daily wine picks

Less than $15

Jun. 26, 2002: VERAMONTE Chardonnay Casablanca Valley 2001 (86 points, $10)

Agustin Huneeus has slowly but surely turned his large Veramonte estate in Chile into one of the region's best sources of value. The cooler Casablanca valley looks to be the spot for Chile's top white wines, and this Chardonnay provides a very good introd —James Molesworth

Jun. 22, 2002: BODEGAS ESMERALDA Chardonnay Mendoza Alamos 2000 (88 points, $10)

The Alamos is Bodegas Esmeralda's basic line, and it has a track record for providing really fine value. This Chardonnay is big and juicy, with ripe pear, hazelnut and fig notes, and a long creamy finish. Quite tasty. Drink now. 11,500 cases made. Best B —James Molesworth

Jun. 21, 2002: BIDOLI Pinot Grigio Grave del Friuli 2000 (85 points, $10)

From the northeast of Italy comes this clean and fruity Pinot Grigio, with lemony, apple and lemon rind character. Medium-bodied, with fresh acidity and a round-textured finish. Drink now. 50,000 cases made. Best Buy. —James Suckling

Jun. 19, 2002: HUGEL Alsace Gentil 2000 (85 points, $10)

The rich texture and apple and loam flavors get support from tangy acidity in this tasty blend of Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Muscat and Sylvaner. It picks up a spicy note on the finish. Drink now. Best Buy.

For a complete look at the pa —Bruce Sanderson

Jun. 18, 2002: CONCHA Y TORO Merlot Peumo Marques de Casa Concha 1999 (90 points, $14)

The '99 vintage was a fine one in Chile, where normally good to very good wines excelled. The '99 Casa Concha Merlot displays the ripeness of the vintage, and despite the blast of toast, there's solid plum and blackberry fruit here. Shows a hint of the gr —James Molesworth

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