daily wine picks


Less than $15

Nov. 08, 2000: KORBEL Extra Dry California NV (88 points, $11)

Who says you have to pay big bucks for a good sparkling wine? This affordable version is round in the mouth, with ripe flavors of cherry, red currant and fig. Starts with a bit of sweetness that carries through the finish. Good availability, too. Drink no —James Laube

Nov. 06, 2000: ARESTI Merlot Curicó Valley Montemar 1999 (86 points, $9)

Here's a juicy Chilean red at an affordable price, with ripe blackberry and plum flavors, round, sweet toast accents and a nice fleshy finish, where a little herbal note chimes in, adding further dimension. Drink now. The fruit for this nice little value —James Molesworth

Nov. 02, 2000: CONCHA Y TORO Merlot Rapel Valley Casillero del Diablo (85 points, $10)

From Chile's largest winery comes this solid Merlot value. Ambitious effort here, emitting lots of coffee and smoke aromas followed by a nice blast of raspberry sherbet character and a good, gutsy finish. A lot of wine for so few dollars. Drink now. —James Molesworth

Oct. 31, 2000: BODEGAS PALACIO Rioja Glorioso Crianza 1997 (85 points, $10)

This soft Spanish red offers pretty flavors of cherries and cinnamon, with light tannins and a fresh, clean finish. A gentle example of the modern style, at an old-fashioned price. Drink now through 2003. 40,000 cases made. —Thomas Matthews

Oct. 27, 2000: BODEGAS ESCORIHUELA Malbec Mendoza Don Miguel Gascón 1999 (88 points, $11)

From Argentina comes this very good Malbec, perhaps the country's signature grape. It's delicious, bright and jammy, with Zinfandel-like crushed blackberry and blueberry flavors, good concentration and muscle, and a character-adding briery note running th —James Molesworth

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