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A September Wine Romance


Domaine Ilarria Irouléguy Rosé 2019 $25.99

Who said you shouldn’t drink rosé after Labor Day? Even though this is a longtime favorite rosé, I’m still surprised by its quality each time I open a bottle. It’s much darker than a typical French rosé, more the ruby color of a Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo, made of tannat and cabernet franc grown in schist. The flavor is elemental, like something you might imagine concocted from rocks and blood, which, believe me, is a great thing. Peio Espil, the proprietor of Ilarria, practices hands-off farming, and works naturally. The wines get better and better. (A Thomas Calder Selection/Regal Wines Imports, Moorestown, N.J.)

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Luis Seabra Douro Xisto Ilimitado 2018 $26

The evolution of the Douro Valley of Portugal, famed for centuries for its fortified port wines, has been fascinating to watch. With a diminishing market for port, the region has produced more and more table wines, and they have become finer and more evocative. Luis Seabra makes state-of-the-art Douros: graceful, appetizing and elegant. Xisto Ilimitado is made with a typical blend of red port grapes grown in schist soils. It’s savory, complex, aromatic and thoroughly delicious. (Olé & Obrigado, New Rochelle, N.Y.)

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Castro Candaz Ribeira Sacra Mencía 2017 $22.99

Castro Candaz is one of the many projects of Raúl Pérez, one of Spain’s leading itinerant winemakers, who produces gems from all over the country and beyond. For Castro Candaz, Mr. Pérez, in partnership with another winemaker, Rodrigo Méndez, focuses on mencía grapes from the Chantada region of Ribeira Sacra in Galicia, an area where the hills are more sandy than is typical in the slate-rich Ribeira Sacra. It’s a concentrated, earthy wine, with plenty of minerality. Try it with chili con carne. (Skurnik Wines, New York)

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Domaine Maestracci Corse Calvi E Prove 2016 $24.99

Since Camille-Anaïs Raoust took over this estate in 2012 from her father, Michel Raoust, she has pushed to farm biodynamically, and has improved the winemaking. It’s situated in the Calvi region in the northern part of Corsica, where the leading red grape is niellucciu, or sangiovese. In the south, the leading red grape is sciaccarellu, or mammolo, a lesser known Tuscan grape generally used for blending. This red combines both grapes, along with grenache and syrah, to create a gorgeous wine that is floral, focused, lightly tannic and thoroughly Corsican. (Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, Calif.)

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