Susana Balbo Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
PROVENANCE: Mendoza, Argentina
AVAILABLE AT: Saint Louis Cellars, 2640 S. Big Bend Blvd., Maplewood, saintlouiscellars.com; $25.99
PAIRINGS: Lamb • Pork tenderloin • Gruyère
Defying the perception that all New World Cabernets must be in-your-face bold and highly tannic, Susana Balbo takes this classic grape and gives it a modern South American touch. This wine is richly layered with black fruit, tobacco, spice, and subtle notes of herbal mint and floral violet. Structure, balance and approachability keep this red a year-round drinker.
Celler Malondro Malondro 2007
PROVENANCE: Montsant, Spain
AVAILABLE AT: St. Louis Wine Market & Tasting Room, 164 Chesterfield Commons E., Chesterfield, stlwinemarket.com; $25
PAIRINGS: Fajitas • Vegetable lasagna •Chorizo
A single-vineyard wine from a small family-run estate in Spain, this blend of 50 percent Garnacha and 50 percent Cariñena is elegant yet intense. It starts with prominent plum and pepper on the palate, but given a little air time, the wine unlocks tones of cedar and espresso. This region is known for producing Priorat-style wines without the usual hefty price tags.
Nicholson Jones Chardonnay (Dolly Vineyard) 2010
PROVENANCE: Alexander Valley, Calif.
AVAILABLE AT: Schnucks, 10275 Clayton Road, Frontenac, schnucks.com; $27
PAIRINGS: Oysters • Ahi tuna •White pizza
Mingling his French heritage with his California grapes, winemaker Julien Fayard finds harmony in balancing the Old World and the New World of wine. Similar to Chablis, this stainless-steel-aged Chardonnay conjures up notes of pineapple, pear and green apple. Even before your first sip, the glass pulls you in with fragrant citrus rind. The wine keeps you coming back for more with its enticing minerality and mouthwatering acidity.