daily wine picks


Less than $15

Nov. 02, 2000: CONCHA Y TORO Merlot Rapel Valley Casillero del Diablo (85 points, $10)

From Chile's largest winery comes this solid Merlot value. Ambitious effort here, emitting lots of coffee and smoke aromas followed by a nice blast of raspberry sherbet character and a good, gutsy finish. A lot of wine for so few dollars. Drink now. —James Molesworth

Oct. 31, 2000: BODEGAS PALACIO Rioja Glorioso Crianza 1997 (85 points, $10)

This soft Spanish red offers pretty flavors of cherries and cinnamon, with light tannins and a fresh, clean finish. A gentle example of the modern style, at an old-fashioned price. Drink now through 2003. 40,000 cases made. —Thomas Matthews

Oct. 27, 2000: BODEGAS ESCORIHUELA Malbec Mendoza Don Miguel Gascón 1999 (88 points, $11)

From Argentina comes this very good Malbec, perhaps the country's signature grape. It's delicious, bright and jammy, with Zinfandel-like crushed blackberry and blueberry flavors, good concentration and muscle, and a character-adding briery note running th —James Molesworth

Oct. 25, 2000: ERIK BANTI Toscana Carato 1998 (87 points, $10)

Here's a Tuscan red that's made with plenty of new wood, with a good core of ripe cherry. Medium body. Soft tannins. Fresh finish. Excellent value. Best from 2001 through 2003. 7,000 cases made. —James Suckling

Oct. 12, 2000: MADDALENA Cabernet Sauvignon Central Coast 1997 (88 points, $10)

This California Cabernet is worth the money. Marked by herb, red currant, coffee and mocha flavors that gain momentum, carrying through the solid tannins of the finish. Drink now through 2006. 10,000 cases made. —James Laube

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