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From the western part of France's Languedoc-Roussillon region comes this lively and nicely spiced red, with bright red cherry and grape flavors. Balanced, with good structure and firm tannins, and notes of cardamom on the finish. Drink now through 2003. 1 —Kim Marcus
This Chilean winery has made a name for itself with its modern-styled wines. This Merlot has lots of toast, but there's enough fleshy black plum and cassis fruit to back it up. Bittersweet chocolat
Here's a debuting winery from Chile that's off to a good start. Elegant, with cherry, cedar, vanilla and mineral notes that linger, carried by dusty, yet stylish tannins on the finish. Nicely done.
From the Loire valley comes this white. Vibrant, exuding dense floral, lemon and apple notes on a racy frame. Balanced and sleek, it picks up mineral accents on the finish. Try with shellfish. Drink now. —Bruce Sanderson
This blend from Washington state is a bit raw, but packed with bright currant, plum and fresh herb aromas and flavors. Tannins give way to the generous fruit in the end. Best after 2002. 60,379 cases made. —Harvey Steiman
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