Wines to Defy Winter’s Last Blast

The calendar says Spring, but Ol’ Man Winter isn’t done with us yet. Tuesday’s forecast for the Washington, D.C., area calls for 1-2 more inches of the white stuff, timed not to give us a day off like that last storm, but to distract us into looking balefully out the window during the workday.

I keep chanting, “Opening Day is a week away!” but it’s still too damn cold. Anyway, I’m defying winter’s refusal to leave with some decidedly warm-weather wines, including some of the first crop of 2013 rosés.

These are from this week’s column in The Washington Post, which went online Friday. The stars express my overall enthusiasm for the wines, with one star for “very good,” two for “excellent” and three for “exceptional.”

Jean-Luc Colombo, Cape Bleue Rosé 2013

3 Stars GREAT VALUE

Mediterranée IGP, France, $15

Jean-Luc Colombo is a popular producer of syrah from the northern Rhone village of Cornas, but his rosé has been an annual favorite at my table. The new vintage is bracing and refreshing, with strawberry and watermelon flavors. Alcohol by volume: 12.5 percent.

Basa Bianco 2012

3 Stars GREAT VALUE

Rueda, Spain, $15

Star Spanish winemaker Telmo Rodriguez has the Midas touch with his extensive line of wines. This delightful white is ideal for light seafood appetizers or entrees, or sipping by itself on the patio. In texture and flavor it most resembles a sauvignon blanc. ABV: 13 percent.

Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio 2012

2-1/2 Stars GREAT VALUE

Dolomiti, Italy, $16

I often joke that “pinot grigio is Italian for boring,” but I love anything produced by this winery. The key is the mountains of northern Italy, skillful viticulture and careful winemaking. This is racy and refreshing, ideal by itself or with light appetizers or pastas. ABV: 12.5 percent.

Domaine du Pere Caboche “Le Petit Caboche” Rosé 2013

2-1/2 Stars GREAT VALUE

Vaucluse, France, $10

Sappy, fruity, strawberry flavors with a touch of mint and a splash of summer. ABV: 13 percent.

Conde Villar Vinho Verde Rosé 2013

2 Stars GREAT VALUE

Portugal, $11

The pressed grapes were left on the skins for just 24 hours to make this vibrant rosé, then the juice was lightly carbonated to give it a satisfying spritz. It’s fresh and full of cherry and strawberry flavors, springtime in a glass. ABV: 11 percent.

Francis Coppola Winery, Coppola Rosso 2012

1-1/2 Stars

California, $10

The retro label signals a wine in the old California style, one where grape varieties in the blend and point scores don’t matter. The lifestyle on display here isn’t the luxury faux Tuscan villa of the wealthy and bored but the sweaty satisfaction of a good day’s work, the loving embrace of family, and a mutt under the dinner table. ABV: 13.5 percent.

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About Dave McIntyre

Wine columnist for The Washington Post, co-founder of DrinkLocalWine.com, and blogger at Dave McIntyre's WineLine (dmwineline.com).
This entry was posted in California, France, Italy, Rosé, Spain, Washington Post, Wine and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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