daily wine picks


Less than $15

Nov. 17, 1999: RANCHO ZABACO Zinfandel Sonoma County Sonoma Heritage Vines 1997 (88 points, $12)

Ripe, round and polished, this affordable Zinfandel is a nicely put-together amalgam of plum, berry and spice flavors wrapped in vanilla-scented oak. Finishes tangy and bright. Enjoy now through 2004. 20,000 cases made.

Nov. 15, 1999: VITICCIO Chianti Classico 1997 (87 points, $11)

Don't let the value price fool you -- this is a delicious, even slightly decadent bottle of Chianti Classico, with very ripe plum and tobacco on the nose, a medium body, well-knit medium tannins and a savory, fruity aftertaste. Best from 1999 through 2001

Nov. 11, 1999: VISTARENNI Chianti Classico 1997 (87 points, $10)

This pleasant, solid Sangiovese has a good dark ruby color and enticing aromas of blackberry and blueberry, with hints of smoke. It's medium in body, with silky, medium tannins and a fruity finish. Adding to its charms, it's well-priced. Drink now. 9,500

Nov. 08, 1999: BODEGAS MARTINEZ BUJANDA Rioja Conde de Valdemar Crianza 1996 (88 points, $10)

Rich, yet firm and well integrated, this red from Spain offers concentrated plummy, woody and spicy flavors that fill the mouth and linger on the finish; a lot of wine for so moderate a price. A great match with roasted meats. Drink now through 2003. 50,0

Nov. 04, 1999: SONOMA CREEK Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County (87 points, $12)

Looking for a value in California Cabernet? This firm-textured wine has anise, blackberry and coffee notes framed by toasty oak, with supple tannins that give good structure, and the flavors resonate on the finish. Drink now through 2004. 12,000 cases mad

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