daily wine picks

Less than $15

Aug. 06, 2001: COLUMBIA CREST Merlot Columbia Valley (87 points, $11)

A bit leaner than most Washington Merlots, with a lively core of cherry and spice flavors, which enlarge nicely on the finish and linger. Tannins have a bit of grit to lose. Best after 2001. 162,000 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

Aug. 03, 2001: BODEGAS ESMERALDA Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza Alamos 1999 (85 points, $10)

While Nicolás Catena has made a recent splash with a new winery and high-end Cabernet, his value-priced offerings also continue to do well. The '99 Alamos Cab is juicy, with red and black cherry fruit, and a nice smoky, spicy note on the finish. Solid. D —James Molesworth

Aug. 01, 2001: DUBARD Montravel Château Laulerie 2000 (85 points, $10)

Montravel is located in France's Dordogne region, and it produces a range of whites from dry to sweet. This dry version has crisp apple and citrus flavors that give this medium-bodied white a nice vibrancy. Spicy notes on the finish. Drink now. 15,000 cas —Kim Marcus

Jul. 30, 2001: GEORGES DUBOEUF Régnié Flower Label 2000 (86 points, $10)

Here—s a textbook cru Beaujolais that—s ideal for summer sipping. Pretty floral (violet, bluebell) notes mingle with black cherry and spice flavors. Stylish and medium-weight, with a mouthwatering finish. Drink now. 30,000 cases made.

Jul. 28, 2001: SANTA RITA Carmenère Rapel Valley Reserva (84 points, $11)

When you—re ready for a change of pace, try a Chilean Carmenère. Carmenère typically produces medium-bodied, soft reds with pepper and tobacco notes. This version from Santa Rita has a fair amount of toast, but overall it—s fleshy and sweet, with ta —James Molesworth

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