Also recommended: 2001 Abadal Reserva Pla de Bages (86). (Grapes of Spain, Lorton, VA)
($15; 70% chardonnay, 20% sauvignon blanc and 10% picapoll) Bright straw. Racy citrus, quince, mineral and quinine aromas are strongly reminiscent of a classic Muscadet. Brisk and refreshingly dry, displaying an array of stony citrus flavors supported by bracing acidity. Gains a waxy quality on the long, pleasantly bitter finish. This would be excellent with raw shellfish.
($13; a 60/40 blend) Deep ruby. Spicy cherry and blueberry aromas are brightened by suave mineral and floral accents. Crisp and fresh, with bright cherry and blackcurrant flavors, silky tannins and a hint of bitter chocolate. The taut, nicely focused finish offers impressive length for the price.
($14; 50% each of cabernet sauvignon and merlot) Bright ruby. Cool, restrained aromas of cherry, spiced plum and dried flowers. Vibrant red fruit flavors are a touch bitter, with brisk acidity providing focus and lift. The zesty qualities carry through the long, juicy finish.
($49; 40% each of cabernets franc and sauvignon with 20% syrah) Inky ruby. Intense cherry, mineral, floral and smoky aromas reminded me of a classic Graves. Powerful but linear cherry and red berry flavors show a distinctly wild, smoky side but also possess impressive sweetness and clarity. Finishes with vivid cherry pit and mineral elements and excellent length.