daily wine picks

Less than $15

Apr. 03, 2000: CHATEAU ST. JEAN Fumé Blanc Sonoma County (87 points, $9)

Here's a good value in Fumé Blanc, offering nice balance, with ripe fig, herb, citrus and melon flavors, turning elegant and lively. Drink now through 2003. 20,500 cases made. —James Laube

Mar. 31, 2000: STEVENOT Chardonnay Sierra Foothills (84 points, $10)

Elegant, with vibrant pear and tangerine notes and an earthy accent on the finish. Drink now through 2003. Solid for the price, and plenty to go around. 52,000 cases made. —James Laube

Mar. 23, 2000: GALLO OF SONOMA Chardonnay Russian River Valley 1998 (85 points, $12)

Ripe and lively, with pretty grapefruit, pear and fig flavors, if a touch coarse. Drink now through 2003. Well priced and amply available. 50,700 cases made. —James Laube

Mar. 13, 2000: JACOB'S CREEK Merlot South Eastern Australia 1998 (85 points, $9)

This Australian Merlot is light, fruity and appealing for its juicy plum and berry flavors that echo nicely on the bright finish. This bottling represents good value and availability in a popular category. Drink now. 85,000 cases imported. —Harvey Steiman

Mar. 08, 2000: BOGLE Sauvignon Blanc California 1998 (85 points, $7)

What a deal, from a habitual Best Buy producer. It's soft in texture, oozing with tropical fruit flavors -- mango, passion fruit and pineapple. Refreshing acidity keeps the balance. Drink now through 2002. 6,500 cases made. —James Laube

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