The Washington Post
A tasty inexpensive kosher pinot noir from Chile leads our recommendations this week, but the values don’t stop there. We also have a white and a red from Sardinia that show a little political history as well as warm-climate Mediterranean deliciousness for late summer. Uruguay joins in the fun with a top-notch tannat. The wine that has really piqued my interest comes from Portugal and is made by a winemaker who has quickly become a favorite of mine for wines with verve and character.
— Dave Mcintyre
GREAT VALUE Lion & Dove Pinot Noir 2020
Valle Central, Chile, $12
“Tastes like pinot” may sound like faint praise, but given how many inexpensive wines labeled as pinot noir taste like anything but, it’s refreshing to find the real deal. This wine, part of an attractively priced, quality line of kosher wines, is on the lighter, juicy side of pinot. With a slight chill, it goes down easily. Mevushal. Alcohol by volume: 13 percent.
Imported and distributed by DMV: Available in the District at Classy Corks, Giant (Wisconsin Ave.), Magruder’s, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Riggs Liquors, Rodman’s, Sherry’s Wine & Spirits, Van Ness Liquors, Yes! Organic Market (Georgia Ave.). Available in Maryland at Accents Liquor, Quarry Wine & Spirits in Baltimore; Bethesda Co-op in Cabin John; Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda; Colesville Beer & Wine, Giant (White Oak), Parkway Deli, Snider’s Super Foods in Silver Spring; Dawson’s Market, Kings Craft Beer Wine & Deli, Moti’s market, Rollins Beer and Wine in Rockville; Eastport Liquors in Annapolis; Frederick Wine House, Riverside Liquors in Frederick; Grape Escape in Gaithersburg; Montgomery County Liquor Stores (Cabin John, Rockville, Potomac, Wheaton); Perfect Pour in Elkridge; Roots Market in Olney, Takoma Park-silver Spring Co-op in Takoma Park, Town Center Market in Riverdale.
Tenute Janna de Mare Alghero Torbato 2020
Sardinia, Italy, $15
Torbato is a white grape variety found in the northwest coastal vineyards of Sardinia, brought there from Spain by the Catalans in the 14th and 15th centuries. It nearly became extinct but is having a revival. Its wine smells of apple blossoms and the sea, and is ideal for aperitif and lighter seafood dishes. ABV: 12 percent.
Imported and distributed by Simon N Cellars: Available in Virginia at Basic Necessities in Nellysford; Tastings, Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville; Wine Outlet (Great Falls, Mclean, Vienna). Available in the District at A. Litteri.
Tenute Janna de Mare Cagnulari Isola dei Nuraghi 2019
(Excellent/extraordinary) Sardinia, $15
Cagnulari is a local name for the Spanish red variety graciano, suggesting again that Mediterranean political history may have played a role in bringing it to Sardinia. The wine is deep in color and perfumed, with a spicy blackberry core on the palate. Pair this with grilled meats, salumi and hard cheeses. ABV: 14.5 percent. Imported and distributed by Simon N Cellars: Available in Virginia at Basic Necessities in Nellysford; Tastings, Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville; Wine Outlet (Great Falls, Mclean, Vienna). Available in the District at A. Litteri
GREAT VALUE Fita da Fitapreta 2019
(Excellent/extraordinary) Alentejo, Portugal, $15
Alentejo in central Portugal continues to impress with affordable high-quality wines of distinction. Fita is winemaker António Maçanita’s rendition of a traditional blend of aragonez (another name for tempranillo), touriga nacional and alicante bouschet. Think boysenberry jam accented with rosemary, wild sage and sarsaparilla. This is the third of Maçanita’s wines I’ve fallen for recently, after his Fitapreta a Touriga vai Nua and his Rosé Vulcânico from the Azores. ABV: 14.5 percent. Imported by Obrigado Vinhos Portugal, distributed in the District and Maryland by Bacchus, in Virginia by Salveto: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Cairo Wine & Liquor, Calvert Woodley, Grand Cata (Shaw), Wardman Wines. Available in Maryland at Alma Cocina, Wine Source in Baltimore; Grapes N Grains in Timonium; West-o Bottle Shop in Ocean City. Available in Virginia at Arrowine & Cheese, Crystal City Wine Shop in Arlington; Department of Beer & Wine, Unwined (Belleview, King Street) in Alexandria; Dominion Wine & Beer in Falls Church; In Vino Veritas in Keswick; Libbey Market, Manchester’s Table in Richmond; Market Street Wine Shop, Rio Hill Wine & Gourmet in Charlottesville; Washington Street Purveyors in Lexington; Wine House in Fairfax; Wine Outlet (Great Falls, Mclean, Vienna).
Gimenez Mendez Alta Reserva Tanta 2017
(Extraordinary) Canelones, Uruguay, $24
Uruguay has banked on tannat for its wine reputation. This beauty from Gimenez Mendez should help spread the word. The wine is firm yet not overly tannic, chock full of berry and black cherry flavors with noticeable oak influence from nine months in American and French barrels. ABV: 14 percent.
Imported and distributed by Kysela: Available in the District at Magruder’s, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Antietam Liquors in Boonsboro; Columbia Fine Wine & Spirits in Columbia; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer, Finewine.com in Gaithersburg; Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda Long Meadow Liquors in Hagerstown. Available in Virginia at Crystal Palate in Norfolk; Dominion Wine & Beer in Falls Church; Great Bottles in Suffolk; Indulge Bakery & Bistro in Newport News; Swirl & Sip in Fairfax; Wine Cabinet in Reston; Wine Mill in Winchester; Wine Outlet (Mclean, Vienna).
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.