daily wine picks


Less than $15

Feb. 26, 2001: BODEGAS Y VIÑEDOS SANTIAGO GRAFFIGNA Barbera Tulum Valley Selección Especial 1995 (85 points, $8)

Very dark profile for a Barbera, with roasted coffee bean and plum aromas followed by blackberry flavors. Ambitious and interesting, though lacking a little definition. Drink now. 45,000 cases made. —James Molesworth

Feb. 24, 2001: ROSEMOUNT Chardonnay South Eastern Australia (85 points, $10)

This Aussie Chardonnay from a winery that's no stranger to American consumers is straightforward, nicely balanced, appealing for its ripe melon and apple flavors, which echo nicely on the round finish. Drink now. 180,000 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

Feb. 21, 2001: R.H. PHILLIPS Sauvignon Blanc Dunnigan Hills 1999 (86 points, $7)

Though Dunnigan Hills of Yolo County is perhaps not as glamorous as other regions in California, R.H. Phillips has shown that it is capable of producing tasty wine. This Sauvignon Blanc is in the New Zealand style, with racy apple, celery salt and tangy p —James Laube

Feb. 18, 2001: MCDOWELL Syrah Mendocino (87 points, $12)

Starts with leather and herbal notes, then slides into ripe black cherry and blueberry flavors, underscored by firm tannins. Drink now through 2005. 14,500 cases made. —James Laube

Feb. 16, 2001: GALLO OF SONOMA Chardonnay Sonoma County (87 points, $11)

This winery continues to crank out solid, well-priced wines. This '99 Chardonnay serves up lots of lively, refreshingly clean and pure apple, pear, melon and spice notes, with no oak intrusions. Drink now through 2002. Plenty to go around. 500,000 cases m —James Laube

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