When the classic wines of the world start getting too expensive, enterprising winemakers search for vineyard land where reputations, and therefore real estate prices, are not so lofty. Enterprising wine lovers know to search for these wines, because they can be among the best values on the market. Our Greatest Value of the Week is an example, a lovely chardonnay grown in southwestern France by two brothers-in-law from Burgundy. We also have an exceptional zinfandel from Sonoma County, a tasty sauvignon blanc from Bordeaux and two classic rosés to slake your August thirst.
Domaine Antugnac Chardonnay 2018
Three stars (Exceptional)
Haute Vallée de L’Aude, France, $14
We don’t expect to find chardonnay grown in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains in the western reaches of Languedoc, but brothers-in-law Christian Collovray and Jean-Luc Terrier are chardonnay experts in the Mâcon region of Burgundy. They are among several Burgundian producers who are exploring less-expensive land in the south of France in an effort to produce great value wines. They have succeeded with this beautiful chardonnay, bursting with flavors of fresh fruit and flowers, with a filigree of minerality. Alcohol by volume: 13 percent.
Valravn Zinfandel 2017
Three stars (Exceptional)
Sonoma County, California, $21
Spicy and fruity in classic Sonoma County zinfandel style, this juicy red wine bursts with ripe flavors of raspberries and blackberries, seasoned with wild herbs. An appealing tartness keeps the wine energetic before yielding to a long, sweet-tasting finish. ABV: 14.8 percent.
Famille Combard Figuière Le Saint André 2018
Two and a half stars (Excellent)
Méditerranée, France, $15
This delicious rosé from the south of France is ideal for late summer evenings as a starter wine or to match light suppers on the patio. ABV: 13 percent.
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Esprit Gassier 2018
Two and a half stars
Côtes de Provence, $20
Classic Provençal rosé, with flavors of watermelon, mint and sea air.
It tastes like refreshment. ABV: 13 percent.
Chateau La Mothe du Barry, Cuvée French Kiss 2018
Two stars (Very Good)
Entre-Deux-Mers, Bordeaux, France, $15
Winemaker Joel Duffau consistently makes delicious wine at affordable prices at his Chateau La Mothe du Barry.
The Entre-Deux-Mers, which translates as “between two seas,” refers to the area between the Gironde and the Dordogne rivers, as they flow toward the city of Bordeaux to form the Garonne estuary leading to the Atlantic.
The area specializes in white wines based primarily on sauvignon blanc. A splash of muscadelle in the blend adds an aromatic lift and some fruitiness.
This is a tasty wine on its own, for grazing snacks, or with lighter seafood dishes. ABV: 13 percent.