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This racy $12 chardonnay tastes of peaches and apricot

FROM LEFT: Albamar Estate Series Chardonnay 2021; Chateau Saint-Nabor Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2021; GLF by Greg La Follette Pinot Noir 2018. (Scott Suchman/for The Washington Post)

In our new format, we will present wines across a range of prices. Each week will feature an “affordable” wine priced at $15 or less, a “value” at $15 to $30, and a “splurge” at $30 and up. We will continue to spotlight “great values” in all ranges that deliver exceptional quality for their price. For availability, check, and the websites of the wineries, importers or distributors.

This week’s recommendations include a racy chardonnay from Chile’s Casablanca Valley, a white Côtes du Rhône that smells like a springtime garden and an elegant pinot noir from a leading Northern California winemaker.


Albamar Estate Series Chardonnay 2021

(2.5 stars)

Casablanca Valley, Chile, $12

Rich and fleshy, this chardonnay has enough racy acidity to keep it together. An appealing floral note accents ripe peach and apricot flavors. The Casablanca Valley, northwest of the capital, Santiago, sees the cooling benefits of the Pacific Ocean, making it a good region for chardonnay and pinot noir, especially. Alcohol by volume: 13.5 percent. Bottle weight: 410 grams (Light). Imported by Global Vineyard Importers, Berkeley, Calif. Distributed locally by Constantine Wines and Virginia Imports.


Chateau Saint-Nabor Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2021

(3 stars)

Rhône Valley, France, $16

White wines from the Côtes du Rhône often are flabby and boring, lacking acidity. This rendition from Chateau Saint-Nabor is taut and focused. It offers aromas and flavors of jasmine, honeysuckle, lemongrass, zest and surprising complexity for a wine in this price range. I wrote about this winery’s chardonnay before; the Côtes du Rhône blanc is one to look out for. ABV: 13 percent. BW: 505 grams (Average).

Imported by Marquee Selections, Kansas City, Mo. Distributed locally by DMV.

GLF by Greg La Follette Pinot Noir 2018

(3.5 stars)

North Coast, Calif., $36

Greg La Follette was the palate behind the initial wines from Flowers, in what is now known as the West Sonoma Coast, as well as DeLoach and his own La Follette Wines, a brand he sold a few years ago. He now makes wines as Alquimista Cellars and under the GLF and Marchelle labels. Here he draws upon his contacts and experience making wines from some top vineyards in Sonoma and Mendocino counties to produce an elegant pinot noir with depth and finesse. Simply delicious. ABV: 14.2 percent. BW: 480 grams (Light). Distributed locally by SAWM Imports, Richmond.

Prices are approximate. For availability, check, and the websites of the wineries, importers or distributors.