One of our favorites is a 50-50 blend of juice from the verdejo and viura grapes that has been getting solid reviews for three straight vintages, yet is still widely available for between $10 and $12 a bottle, as it was when we first tried it more than two years ago.
The 2010 vintage of Fuente Milano Verdejo-Viura has been hitting store shelves in recent weeks and will be open for tasting this evening at the regular Friday Night Wine Tasting at The Bottle Shop in Potomac Woods Plaza, Rockville. The new vintage was named a “Best Buy” in the July issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine, which scored it 87 points, calling it “juicy and pleasant, with melon, citrus and nice acidity.
“The finish is fresh and lasting, and overall it’s pure and fairly full-bodied for basic Verdejo-Viura.”
In addition to The Bottle Shop, which has it for $11 a bottle and also part of its $115 “Summer Sampler” mixed case ($9.58 a bottle), Finewine.com in Gaithersburg has it for $9.99 a bottle, and Paul’s of Chevy Chase has the 2010 Fuente Milano on sale for $8.99 (regularly $10.99). That was the tasting price from its June 24 tasting, so you may have to mention that you read about it here to get the discount. Montgomery County Liquor stores and Unwined Online in Alexandria have the 2009 vintage for $9.25 and $9.99 a bottle, respectively. (See slideshow for sample prices and vintages available around town.)
You may even find some of the 2008 that we enjoyed two years ago still on some shelves. Josh Raynolds of Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, scored the 2008 Fuente Milano blend 88 points in the July/August 2009 issue, calling it, “Vibrant and pure, offering zesty citrus flavors and a suave undercurrent of succulent herbs.” He described it as offering “aromas of grapefruit, green apple and lemon pith” (not rind or zest or juice, but “pith”).
“A note of anise adds complexity to the spicy, persistent finish. Reminds me of plenty of sauvignon blancs that sell for twice the price,”he added.
This wine has been a consistent winner, so no matter what vintage you find, it’s likely to be a good for your holiday weekend.
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