Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta 2005
Colchagua Valley, $65
A valley within the Colchagua Valley appellation, Apalta produces some of Chile's top wines. This leading entrant in the luxury category has fresh, springlike aromas, plenty of oak, silky tannins and a long, complex finish.
Washington Wholesale; available at MacArthur Beverages, Calvert Woodley and Wine Specialist in the District.
Cousino-Macul Antiguas Reservas Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Maipo Valley, $16
One of the most consistently good values in cabernet at this price range, this vintage is more international in style than is typical for this wine, which used to evoke Europe. Decant an hour or more before drinking.
Billington; widely available, including at Montgomery County liquor stores; on the list at Zola, Brasserie Beck and Lauriol Plaza in the District.
Errazuriz "Wild Ferment" Chardonnay 2007
Casablanca Valley, $21
Made with native yeast, which helps show the local characteristics, this is a lively wine, rich with roasted apple and creme brulee notes. It is long, complex and delicious.
Monument Fine Wines; available at Finewine.com in Gaithersburg and at Modern Liquors and Watergate Wine and Beverage in the District; on the list at Vinoteca and BLT Steak in the District.
2 Brothers Big Tattoo Red 2006
Colchagua Valley, $10
This is one of the best values in our market today. A blend of cabernet sauvignon and syrah, it has great balance and more interest than most wines in this price category. Buy it by the case.
Billington; widely available, including at Montgomery County liquor stores; on the list at Kemble Park Tavern, Zola, Creme and Chi-Cha Lounge in the District.