daily wine picks


Less than $15

Feb. 27, 2002: BODEGAS ESCORIHUELA Sangiovese Mendoza Don Miguel Gascón 2000 (87 points, $10)

Owned by Nicolás Catena, this Argentinean winery cranks out terrific value. Tasty red and black cherry flavors pick up touches of toast and worn saddle leather. Good grip on the finish. Nicely done. Drink now. 2,500 cases made.

For a complete look a —James Molesworth

Feb. 25, 2002: CELLARS OF CANTERBURY Chardonnay Marlborough Momona 2000 (89 points, $13)

From New Zealand comes this winner of a Chardonnay. Ripe and creamy, but not heavy at all, with lots more fruit than oak. The juicy pear, nectarine and spice flavors linger, weaving through the polished finish. Drink now through 2004. 20,000 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

Feb. 22, 2002: CLINE Oakley Vin Blanc California 2000 (86 points, $9)

Known more for their red wines, Cline also makes this white, a very good blend of four varieties. Peach, currant, floral and citrus flavors stay nicely focused through the finish. Made from a blend of Pinot Gris, Viognier, Marsanne and Palomino. Drink now

Feb. 21, 2002: DELICATO Merlot California 2000 (86 points, $6)

There's a lot of character in this no-brainer buy. Rich and round, with cedar, chocolate, spicy black cherry, toasty oak and fresh herb flavors framed by gentle tannins. Drink now through 2004. 200,000 cases made. Best Buy.

Feb. 19, 2002: MORGANTE Nero d'Avola Sicilia 1999 (87 points, $12)

Made from the Nero d'Avola grape, this Sicilian red offers value and character. Lovely jammy red, with loads of berry, cherry and strawberry character. Medium-bodied, with soft tannins and a lusciously delicious finish. Delicious. Best after 2003. 8,330 c —Harvey Steiman

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