daily wine picks

Less than $15

Aug. 05, 2004: CAVE DE SAUMUR Saumur-Champigny Les Poyeux 2003 (90 points, $14)

In ripe years like '03, Cabernet Franc from the Loire can offer sleek blackberry and boysenberry fruit like this wine has, with additional mineral, tobacco leaf, toast and game notes as well. Long, smoky finish has some serious muscle, but is truly driven —James Molesworth

Aug. 04, 2004: CHÉREAU-CARRÉ Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie Château de la Chesnaie 2003 (88 points, $9)

From the Loire comes this nice livewire Muscadet, with citrus peel, sea salt, mineral and floral notes. Fresh, tangy and rich. Nicely done. What a value. Drink now. 10,000 cases made. Best Values. From France. —James Molesworth

Jul. 26, 2004: COLUMBIA CREST Chardonnay Columbia Valley Grand Estates 2002 (89 points, $11)

Ripe and generous, a bright mouthful of lemon-scented pear and kiwi flavors shaded with just enough buttery oak to make it feel rich. Drink now through 2008. 285,000 cases made. Best Values. From Washington. —Harvey Steiman

Jul. 19, 2004: SNOQUALMIE Riesling Columbia Valley Winemaker's Select 2003 (89 points, $7)

Bright, juicy and tangy with orange- and tangerine-scented apricot, lemon custard and mineral flavors, with a soft, generous finish. Drink now through 2007. 18,000 cases made. Best Values. From Washington. —Harvey Steiman

Jul. 15, 2004: LOUIS BERNARD Côtes du Rhône 2003 (88 points, $11)

Solid plum and brier flavors, with blackberry, chocolate and bacony toast as well. Fruit gives another juicy appearance on the finish. Very solid. Drink now through 2005. 15,000 cases imported. Best Values. From France. —James Molesworth

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