daily wine picks

Less than $15

Mar. 14, 2003: LA PLAYA Merlot Colchagua Valley 2000 (85 points, $7)

Mixed berry fruit, with a healthy dose of sweet vanilla and toast. Fleshy finish. Straightforward, but will have fans. Drink now. 38,000 cases made. Best Values. —James Molesworth

Mar. 10, 2003: LAS VIÑAS DE LA CALINA Merlot Maule Valley Reserve 2001 (86 points, $8)

Here's another tasty value from Kendall-Jackson's Chilean venture. This Merlot is elegant, with ripe berry fruit, hints of vanilla and herbs, and a plush finish. Drink now. 26,000 cases made. Best Values. —James Molesworth

Mar. 07, 2003: VIÑA SANTA CAROLINA Chardonnay Rapel Valley Reserva 2001 (87 points, $9)

Tangy and bright, with fig, green tea and a full layer of toast, this full-bodied Chardonnay is made in a crowd-pleasing style. Drink now. Best Values. —James Molesworth

Mar. 04, 2003: LAS VIÑAS DE LA CALINA Chardonnay Casablanca Valley Reserve 2001 (85 points, $8)

Chile continues to improve while maintaining its bevy of solid values, such as this Chardonnay. Good pear and butter notes, with a nice smoky edge to the finish. Drink now. 14,800 cases made. Best Values. —James Molesworth

Mar. 01, 2003: THE HESS COLLECTION Chardonnay California Select 2001 (86 points, $11)

Should be easy to find some of this Chardonnay. It's got ripe, juicy honeysuckle, pear, apricot and fig flavors that are rich and polished. Drink now. 185,000 cases made. Best Values. —James Laube

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