daily wine picks

Less than $15

Jan. 29, 2004: MONTGRAS Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley Reserva 2002 (88 points, $10)

Lovely racy feel, despite its dark, brooding currant, plum and cedar notes. Lots of coffee, smoke and muscular tannins on the back end, but the fruit keeps pumping along, too. Burly style, but I like it. Drink now through 2005. 25,500 cases made. Best Va —James Molesworth

Jan. 27, 2004: BODEGA BUDINI Malbec Mendoza 2002 (87 points, $11)

A bit snappy for a Malbec, with blackberry fruit buffered by a crisp finish. Fresh, with good weight, this may flesh out a touch in the short-term. Drink now through 2005. 6,000 cases made. Best Values. From Argentina. —James Molesworth

Jan. 22, 2004: GEORGES DUBOEUF St.-Véran Flower Label 2002 (87 points, $11)

A tasty interpretation of Chardonnay. Rich, ripe and bursting with pure apple and lemon flavors and mineral accents, all backed by a vibrant structure. Good length too. Drink now. 30,000 cases imported. Best Values. From France. —Bruce Sanderson

Jan. 17, 2004: CONCHA Y TORO Carmenère Rapel Valley Casillero del Diablo 2002 (86 points, $10)

Carmenère continues to improve in Chile, and it's becoming the country's signature grape. This version has nice ripe raspberry and plum fruit, with sweet smoke, spice and dried herb notes. Chocolaty finish. Nicely done. Drink now. 9,110 cases made. Best —James Molesworth

Jan. 15, 2004: VERAMONTE Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca Valley 2003 (87 points, $10)

This Chilean Sauvignon Blanc has nice richness, with straw, peach, lemon verbena and lime notes that are bouncy and fresh, with a refreshing finish. Drink now. 30,000 cases made. Best Values. —James Molesworth

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