Here's a solid value from the great '98 vintage in the Rhône. Intriguing. This reasonably priced red is rather reserved, showing more wet earth than ripe fruit. Fairly tough, with a firm tannic backbone, but you also sense a richness and emerging fatness —Per-Henrik Mansson
1997 was a good vintage in South America, and here's a good example. It's firm for a Chilean Merlot, with a chewy texture and ripe currant and cassis flavors that pick up a little smoky, coffee note on the lively, juicy finish. Solid wine, sound value. Dr —James Molesworth
A rich, thick, dark, well-made Rhône red, this displays some distinct oak accents, with spice, mocha and freshly ground coffee, but also plenty of concentrated black fruit and red berry flavors. Supple tannins on the balanced finish. Drink now through 20 —Per-Henrik Mansson
Here's a kosher wine from California that comes in time for the holidays. Focused, offering intense flavors of passion fruit and citrus, finishing with a kiss of sweetness. What a deal at this price. Drink now through 2001. 15,000 cases made. —James Laube
Ripe and generous, a jazzy mouthful of peach, apple and resiny pine aromas and flavors that linger on the round finish. Drink now. 28,000 cases made. —Harvey Steiman
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