Clos de Los Siete Argentina 2009, $18: French flying winemaker Michel Rolland puts his name on the French-like front label of this red blend from Argentina. It’s pretty stylish stuff, and I’m betting you would never guess it was from Argentina — because of the bold, very California-like fruit. It’s a blend of Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petit Verdot. The blackberry fruit and spice of the Malbec, dark plum of the Merlot and red currant of the Cabernet come roaring through, laced with smoke and spice off French barrels. It has great balance. Alcohol is a respectable 14.5 percent.
Chateau Chantal Proprietor’s Reserve Chardonnay Old Mission Peninsula Michigan 2010, $22: Hold this baby up to your nose and guess its origin: some place in France, a cool mountainous area of Italy, New Zealand? OK — you get the picture. It’s delicious, with a ton of ripe fruit, lots of apple and pear and tropical fruit character, lovely spicy oak streaming throughout the palate and acidity for balance. It has a yeasty brioche character to it. It was barrel-fermented and aged in wood for nine months, with monthly stirring of the lees. Alcohol is a nice 14.6 percent. The 2010 vintage in Michigan produced some great wines — but not in great quantities.