Make This $11 Malbec Your Summer Grilling Partner

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A widely available and inexpensive Argentinian Malbec, ideal for summer grilling, highlights this week’s list, along with a French rosé that gets my highest rating — proof that pink can be a serious wine. We also have a trio of aromatic whites: a remarkable Riesling from the Finger Lakes, a Torrontés from Argentina and a spicy Gewürztraminer from California.

Trapiche Oak Cask Malbec 2021

(2 stars)

Argentinian Malbec offers value-for-money red wine across the price range, from juicy crowd pleasers to deep expressions of terroir in the nooks and crannies of the alluvial fans of the Uco Valley. But let’s waste no time here – Trapiche’s Oak Cask Malbec is a reliable and affordable value for casual dining. Fire up the grill for your own asado meat extravaganza, or just burgers. This wine will bring a smile with every sip. Alcohol by volume: 13.5 percent. Bottle weight: 400 grams (Light).

Imported by Universal Wine Network; distributed by RNDC, Virginia Imports. Widely available.

Andeluna 1300 Torrontés 2020

(2 stars)

Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina, $15

The name of this wine refers to the altitude of the vines, facing the Andes which soar skyward. Torrontés, like Gewürztraminer, can be overly floral. This Andeluna is tightly wound with notes of orange blossom, lemon curd and mint wrapped around a mineral core – mountain spring water in a blooming garden. Certified vegan. ABV: 12.5%. PN: 400 grams (light).

Imported and distributed by Banville Wine Merchants; distributed in Maryland by Artisans & Vines: available in Grand Cata District (La Cosecha, Shaw), Magruder’s, Rodman’s, Wardman Wines. Available in Maryland from Apple Greene Wine & Spirits in Dunkirk; Beer Wine & Co. in Bethesda; Bella is in Annapolis; Crescent Wine & Spirits in Bowie; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg; Faze 4 Liquors in Dundalk; Greenbelt Co-Op at Greenbelt; Knowles Station Wine & Co. in Kensington; Tonic beer, wine and spirits at Marriottsville; Wine Bin in Ellicott City. Available in Virginia at the Department of Beer & Wine in Alexandria; Crash Test Yummies, Crush Wine Bar, Gringo Gordo, Murphy Beverage, Willie Sutton’s in Winchester; Dominion Wine and Beer at Falls Church; PaveMint Smokin’ Taphouse at Front Royal; Vintage wines in Harrisonburg.

Gundlach Bundschu Dry Gewürtztraminer Estate Vineyard 2020

(3 stars)

Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, CA, $24

Gewürztraminer is a tricky wine to make, as the grapes lose their acidity precipitously as they ripen. And it’s a tough wine to sell, partly because of its name, but also because it can be unpredictable in style. Gewürz can be extremely floral, like spilling a bottle of perfume (instead of a dab behind your ear) and then washing your mouth out with soap. But when done well, as here by Gundlach Bundschu, the grape yields a tight wine with notes of lychee and a scent of jasmine and honeysuckle. The texture is rich and ample in the mouth, with lanolin and beeswax. Try this with ham or sausages. ABV: 13.5%. PN: 450 grams (light).

Distributed by Breakthru Beverages: Available in Calvert Woodley District, Georgetown Wine & Spirits, Hop, Cask & Barrel, MacArthur Beverages, Magruder’s, Rodman’s, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits, Washington Wine & Liquor. Widely available in Maryland. Available in Virginia at Crystal City Wine Shop in Arlington; Grapes + Beans, La Fromagerie in Alexandria.

Puech-Top Argali Rosé 2021

(3.5 stars)

The best rosé I have tasted so far this year. Strawberry, watermelon, honeydew, orange zest, the scent of a wild herb scrub carried on a Mediterranean breeze – it’s all there in this heavy, oddly shaped frosted bottle. It’s a victory dance in a glass, that feeling when you cross the finish line of a race, stab a soccer ball in the end zone, blast off the final notes of a jazz riff or press on sending the last chapter of a script – a big “Yes!” to life with every sip. ABV: 13%. Body weight: 760 grams (heavy).

Imported by Folio Fine Wines; distributed by M. Touton Selection: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Bacchus Wine Cellar, Calvert Woodley, Central Liquors, Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, Gallagher & Graham Fine Spirits, H Street Fine Wines and Liquors, Hop, Cask & Barrel, Market at Columbia Plaza, Michigan Liquors, Virginia Market, Wide World of Wines. Available in Maryland at Angel’s Food Market in Pasadena; Angel’s Share Wine & Spirits at Gambrills; Bethesda Co-Op in Cabin John; Chester River Wine & Cheese Co. in Chestertown; Christos Discount Liquors in Ferndale; Crescent Wine & Spirits in Bowie; Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg; Dunkirk Wines & Spirits in Dunkirk; Eastport Liquors, Giolitti Delicatessen, Wine Cellars of Annapolis in Annapolis; Fishpaws Market in Arnold; Grosvenor Market in Rockville; Hair o’ the Dog in Easton; Jason’s Wine & Spirits, Petite Cellars, Pine Orchard Liquors in Ellicott City; Kings Contrivance Liquor Shop in Colombia; Montpellier Liqueurs at Laurel; Rodman’s in White Flint; Silesia Liquors at Fort Washington; Wine merchant in Lutherville; Source of wine in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Ashburn Wine Shop, Pazzo Pomodoro in Ashburn; Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean; Dominion Wine and Beer at Falls Church; Grape + Bean, Unwined (Belle View, King Street) in Alexandria; Leesburg Gourmet in Leesburg; Libbie Market in Richmond; Norm’s Beer & Wine in Vienna; Screw wine bar and cheese shop in Arlington.

Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard Dry Riesling 2020

(3.5 stars)

Seneca Lake, Finger Lakes, NY, $25

From a ripe vintage, this wine is slyly deceptive. It lacks the acid upfront that I expect from a zesty Finger Lakes Riesling, but there is plenty of structure to carry lush orchard fruit flavors of peach and apricot seasoned with a hint of ginger through to an exceptionally long finish. The texture is ample without being saggy or cloying. During a recent tasting at the winery, I was impressed by the elegance and depth of all the wines from winemaker Fred Merwarth. ABV: 12%. Body weight: 440 grams (light).

Distributed by Lanterna: Available in the district at Ace Beverage, Flight Wine Bar, Rodman’s, Rumi’s Kitchen, the Salt Line. Available in Maryland at Liquid Assets in Ocean City; Off the Rox Wine & Beer, Wine Source in Baltimore; Perennial in Towson; Rodman is at White Flint. Available in Virginia from Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington; Bottle House in Charlottesville; Unwined (Belle View, King Street) in Alexandria.

Availability information is based on distributor records. Wines may not be in stock at all stores listed and may be sold at other stores. Prices are approximate. Check to check availability, or ask your favorite wine merchant to order from a distributor.

About Maria Hunter

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