This blend from one of California's best-known wineries is lively and intense, with black cherry, plum and currant nuances, highlighted by round tannin and caramel oak tones. Drink now through 2005. 205,000 cases made. Best Buy.
For a complete wrap
This second label to Jed Steele's Steele Wines consistently cranks out the tasty, value-priced offerings. What a deal in Syrah. This is intense and focused, with beefy black cherry, plum and dried berry flavors. Herb, spice, mocha and lead pencil nuances —James Laube
From this Kendall-Jackson owned Chilean property comes this solid Merlot value. Made in a clean, modern style, with juicy berry fruit, fleshy texture and sweet smoke notes running through the finish. Drink now through 2002. 20,800 cases made. Best Buy. —James Molesworth
Though Chile's strong suit lies with its reds, this Sauvignon Blanc from Echeverria is very good and worth tracking down. It has pretty floral notes on the nose, with lemon peel and chamomile flavors and a bright, zesty finish. Nicely done. Drink now. 12, —James Molesworth
From one of Chile's largest producers comes this fine Chardonnay value. Has ripe pear, apple and toast flavors, with a round, juicy palate and finish. What Chardonnay lovers crave. Drink now. 20,000 cases made. Best Buy. —James Molesworth
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