspberries, with hints of cloves and orange peel (a signature of rioja, in my experience) — this is a captivating wine. Its flavors continue to develop after you swallow. Since this review was written, M. Touton has run out of the 2016 vintage, but is expecting the 2017 by the end of October. The 2016 is available at the stores listed. ABV: 14.5 percent.
Imported by Folio, distributed in the District and Maryland by M. Touton Selection, in Virginia by RNDC: Available in the District at Batch 13, the Bottle Shop, Calvert Woodley, Cork & Fork, Downtown Liquors, Grand Cata, Irving Wine & Spirits, Metro Wine & Spirits, Pearson’s, Prego Again, Rodman’s, Safeway (14th Street SE, L Street, Wisconsin Avenue), Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits, Wardman Wines. Available in Maryland at Bin 201 Wine Sellers in Annapolis, Bin 604 Wine Sellers and Wine Source in Baltimore, the Breadery in Catonsville, Cork 57 Beer and Wine and Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda, Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg, Edgewood Liquors in Edgewater, Fulton Wine & Spirits in Fulton, Glenwood Wine & Spirits in Glenwood, Greenbelt Co-Op in Greenbelt, Landover Liquor in Cheverly, Pine Orchard Liquors and Wine Bin in Ellicott City, the Wine Harvest in Potomac.
Domaine Naturaliste Sauvage Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Margaret River, Australia, $25
Here’s a full-throated New World sauvignon blanc — a bit grassy and herbal as the style goes but with lots of fruit underneath. Look for lemon and litchi notes accented by lemongrass and curry leaf. Sustainable. ABV: 12.5 percent.
Imported by Artisans & Vines. Distributed in the District and Maryland by Artisans & Vines, in Virginia by LK Wine Tours & Sales: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Magruder’s, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Beer Wine & Co. and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Bethesda Co-Op in Cabin John, Derwood Beer and Wine in Derwood, Dorsey’s Search Wine & Spirits in Ellicott City, Downtown Crown Wine and Beer and Finewine.com in Gaithersburg, Dunkirk Wine & Spirits in Dunkirk, the Girl and the Vine in Takoma Park, Grosvenor Market in Rockville, Locavino in Silver Spring, Olney Beer & Fine Wine in Olney. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s in Alexandria).
Thomas Henry Chardonnay 2019
Sonoma County, $17
Plenty of orchard fruit flavors — green apple, pear and apricot — fill your palate, with just enough oak influence to add creamy lusciousness. I enjoyed this on its own, but this wine is built for seafood or chicken in a cream sauce. ABV: 13.5 percent.
Distributed by Elite: Available in the District at Congress Market, Dixie Liquor, Rodman’s, S&S Liquor, Streets Market (various locations), Uptown Market, Wagshal’s Deli. Available in Maryland at Amendment 21 in Baltimore; Antietam Spirits in Boonsboro; Balducci’s, Beer Wine & Co., Bradley Food & Beverage, Capital Beer & Wine and Shuvam Beer & Wine in Bethesda; Fenwick Beer & Wine in Silver Spring; Lakeside Beer in Gaithersburg; Old Town Market in Kensington; Wheaton Winery in Wheaton. Available in Virginia at K-1 Beer and Wine, Le Cafe Market, Pentagon City Wine Merchant and Westover Market in Arlington; Libbie Market and Oxford Cellars in Richmond; Lokl Gourmet in McLean; Stop In Food Store in Williamsburg; Streets Market (Alexandria, Arlington); Vino Market in Midlothian.
Nik Weis Mosel Urban Riesling 2019
Mosel, Germany, $13, $35 for a 3-liter box
This delicious off-dry riesling makes a great everyday white wine as well as a nice match with slightly spicy stir-fries, funky cheeses or charcuterie. The distributor is just shifting to the 2019 vintage, which is fresh and racy even with its slight sweetness. I’m told the 3-liter box is meeting market resistance because of its price, but just try to do a little math — you get the equivalent of four bottles for less than the price of three. If you like moderately sweet riesling, you may find yourself returning to the fridge for a refill before dinner, deglazing a pan for sauce or just for another sip after all the dishes are cleaned and you aren’t quite ready for bed. ABV: 10.5 percent.
Imported by HB Wine Merchants, distributed in the District and Maryland by Prestige Ledroit, in Virginia by Hop & Wine: Available in the District at Cairo Wine & Liquor, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, New H Wine & Spirits, Pearson’s, Wine Specialist. Available in Maryland at Bin 201 Wine Sellers in Annapolis, Belby Discount Beer & Wine and Grosvenor Market in Rockville, Fenwick Beer & Wine in Silver Spring, Grape Expectations in Gaithersburg. Available in Virginia at the Block in Annandale, Murphy Beverage Co. and Shawnee Springs Market in Winchester, Preston’s Pub in Manassas, Unwined (King Street, Belleview) in Alexandria.
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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