daily wine picks


Less than $15

Nov. 21, 2002: DOMAINE BRUSSET Côtes du Rhône-Villages Cairanne Côteaux des Travers 2001 (89 points, $14)

Here's a refined and subtle Rhône offering that is also well-priced. With its silky tannins, lovely full-bodied richness on the palate, this is well worth hunting for, giving joy with its fresh blackberry aromas and spice, toasted oak and chocolate notes —Per-Henrik Mansson

Nov. 19, 2002: ODFJELL Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley Armador 2001 (86 points, $9)

This relative newcomer from Chile is quietly establishing a solid record for value. This Cabernet has a smoky aroma, and offers bright berry fruit and sweet vanilla and spice notes that linger on the juicy finish. Drink now. 15,000 cases made. Best Value —James Molesworth

Nov. 14, 2002: BODEGAS MARQUÉS DE MURRIETA Rioja Neonato 2000 (87 points, $11)

This traditional bodega has just debuted this modern-styled, easy-priced Rioja. Made in a ripe, assertive style, it has rich plum, chocolate and licorice flavors that are supported by muscular tannins. A bit clumsy, but exuberant. Drink now through 2010. —Thomas Matthews

Nov. 11, 2002: BODEGAS BRETÓN Rioja Loriñon Crianza 1999 (86 points, $11)

This nicely priced Rioja is plump and fruity, with ripe plum and blackberry flavors on a round, soft frame, finishing with vanilla and spicy accents. Not an ager, but seductive. Drink now through 2006. 50,000 cases made. Best Values.

For a complete —Thomas Matthews

Nov. 09, 2002: VIÑA MONTES Malbec Colchagua Valley Reserve 2001 (88 points, $10)

Winemaker Aurelio Montes has this winery at the top of Chile's heap. This value wine is tough to beat, with its inviting nose of fresh, crushed berries and spice, and likewise flavors augmented by restrained vanilla and toast. Solid medium-bodied, fleshy —James Molesworth

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