daily wine picks

Less than $15

Jul. 11, 2000: COLUMBIA CREST Sémillon-Chardonnay Columbia Valley 1998 (86 points, $8)

Soft and generous with its pear and fig flavors, and picking up nice hay and honey notes on the finish, this blend of two grapes from Washington is a pleasant sipper at an appealing price. Drink now. 50,000 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

Jul. 08, 2000: BUCKELEY'S Chardonnay South Australia 1999 (85 points, $10)

How about this smooth and generous Chardonnay at a grab-me price? It shows appealing flavors of spicy melon and pear, with a nice stroke of oak emerging strongly on the lingering finish. Drink now. 15,000 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

Jul. 05, 2000: HOGUE Cabernet-Merlot Columbia Valley 1998 (86 points, $10)

On the light side, with a crisp texture up front that turns polished around the pretty strawberry, raspberry and vanilla flavors as they echo on the finish. A Washington offering, nicely done and affordably priced. Drink now through 2004. 51,448 cases mad —Harvey Steiman

Jul. 03, 2000: NOBILO Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Fall Harvest 1999 (87 points, $10)

This steely, racy Sauvignon Blanc scores points for New Zealand for both quality and price, emphasizing sleek mineral and apple flavors on a zingy frame, echoing fruit on the finish. Drink now. 40,000 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

Jun. 30, 2000: ROSEMOUNT Grenache-Shiraz South Eastern Australia 1999 (85 points, $8)

Down Under delivers with this fruity red at a no-quibble price. Focused and tasty, with lots of ripe raspberry flavors and toasty vanilla notes that linger on the finish. Drink now through 2002. 30,000 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

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