daily wine picks

Less than $15

May. 15, 2002: BODEGAS ESMERALDA Malbec Mendoza Alamos 2000 (86 points, $10)

Nicolás Catena's Bodegas Esmeralda leads the way for Argentinean wines, thanks to their large-scale production, moderate prices, and consistent quality. This Malbec shows cinnamon and spice aromas, with blackberry and chocolate flavors. Sweet, berry —James Molesworth

May. 14, 2002: BODEGAS Y VIÑEDOS SANTIAGO GRAFFIGNA Barbera Tulum Valley Selección Especial 2000 (86 points, $8)

Santiago Graffigna has been churning out some solid values from Argentina for a couple of years now. This Barbera offers delicious plum and brier flavor, ripe and exuberant, with a rich, jammy finish. In your face and delicious. Drink now through 2003. 45 —James Molesworth

May. 13, 2002: CONCHA Y TORO Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Alto Marques de Casa Concha 1999 (90 points, $14)

The fruit for this wine comes from the same vineyard that both the Concha y Toro Don Melchor and Viña Almaviva draw their fruit from. The '99 Casa Concha Cabernet has mineral, currant, smoke and mint flavors, and firm but ripe tannins. Lovely flesh and c —James Molesworth

May. 11, 2002: YANGARRA PARK Chardonnay South Eastern Australia 2001 (87 points, $10)

This Australian Chardonnay has subtlety and elegance. It's on the light side, but is generous with its peach and ripe apple fruit, with hints of spice and citrus on the finish. Drink now. 56,000 cases made. Best Buy.

For a complete look at Australi —Harvey Steiman

May. 10, 2002: CHÉREAU-CARRÉ Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie Château de Chasseloir 2000 (85 points, $9)

Perfect for the summer is this light, crisp Loire white made from the Melon grape. Lovely balance and a richness to the lemon, peach and mineral flavors, albeit in a lightweight style. It leaves a mouthwatering impression. Drink now. 2,400 cases made. —Bruce Sanderson

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