Minutes after we published yesterday’s column on a pair of great $12 white wine values, the email arrived from Paul’s of Chevy Chase touting its free tasting tonight, which just happens to include the Burgans Albariño we recommended yesterday. Tonight from 5:30 to 8pm is a great chance to taste for yourself before you buy.
The email also included an apparent typo, listing the sale price of the wine as $12.99, rather than the $11.99 we published yesterday (regularly $14.99). Rick Bellman of Paul’s assured us in an email that our original reporting was correct. (If you go to Paul’s and the tasting sheet lists $12.99 as the sale price, mention that you read on joltleft.com that the real price is $11.99, and you’ll get the full discount.)
While you’re there, also open for tasting will be another great Spanish wine that may be a contender to earn a spot on the Wine for the Rest of Us list of the Top 5 Spanish Reds. Regular readers of this column know that we’re huge fans of Las Rocas de San Alejandro Garnacha, which just happens to be No. 1 on the Wine for the Rest of Us Top 5. Altovinum Evodia Garnacha from the Calatyud region of Spain, is an almost identical project created for importer Eric Solomon, who intitially brought us Las Rocas (then subsequently sold the “brand” to winery giant, E.&J. Gallo).
The description of the relatively new winery, Altovinum, sounds eerily similar to Bodegas San Alejandro. The wine is made from “selected old vine Garnacha grapes” from Calatayud, known for its high altitude vineyards and continental climate, blended to Soloman’s specifications. The team behind Altovinum is said to be led by Solomon, French winemaker Jean-Marc Lafage, and Yolanda Diaz, who also happens to be Managing Director at Bodegas San Alejandro.
We don’t think so. Like Las Rocas, Evodia is widely available in the District, Maryland (yes, even Montgomery County) and Virginia for between $10 and $12 a bottle. The 2009, which will be open at Paul’s tonight and is on sale at Pearson’s for $9.95 a bottle, earned a 90-point score from Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, and the 2010 vintage, which you may encounter elsewhere, earned 90 points from Jay Miller at the Wine Advocate.
We’ll take a closer look at Evodia and the current vintage of Las Rocas next week. (For some tasting notes on the 2007 and 2008 vintages, see our friend Mark Walker’s WineLife365 blog.) But tonight, it’s worth a trip through Friendship Heights to try both of these great Spanish values.
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