Interesting aromas of plums, tea and flowers follow through to a medium-to full-bodied palate, with black pepper and cherry character, fine tannins and a ripe finish. Slightly short, but very good indeed. Best from 2002 through 2006. 8,350 cases made. —James Suckling
Here's a solid value from Italy's Campania region. This Aglianico shows lots of ripe fruit, with raisin, leather and black pepper character. Stylish, interesting young red. Drink with hearty food. Drink now. 6,500 cases made. —James Suckling
Stimson Lane (which owns Washington's Chateau Ste. Michelle) purchased this venerable California winery, known for its Chardonnays, in 1986. This value-priced offering is soft and fleshy, with supple fig, apricot, anise and smoky oak flavors. Well-priced, —James Laube
This Chilean Merlot is polished, with currant, black cherry, smoke and mineral notes and a focused finish. With a touch more development, it'll be a solid drink, at a bargain price. Drink now through 2003. Best Buy.
For a complete look at the past —James Molesworth
Looking for a solid red that's affordable too? This Syrah is firm, offering beef, spice, black cherry, currant and chocolate flavors, while tannins, toasty oak and herbal notes linger on the finish. Drink now through 2005. 10,000 cases made. Best Buy.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions