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daily wine picks

Less than $15

Aug. 24, 2004: CONCHA Y TORO Chardonnay Central Valley Xplorador 2003 (85 points, $7)

One of Chile's best producers keeps cranking out the solid values, like this fresh and bright Chardonnay, with pear, lime and quince flavors that sit atop bouncy acidity. Nicely done. Drink now. 11,000 cases imported. Best Values. —James Molesworth

Aug. 14, 2004: COLUMBIA CREST Shiraz Columbia Valley Two Vines 2001 (90 points, $8)

What a lovely range of sweet spices and supple, seductive blackberry, raspberry and cocoa flavors that mingle seamlessly on the long, effortless finish. Tannins are well-submerged, making this easy to like. Drink now through 2007. 50,000 cases made. Best —Harvey Steiman

Aug. 12, 2004: MIGUEL TORRES Sauvignon Blanc Curicó Santa Digna 2003 (87 points, $10)

From Chile comes this nice Sauvignon Blanc which offers fresh grass and chive notes, with lemon peel and chalk as well. Bright, bracing finish. Drink now. 50,800 cases made. Best Values. —James Molesworth

Aug. 09, 2004: DOMAINE BARON Sauvignon Touraine Vieilles Vignes 2002 (88 points, $8)

Lovely lemon zest and chamomile hints here, with honeysuckle, chalk and gooseberry flavors as well. Snappy, citrusy finish begs for food. Drink now. 10,000 cases made. Best Values. From France. —James Molesworth

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

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