daily wine picks


Less than $15

Jun. 17, 1999: IVAN TAMAS Chardonnay Central Coast 1997 (86 points, $9)

Light and elegant, with refreshing pear, citrus and light toast flavors that persist on the soft finish, it's a pleasant mouthful of California's most popular white -- at a price that's hard to beat these days. Drink now. 10,000 cases made.

Jun. 12, 1999: HOGUE Chenin Blanc Columbia Valley 1998 (86 points, $7)

Soft and off-dry, with pretty melon and peach flavors that linger on the generous finish, this lovely Washington white provides tasty sipping that belies its affordable price. Ready now. 10,911 cases made.

Jun. 09, 1999: BULLETIN PLACE Shiraz South Eastern Australia 1998 (87 points, $10)

Looking for a good-drinking Aussie Shiraz without a cult-label price tag? Try this bottling. It's firm in texture and delivers pretty plum and berry flavors that persist on the fine-grained finish. Drinkable tonight through 2002. 9,000 cases made.

Jun. 08, 1999: CHATEAU SOUVERAIN Chardonnay Sonoma County 1997 (90 points, $13)

This California Chardonnay is a winner all around. It's firm and bright, offering a solid, snappy core of citrus and mineral along with pretty pear and apple flavors, all mingling on the long, zingy finish -- and the price is right. Drink now through 2006

Jun. 07, 1999: PLANTAGENET Chardonnay Western Australia Omrah Unoaked 1998 (88 points, $14)

This Aussie Chardonnay is from a winery relatively new to America. Fresh and pure, like biting into a crisp green apple, with overtones of lime, pineapple and spice that come into full bloom on the finish. Very nicely done. Approachable now, best from 200

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