daily wine picks

Less than $15

Sep. 23, 2000: CONCHA Y TORO Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley Casillero del Diablo 1999 (86 points, $10)

Here's a crowd-pleasing Chilean Cab at a consumer-friendly price, from one of the region's leading wineries. Lively currant, plum and smoke aromas rush forth and are backed up by a sweet, round, jammy-fruit profile. Toast and vanilla notes finish it off. —James Molesworth

Sep. 21, 2000: HERON Syrah California 1998 (86 points, $11)

Here's a bargain for fans of Rhône-style wines. This California Syrah serves up plum, cedar, spice and earth notes that come together nicely and linger on the finish. Drink now. 5,000 cases made. —James Laube

Sep. 16, 2000: HEGGIES Heggies Chardonnay Eden Valley (89 points, $8)

This is a silky-smooth and pretty Australian Chardonnay, with lovely almond- and hazelnut-scented pear, peach and vanilla flavors that extend into an elegant finish. Goes for refinement -- and achieves it, at an eyebrow-raisingly low price. Drink now thro —Harvey Steiman

Sep. 13, 2000: BRANCOTT Chardonnay Gisborne 1999 (90 points, $10)

This New Zealand Chardonnay is simply an outstanding value. Smooth and round, layering its generous pear and nectarine flavors with spicy, floral overtones. The fruit flavors remain lively and balanced throughout, echo beautifully on the rich finish. Drin —Harvey Steiman

Sep. 12, 2000: CHÂTEAU DE LANCYRE Coteaux du Languedoc Hautes Terres 1998 (85 points, $10)

1998 was considered to be a very good vintage in the southern French wine region of the Languedoc. Many of the '98's from this promising region are now starting to hit our shores. Warm, mature-tasting, with dried plum flavors and spicy mocha notes on the —Kim Marcus

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