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An unexpected merlot from Tuscany surprises with complex flavors — and a $15 price tag

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From left, Thorn-Clarke Single Vineyard Selection Hoffmann DV Mataro 2018, Chateau du Moulin-à-Vent, Couvent des Thorins 2018, Villa Poggio Salvi Lavischio 2019, Broccardo Barbera d’Alba La Martina 2018, Barrika Basque Country Cider. (The Washington Post)

Feb. 26, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. EST

This week, we have two outstanding values in red wines — an affordable merlot from Tuscany and a splurge-worthy mataro from Barossa in Australia. Just for variety’s sake, look for this top-notch cru Beaujolais and an expressive barbera from Piedmont in Italy. Then cleanse your palate with a crisp, low-alcohol cider from Basque country in Spain.

Chateau du Moulin-à-Vent, Couvent des Thorins 2018

(Extraordinary)

Moulin-à-Vent, Beaujolais, France, $25

From one of the cru appellations of Beaujolais, this outstanding gamay offers all the conviviality of the region with added complexity and depth. Flavors of dark cherries, blackberries and wild herbs seem to be suspended in the wine. ABV: 13 percent.

Imported by Wilson Daniels, exclusive to Whole Foods Market: Available in the District at Whole Foods Market (H Street). Available in Virginia at Whole Foods Market (Ashburn, Charlottesville, Fairfax, Glen Allen, Richmond, Vienna, Virginia Beach).

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An unexpected merlot from Tuscany surprises with complex flavors — and a $15 price tag