Just when I thought I’d tasted and recommended enough rosé for the season, along come two that get me excited all over to drink pink. After all, when the heat and humidity settle in, what’s better than rosé to help us chill out? And because there might be some red meat on the grill, here are two delicious reds. And a new California sparkler with a French pedigree.
Domaine la Bouïssiere Vacqueyras 2013
Rhone Valley, France, $33
This earthy, savory blend of grenache, syrah and mourvedre is classic Rhone Valley red, with flavors of dark fruits and wild herbs. This wine wants food, especially braised, grilled or smoked meat. Alcohol by volume: 14.5 percent.
Distributed by Dionysus: Available in the District at Eye Street Cellars, Rodman’s, Whole Foods Market (Foggy Bottom, P Street, Tenleytown). Available in Maryland at Balducci’s and Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Wine Source in Baltimore.
Commanderie de la Bargemone Rosé 2016
Coteaux d’Aix en Provence, France, $19
This may be the palest rosé I’ve tasted this year – it has virtually no color. It may also be the best. Bursting with red currant and melon flavors, the wine seems to carry a hint of sea air across a long, satisfying finish. Simply fantastic. ABV: 13 percent.
Distributed by Prestige in the District and Maryland, Virginia Imports in Virginia: Available in the District at Bell Wine & Spirits, Calvert Woodley, Dupont Market, Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine & Spirits, MacArthur Beverages, Wardman Wines, Whole Foods Market (P Street); on the list at Flight, Thip Khao. Widely available in Maryland. Available in Virginia at Dominion Wine & Beer in Falls Church, Norm’s Beer & Wine in Vienna, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview), Wine House in Fairfax; on the list at Bazin’s on Church and Clarity in Vienna, Brine in Falls Church, Landini Brothers in Alexandria, Oakton Wine Bistro in Oakton, Villa Mozart in Fairfax.
Hiruzta Txakoli Rosé 2016
3 Stars GREAT VALUE
This scintillating rosé from Spain’s Basque region has a vibrant color, more Barbie Pink than Millennial Pink. It’s fruitiness (raspberry and cranberry, with some citrus) and acidity make it an ideal partner for zesty, spicy foods. ABV: 12 percent.
Distributed by M. Touton: Available in the District at Capital City Wine & Spirits, Eye Street Cellars, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Dawson’s Liquors in Severna Park, Old Farm Liquors and Viniferous in Frederick, Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits and Bistro in Beltsville. Available in Virginia at Specials Wine Seller in Kilmarnock, the Vineyard in McLean.
Louis Pommery Brut
2 Stars GREAT VALUE
Here’s a new California bubbly made by Pommery, a French champagne house. It’s soft and ripe, with flavors of apples and pears, and a hint of pastry crust. The price is nice, too. ABV: 12.5 percent.
Distributed by M. Touton: Available in the District at Cairo Wine & Liquor, Capital City Wine & Spirits, Eye Street Cellars, Magruder’s, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at the Bottle Shop in Potomac, Cork & Bottle in Laurel, Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg, Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda, Old Farm Liquors and Riverside Liquors in Frederick, Silesia Liquors in Fort Washington, Wine Harvest (Gaithersburg, Potomac).
Luna Beberide Mencia 2015
Bierzo, Spain, $17
The mencia grape of northwestern Spain produces wine that resembles cabernet franc, with smoky white pepper and bing cherries. Give this beauty a slight chill and pair it will burgers off the grill. ABV: 13.5 percent.
Distributed by Elite: Available in the District at Quincy Liquor, on the list at Arroz, the Salt Line, Siren and Taberna del Alabardero. Available in Maryland at Captains Market in Cabin John, Downtown Crown Wine & Beer and Finewine.com in Gaithersburg, Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda, Lyndwood Square Wine & Spirits in Elkridge, Snider’s Super Foods in Silver Spring, Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-Op in Takoma Park, the Wine Bin in Ellicott City, on the list at Botanero in Rockville, Guardado’s and TapaBar in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at Arrowine in Arlington, Balducci’s (Alexandria), Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market in Richmond, La Tienda in Williamsburg, Market Street Wine Shop (Downtown, Uptown) in Charlottesville, on the list at Mas in Charlottesville, Requin in Fairfax.
(Originally published on washingtonpost.com on June 24, 2017.)