A bit leaner than most Washington Merlots, with a lively core of cherry and spice flavors, which enlarge nicely on the finish and linger. Tannins have a bit of grit to lose. Best after 2001. 162,000 cases made. —Harvey Steiman
While Nicolás Catena has made a recent splash with a new winery and high-end Cabernet, his value-priced offerings also continue to do well. The '99 Alamos Cab is juicy, with red and black cherry fruit, and a nice smoky, spicy note on the finish. Solid. D —James Molesworth
Montravel is located in France's Dordogne region, and it produces a range of whites from dry to sweet. This dry version has crisp apple and citrus flavors that give this medium-bodied white a nice vibrancy. Spicy notes on the finish. Drink now. 15,000 cas —Kim Marcus
Here—s a textbook cru Beaujolais that—s ideal for summer sipping. Pretty floral (violet, bluebell) notes mingle with black cherry and spice flavors. Stylish and medium-weight, with a mouthwatering finish. Drink now. 30,000 cases made.
When you—re ready for a change of pace, try a Chilean Carmenère. Carmenère typically produces medium-bodied, soft reds with pepper and tobacco notes. This version from Santa Rita has a fair amount of toast, but overall it—s fleshy and sweet, with ta —James Molesworth
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