daily wine picks

Less than $15

Apr. 21, 2000: SIMONSIG Pinotage Stellenbosch 2000 (89 points, $13)

This has lovely purity of flavors, showing violet, raspberry, cherry and spice, with just a hint of gaminess stealing its virtue. Elegant and persistent in flavor right through to the long finish. Drink now through 2003. 8,000 cases made. —Bruce Sanderson

Apr. 19, 2000: FARALLON Chardonnay North Coast 1998 (85 points, $10)

This tasty California Chardonnay is wallet-friendly too, with vanilla, butter, ripe pear and coconut flavors with good concentration and length. Drink now through 2001. 32,000 cases made. —James Laube

Apr. 18, 2000: PEPPERWOOD GROVE Syrah California 1998 (86 points, $7)

A great value for Syrah lovers, this young red delivers spicy black cherry and pepper notes mingled with pleasant earthy flavors and soft tannins. Drink now through 2004. 5,500 cases made. —James Laube

Apr. 15, 2000: MERIDIAN Chardonnay Santa Barbara County (86 points, $11)

A nice all-around California Chardonnay at an attractive price, this is medium in weight, with a core of earthy pear, fig and apple, finishing with tasteful light oak and a creamy note. Drink now. 500,000 cases made. —James Laube

Apr. 13, 2000: HERON Chardonnay California 1996 (86 points, $10)

Looking for a deal on Chardonnay? This one's pleasantly balanced, with a pretty core of ripe pear, apple and vanilla flavors, finishing with touches of citrus, lemon peel and light oak. Drink now. 20,000 cases made. —James Laube

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