The Alamos is Bodegas Esmeralda's basic line, and it has a track record for providing really fine value. This Chardonnay is big and juicy, with ripe pear, hazelnut and fig notes, and a long creamy finish. Quite tasty. Drink now. 11,500 cases made. Best B —James Molesworth
From the northeast of Italy comes this clean and fruity Pinot Grigio, with lemony, apple and lemon rind character. Medium-bodied, with fresh acidity and a round-textured finish. Drink now. 50,000 cases made. Best Buy. —James Suckling
The rich texture and apple and loam flavors get support from tangy acidity in this tasty blend of Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Muscat and Sylvaner. It picks up a spicy note on the finish. Drink now. Best Buy.
The '99 vintage was a fine one in Chile, where normally good to very good wines excelled. The '99 Casa Concha Merlot displays the ripeness of the vintage, and despite the blast of toast, there's solid plum and blackberry fruit here. Shows a hint of the gr —James Molesworth
Floral, citrus and peach notes grace this gentle, balanced white, whose subtlety belies an underlying persistence, ending in a long, languid finish. Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Muscat, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris. A great deal from the famous French region. —Bruce Sanderson