daily wine picks

Less than $15

Oct. 05, 1999: BODEGAS MONTECILLO Rioja Vina Cumbrero Crianza 1996 (85 points, $10)

This lean red has good grip and a core of cherry; the dominant flavors are earthy, herbal and smoky, and a it's bit dry. The finish is long and clean, though, and the wine should go well with grilled foods. Drink now through 2003. 200,000 cases made.

Oct. 01, 1999: DALLAS CONTE Chardonnay Colchagua Valley 1998 (85 points, $10)

Strong vanilla aromas follow through on the palate, joined by crisp citrus and mineral notes to create a vibrant, balanced white that will make a lively match with fusion flavors. This Chilean wine is from a new joint venture between Australia's Mildara B

Sep. 29, 1999: BARON HERZOG Chenin Blanc Clarksburg 1998 (85 points, $7)

This Chenin Blanc is quite fragrant, with floral and peach notes at the fore. A lovely white from California, it serves up attractive tangy acidity and citrus flavors to balance its fruity character, with an attractive price to balance your wine budget. K

Sep. 27, 1999: MONTHAVEN Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 1996 (85 points, $10)

Pretty cassis, blackberry, tar, herb and smoke flavors highlight this Napa Cabernet with an un-Napalike price. There's lots of oak too, and tannic strength, so give this bargain some time to smooth out. Best from 2001 through 2006. 5,200 cases made.

Sep. 24, 1999: CHARLES DE FERE Brut Blanc de Blancs France Reserve NV (85 points, $10)

This white-grape sparkler from France is a fine value. Smooth and subtle in style, it displays good richness and nice fruit flavors that linger on the finish. Drink now.

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