daily wine picks


Less than $15

Nov. 02, 1999: PENFOLDS Sémillon-Chardonnay South Eastern Australia Koonunga Hill 1997 (85 points, $8)

Silky and appealing for its tobacco-scented pear and citrus flavors, and finishing with juicy acidity and a round texture, this white blend from Australia is quite a lovely wine for so modest a price. Drink now through 2002. 31,945 cases imported.

Nov. 01, 1999: CHÂTEAU LA ROQUE Mourvèdre Coteaux du Languedoc Pic St.-Loup Cuvée Vieilles Vignes 1997 (90 points, $11)

From France's emerging Languedoc region comes this oustanding Mourvèdre. A truly savage red wine, with plenty of sinew. Its enticing meaty aroma leads to tightly wrapped and intense flavors, including notes of dried plum, cherry, dark hummus, mushroom, p

Oct. 30, 1999: BONNY DOON Vin Gris de Cigare California 1998 (87 points, $9)

An offbeat offering at a try-me price, this blush-style Mourvèdre blend is dry, with lots of forward strawberry, tea and apple-skin flavors that finish crisp and refreshing. Drink now. 6,700 cases made.

Oct. 27, 1999: DUCK POND Chardonnay Columbia Valley Fries\' Desert Wind Vineyard Wahluke Slope 2000 (86 points, $9)

From Washington comes this wallet-friendly Chardonnay, rich, round and spicy, with enticing nutmeg and pepper overtones to the core of pear and caramel flavors. Drink now through 2003. 8,800 cases made.

Oct. 26, 1999: BASEDOW Semillon Barossa Valley 1997 (87 points, $11)

Ripe and generous, this distinctive Australian Semillon has grapefruit and tobacco overtones to its tasty pear and pineapple character. Makes lively drinking at an appealing price. Tempting now, best after 2001. 10,000 cases made.

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