daily wine picks


Less than $15

Aug. 16, 2000: COVEY RUN Chardonnay Columbia Valley 1997 (85 points, $9)

Looking for a good value in Chardonnay? This Washington offering shows plenty of charm. It's fresh and vibrant, with citrus, pear and spice flavors on a soft frame. Drink now through 2002. 15,100 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

Aug. 14, 2000: VALENTIN BIANCHI Malbec San Rafael Elsa 1997 (86 points, $7)

A jammy red, with juicy currant and dark plum flavors and firm, chewy tannins. Picks up nice sanguine, mineral and bittersweet chocolate notes on the finish. From Argentina, it's like a very good Cahors, at a very good price. Tasted twice, with consistent —James Molesworth

Aug. 10, 2000: COLUMBIA CREST Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley (87 points, $8)

This flavorful Washington white is round and generous, delivering notes of pear, herb and vanilla, and finishing with a refreshing touch of citrus. A tasty wine whose value price makes it a good choice when multiple bottles are needed. Drink now. 55,000 c —Harvey Steiman

Aug. 07, 2000: BRANCOTT Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 1999 (88 points, $10)

Bright and lively, brimming with peach, citrus and green peppercorn flavors that linger spicily on the finish, this wine is a well-made and well-priced version of New Zealand's signature white. Drink now. 10,000 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

Aug. 03, 2000: A MANO Primitivo Puglia 1999 (88 points, $10)

This Primitivo (the Italian Zinfandel) from the 'heel' of Italy is a juicy, fruity, drink-me red at a grab-me price, delivering lots of chocolate and cherry character in a medium-bodied frame, with soft tannins and a long, fruity finish. Delicious. Drink —James Suckling

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