Mendoza, Argentina, $20
Zesty with flavors of tree fruit and citrus; a nice touch of oak aging gives body without overpowering the fruit.
Country Vintner: Available in the District at Bell Wine & Spirits, Paul’s of Chevy Chase. Available in Maryland at King Farm Beer & Wine in Rockville, Pine Orchard Wine in Ellicott City. Available in Virginia at Planet Wine & Gourmet in Alexandria, Out of Site Wines in Vienna.
Catena Chardonnay High Mountain Vines 2011
Mendoza, Argentina, $22
Catena’s baseline chardonnay, labeled with this vintage as “High Mountain Vines.” The blend is from three vineyards, at elevations of 3,117 feet, 3,675 and 4,757 feet. The flavors are soft and ripe, more of a California-style chardonnay that isn’t trying for a Burgundian ideal.
Winebow: Available in the District at Barmy Wines & Liquors, Calvert Woodley, Central Liquors, Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, Circle Wine & Liquor, Costco, MacArthur Beverages, Magruder’s, P&C Market, Rodman’s, Safeway (L Street, Wisconsin Avenue), Whole Foods Market (Foggy Bottom).
Finca Sophenia Reserve Chardonnay 2012
Mendoza, Argentina, $15
A vibrant example of Mendoza chardonnay, featuring the citrusy side over the tree fruits; it is fresh and lively, and reverberates on the palate.
Country Vintner: Available in the District at Cork & Fork. Available in Maryland at Cork & Fork in Bethesda; Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits & Bistro in Beltsville; Wilkens Liquors in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Cork & Fork in Gainesville, Slaters Market in Alexandria; on the list at Pizzeria Orso in Falls Church.
Los Ailos Chardonnay 2011
San Juan, Argentina, $9
Racy and refreshing, like cold mountain air after a snowstorm.
M Touton Selection: Available in the District at Bloomingdale Liquor, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Irving Wine & Spirits, Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Riverside Liquor, Virginia Market; by the glass at Del Campo. Available in Maryland at Belby Discount Beer & Wine and Rollins Beer-Wine-Deli in Rockville, Nick’s of Clinton in Waldorf, Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, Snider’s Super Foods in Silver Spring. On the list at River Falls Seafood in Potomac. Available in Virginia at Ashburn Wine Shop, Cork & Fork in Gainesville, Crystal City Wine Shop and the Italian Store in Arlington, the Vineyard in McLean, Town Duck in Warrenton.
Santa Julia Chardonnay 2012
Mendoza, Argentina, $11
Textbook chardonnay, made with organically grown grapes by one of Argentina’s best-value wine producers (Familia Zuccardi); fine by itself or with casual chicken or fish dishes.
Country Vintner: Available in the District at Barmy Wines & Liquors, Rodman’s, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill. Available in Maryland at Adega Wine Cellars in Silver Spring, Balducci’s and Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda, MOM’s Organic Market (Bowie, College Park, Jessup, Rockville), Rodman’s (White Flint, Wheaton), Roots Market in Olney. Available in Virginia at MOM’s Organic Market (Alexandria).