Two wines from Washington state highlight this week’s recommendations: We have a luscious barbera to pair with fall meat dishes, and an affordable, fruity riesling for weeknight takeout. Seafood lovers will enjoy comparing two expressions of the albari?o grape from the northwestern corner of the Iberian peninsula. And fans of top Bordeaux white wines should check out this outstanding sauvignon blanc from Napa Valley.
Casa Smith Cervo Barbera Northridge Vineyard 2017
Wahluke Slope, Columbia Valley, Wash., $23
Casa Smith is a line of wines made from Italian grape varieties in Washington state’s Columbia Valley. The Smith is Charles Smith, producer of K Vintners’ syrahs and the popular Kung Fu Girl Riesling. This barbera is outstanding, rich with cherry and plum and a lovely, lingering savory note of wild herbs and mushrooms. Pair with grilled or braised meats to take the edge off autumn’s chill. Alcohol by volume: 15?percent.
Distributed by RNDC: Available in the District at Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine & Spirits, Hop, Cask & Barrel, Rodman’s, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits. Available in Virginia at Bozzelli’s Italian Deli (Arlington, Springfield), Montebello Market & Restaurant in Alexandria.
ZD Sauvignon Blanc 2019
Napa Valley, Calif., $29
When I taste a wine like ZD’s sauvignon blanc, I wish Napa Valley hadn’t gone all in for cabernet. Here is impressive intensity, with flavors of quince, Asian pear and star fruit, plus a splash of key lime to bring it home. Fans of top white bordeaux from Graves, which can cost considerably more than this, should take note. Organic, though the heavy bottle is not particularly eco-friendly. ABV: 13.5?percent.
Distributed by RNDC: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine & Spirits, MacArthur Beverages, Potomac Wine & Spirits, Rodman’s.
Pazo de Villarei Albari?o 2017
Rias Baixas, Spain, $17
Albari?o, best known from northwestern Spain and northern Portugal, where it is called Alvarinho, tends to emphasize either a fruity or minerally character. The distinction can be subtle. The Pazo de Villarei falls on the former side, with exuberant flavors of ripe apricots and peaches. It speaks of the sun. ABV: 13?percent.
Imported by Tri-Vin; distributed by DMV: Available in the District at Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits. Available in Maryland at A&A Wine & Spirits in Gambrills; Angel’s Food Market in Pasadena; College Square Liquors and Cranberry Liquors in Westminster; Eastport Liquors in Annapolis; Fairground Discount Beverages in Timonium; Finewine.com in Gaithersburg; Franklins Restaurant, Brewery and General Store in Hyattsville; Frederick Wine House and Ye Olde Spirit Shop in Frederick; Franklin Liquors in Ijamsville; Hunt Valley Wine, Liquor & Beer in Hunt Valley; Liberty Wine & Liquors in LaVale; Lyndwood Square Wine & Spirits in Elkridge; McHenry Beverage Shoppe in McHenry; Sipside Lounge in Oakland; Town & Country Wine Liquor Etc. in Easton; Vintage 414 in Cambridge. Available in Virginia at Wegmans (various locations).
Morgado da Vila Alvarinho 2019
Minho, Portugal, $18
This wine leans to the minerally expression of the grape. The sensation is more of rock and stone, with fruit in the background. With more time in bottle, the fruit flavors may grow more prominent. Right now, though, this wine speaks of the earth. ABV: 13?percent.
Imported by Red Wolf Selections, distributed by Global: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Old City Market and Oven, Rodman’s, Streets Market (Connecticut Avenue), Union Kitchen Grocery (various locations). Available in Maryland at 6-12 Convenience Mart in Darnestown; All Set (retail) and Lenox Beer & Wine in Silver Spring; Beer Wine & Co., Bethesda Market and Capital Beer & Wine in Bethesda; Dawson’s Market, Gilly’s Craft Beer & Fine Wine, Grosvenor Market, King’s Craft Beer Wine & Deli, Pour Vino N’ Hops and Rollins Beer-Wine-Deli in Rockville; Decanter Fine Wines in Columbia; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer and Finewine.com in Gaithersburg; Good Neighbor in Baltimore; Highland Wine & Spirits in Highland; LAX Wine & Spirits in Beltsville; Maple Lawn Wine & Spirits in Fulton; Old Town Market in Kensington; Upcounty Fine Wine & Beer in Clarksburg. Available in Virginia at Union Kitchen Grocery in Arlington.
Lewis & Clark Riesling Zillah Ranch 2019
Yakima Valley, Wash., $12
Here’s a good, straightforward riesling at an affordable price. It’s off-dry but not sweet — the fruit and the acidity balance each other out. This is a good wine to pair with Asian takeout and a movie. ABV: 12?percent.
Distributed by M. Touton: Available in the District at Bloomingdale Liquor, the Bottle Shop, Central Liquors, Cork & Fork, Downtown Spirits & Deli, Economy Market, Franklin Market, Open Door Market, Rodman’s, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits, Town & Country Wine Liquor Etc., U Street Mini Mart, Uptown Market, Van Ness Wine and Liquors, Zoo Wine & Spirits. Available in Maryland at Chesapeake Market & Deli in North Beach, Decanter Fine Wines and Dorsey Search Wine & Spirits in Columbia, Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg, Eastport Liquors in Annapolis, Fishpaws Marketplace in Arnold, Greenbelt Co-Op in Greenbelt, Grosvenor Market in Rockville, Knowles Station Wine & Co. in Kensington, Montpelier Liquors in Laurel, Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, Plaza Liquors in Pasadena, Queens Chapel Liquors in Hyattsville, Town Center Market in Riverdale, Village Pump Liquors in College Park, Wine Bin in Ellicott City, Wine Source in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Ashburn Wine Shop in Ashburn, Crystal City Wine Shop and Towers Foods in Arlington.
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.