daily wine picks

Less than $15

Oct. 30, 1999: BONNY DOON Vin Gris de Cigare California 1998 (87 points, $9)

An offbeat offering at a try-me price, this blush-style Mourvèdre blend is dry, with lots of forward strawberry, tea and apple-skin flavors that finish crisp and refreshing. Drink now. 6,700 cases made.

Oct. 27, 1999: DUCK POND Chardonnay Columbia Valley Fries\' Desert Wind Vineyard Wahluke Slope 2000 (86 points, $9)

From Washington comes this wallet-friendly Chardonnay, rich, round and spicy, with enticing nutmeg and pepper overtones to the core of pear and caramel flavors. Drink now through 2003. 8,800 cases made.

Oct. 26, 1999: BASEDOW Semillon Barossa Valley 1997 (87 points, $11)

Ripe and generous, this distinctive Australian Semillon has grapefruit and tobacco overtones to its tasty pear and pineapple character. Makes lively drinking at an appealing price. Tempting now, best after 2001. 10,000 cases made.

Oct. 25, 1999: LORANE Pinot Noir Oregon 1996 (85 points, $10)

Check out the deal on this elegant Pinot Noir from Oregon. Light in color and aroma, it opens into pleasant spicy strawberry and tobacco flavors that emerge smoothly and linger on the finish. Drink now through 2002. 16,000 cases made.

Oct. 22, 1999: BUCKELEY'S Chardonnay South Australia 1998 (88 points, $10)

Smooth and ripe, this is a generous mouthful of Chardonnay, its pear, citrus and guava flavors picking up a hint of barrel spice on the polished finish. A winner for both quality and value. Drink now through 2002. 18,000 cases made.

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