daily wine picks


Less than $15

Nov. 26, 2002: COMTE DE MALESTROIT Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie Château La Noë 2001 (85 points, $9)

Hard not to like this nice, bracing Muscadet, showing citrus, brine and mineral notes, and a crisp, lively finish. Drink now. Try as an aperitif, or with seafood. 7,500 cases made. Best Value. —James Molesworth

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

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