daily wine picks


Less than $15

May. 20, 2002: MARQUÉS DE RISCAL Rueda 2000 (87 points, $7)

Well priced, and easy to find, this full-bodied Spanish white is right on time for summer sipping. Rich and smooth, it offers almond, pear and creamy flavors, with enough acidity for balance. Bigger in body than flavor, but distinctive and appealing. Drin —Thomas Matthews

May. 17, 2002: BODEGA NEKEAS Cabernet Sauvignon-Tempranillo Navarra Vega Sindoa 1999 (88 points, $10)

Bodega Nekeas is one of Spain's better value wineries. This inexpensive red blend is expressive, with alluring aromas of cassis, black cherry and licorice mingle with smoky, toasty oak notes, framed by well-integrated tannins in this balanced red. It has —Thomas Matthews

May. 15, 2002: BODEGAS ESMERALDA Malbec Mendoza Alamos 2000 (86 points, $10)

Nicolás Catena's Bodegas Esmeralda leads the way for Argentinean wines, thanks to their large-scale production, moderate prices, and consistent quality. This Malbec shows cinnamon and spice aromas, with blackberry and chocolate flavors. Sweet, berry —James Molesworth

May. 14, 2002: BODEGAS Y VIÑEDOS SANTIAGO GRAFFIGNA Barbera Tulum Valley Selección Especial 2000 (86 points, $8)

Santiago Graffigna has been churning out some solid values from Argentina for a couple of years now. This Barbera offers delicious plum and brier flavor, ripe and exuberant, with a rich, jammy finish. In your face and delicious. Drink now through 2003. 45 —James Molesworth

May. 13, 2002: CONCHA Y TORO Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Alto Marques de Casa Concha 1999 (90 points, $14)

The fruit for this wine comes from the same vineyard that both the Concha y Toro Don Melchor and Viña Almaviva draw their fruit from. The '99 Casa Concha Cabernet has mineral, currant, smoke and mint flavors, and firm but ripe tannins. Lovely flesh and c —James Molesworth

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