UNITED STATES (Washington Post) - To get us primed for spring, try an electric rosé from Austria and a juicy Riesling from Alsace. Rounding out this week's selections are two pinot noirs, including a surprising bargain from Bulgaria and a fun Valpolicella from Italy.
Loimer Rosé 2015
Niederösterreich, Austria, US$18 (S$25)
I don't understand why this zingy rosé of Zweigelt, with 10 per cent pinot noir, isn't more widely available. It is electric. Even on a really cold day, it made me think of summer. Fred Loimer farms biodynamically and produces wines of character and distinction. It is worth seeking out any time of year. Alcohol by volume: 12 per cent.
Mader Riesling 2015
Alsace, France, US$20 (S$28)
If you think Alsace Riesling can be indistinct in its flavour and focus, try this one. It brings a laser beam of acidity and tree fruit flavors - peach, apple and pear, with some apricot thrown in for good measure. Absolutely delicious. Alcohol by volume: 13.5 per cent.
Rubus Terraces Terrasses Collection Pinot Noir 2013
Two and a half stars
Waipara Valley, New Zealand, US$37 (S$52)
Rubus is a label developed by local US importer Fran Kysela. He purchases wines from around the world that demonstrate "typicity," which is wine-geek speak for a wine that tastes like it should. This one, which is from Sherwood Estate according to the capsule, is a textbook New Zealand pinot, with bing cherry fruit flavours and a nice woodsy note. Alcohol by volume: 13.5 per cent.
Chateau Burgozone Côte de Danube Pinot Noir 2013
Danube Plain, Bulgaria, US$17 (S$24)
Delightful, aromatic and light on the palate, this pinot still delivers lots of cherry fruit and a hint of wood spice. Alcohol by volume: 13.5 per cent.
Massinoti Valpollicella Classico 2015
Veneto, Italy, US$18 (S$25)
A light-body red wine that offers cherry fruit flavours, a bit of woodsy flavours and a hint of smoke. It's simple, fruity and good for everyday drinking with casual foods. Alcohol by volume: 12.5 per cent.
Three stars Exceptional, two stars Excellent, one star Very Good Prices are approximate.
Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favourite wine store to order through a distributor.