This Cabernet blend is a bit mature, with raisin and coffee notes and claretlike vanilla bean and cedar on the streamlined finish. Has interest and grows on you. Drink now through 2003. 100,000 cases made. Best Buy.
For a complete look at South Afr —James Molesworth
Here's a wine with a throwback price. From Portugal comes this firm medium-bodied red, with smoky overtones, and flavors of red plum, dried cherry and tobacco. Notes of leather and spice on the finish. Drink now through 2003. 30,000 cases made. Best Buy. —Kim Marcus
If you need a lightweight wine, with a mix of lemon and mineral flavors, that is smooth and balanced with a fresh edge, then try this easy-to-find Loire bargain and bring on the oysters. Drink now. 150,000 cases made. Best Buy. —Bruce Sanderson
There's more to Portugal than just Port, as this bargain-priced red demonstrates. Firm and juicy, with supple flavors of berry, plum and spice. Vanilla and coffee notes on the finish. A good quaffer. Drink now. 10,000 cases made. Best Buy.
Southern Italy is showing steady improvement these days, while offering terrific value. This Campania white is a crisp, clean wine. Plenty of tropical fruit, honey and apple aromas -- almost like a solid Chardonnay -- yet slightly exotic. Medium-bodied, w —James Suckling