daily wine picks


Less than $15

Jun. 07, 1999: PLANTAGENET Chardonnay Western Australia Omrah Unoaked 1998 (88 points, $14)

This Aussie Chardonnay is from a winery relatively new to America. Fresh and pure, like biting into a crisp green apple, with overtones of lime, pineapple and spice that come into full bloom on the finish. Very nicely done. Approachable now, best from 200

Jun. 05, 1999: HOGUE Chardonnay Columbia Valley (87 points, $9)

From Washington, here's a pretty Chardonnay at a budget-minded price. Light in texture, it offers bright green apple and spice flavors that linger nicely on the balanced finish. Drink now through 2001. 71,385 cases made.

Jun. 04, 1999: CLINE Zinfandel California 1997 (86 points, $10)

Have a yen for Zin? This one's very nice, and the price is right, too. It's rich and jammy-tasting, with harmonious plum, strawberry, spice and herb-laced flavors, finishing soft. Drink now through 2001. 55,000 cases made.

Jun. 03, 1999: HERMITAGE ROAD Shiraz South Australia 1997 (87 points, $9)

Smooth and silky, this lightweight Shiraz has distinctive black cherry and spice flavors that linger enticingly through the generous finish. At this price and score, it's a solid choice when the occasion calls for multiple bottles. Drink now through 2005.

Jun. 02, 1999: TAFT STREET Chardonnay Sonoma County 1997 (86 points, $10)

Here's a very good white that's both drinkable tonight and reasonably priced. Mineral, pear, fig, spice and citrus flavors flow through the smooth, thick texture, while floral and herbal notes add dimension. Enjoy. 22,500 cases made.

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