daily wine picks

Less than $15

Jul. 01, 2002: DI MAJO NORANTE Terra degli Osci Ramitello 1998 (88 points, $12)

From Italy's Molise region comes this tasty blend of Aglianico and Prugnolo. Fascinating aromas of crushed berries and black pepper, with hints of flowers. Full-bodied and chewy, with lots of fruit and new wood. Long finish. Drink now through 2005. 48,000 —James Suckling

Jun. 28, 2002: GLASS MOUNTAIN QUARRY Syrah California 1999 (86 points, $10)

Need a change of pace? Syrah can be just the thing. This well-priced version is a bit funky, with minerally, sea shell flavors wrapped around tasty blackberry and spice flavors. Drink now through 2006. 8,000 cases made. Best Buy.

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

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