daily wine picks


Less than $15

Nov. 23, 1999: CALLAHAN HILL Chardonnay Murray Valley 1999 (84 points, $6)

This Australian Chardonnay is light and appealing for its basic sappy melon flavors, which hang on nicely on the fresh finish. Drink now. 50,000 cases made.

Nov. 19, 1999: TATACHILLA Shiraz South Australia Wattle Park 1998 (86 points, $10)

This well-priced Aussie Shiraz is a youthful, vibrant wine, almost like a barrel sample at this point, with a raw edge to the plum and berry flavors that linger on the rounded finish. Drink now. 4,000 cases made.

Nov. 18, 1999: MONTE ANTICO Toscana 1996 (86 points, $10)

Italy still abounds with bargains -- such as this traditional Tuscan red for current drinking. Delicious, with its abundant plum, berry and mushroom character, medium body, velvety tannins and soft finish. 27,500 cases made.

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

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