We spend a lot of time, figuratively speaking, in the foothills of the Andes, where Argentina's high and dry Mendoza region produces some of the world's most reliable wines, many of them value priced. The splendid 2012 Domaine Bousquet Chardonnay (about $12 at wine savvy markets) comes to us unoaked and fermented on the lees from organically grown grapes, yielding a white wine very true to its terroir and a boon companion to food.
This chard is a pretty yellow in the glass and leads off with a nose of nectarines, light lemon and faint floral undertones. On the tongue it is crisp and bright, with nectarines, white flowers and lemon to the fore. Cantaloupe and the barest hint of vanilla come on at mid palate. The lemony, creamy finish is long and refreshing with just the right amount of bracing acidity.
We would pair this charmer with something as exotic as crispy sweetbreads or as everyday as a garden salad enlivened with mango, avocado and shrimp.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.