daily wine picks

Less than $15

Apr. 28, 1999: CHATEAU ST. JEAN Fumé Blanc Sonoma County (88 points, $9)

This California Sauvignon Blanc shows off lemon, lime, grapefruit and melon character, with good, tangy acidity underscoring the somewhat viscous texture. A touch of hazelnut and an attractive hint of honey mark the supple finish. Nice wine, great price.

Apr. 26, 1999: CASA LAPOSTOLLE Cabernet Sauvignon Rapel Valley (88 points, $11)

Round and ripe, this lush red from Chile offers satisfying drinking for the price, with mouthfilling blackberry, toast and light herbal flavors, chewy tannins and a clean finish. Makes an impact, but stays supple and polished. Drink now through 2004.

Apr. 23, 1999: CARTA VIEJA Merlot Maule Valley 1998 (86 points, $6)

Good balance and structure provide this Chilean red with an appealing combination of muscle and freshness, with ripe berry flavors, light smoke and herbal notes rounding out the package. A smart buy when the occasion requires multiple bottles. Drink now t

Apr. 22, 1999: SANTA AMELIA Merlot Maule Valley Reserve Selection 1998 (86 points, $8)

Focused and balanced, this lively red from Chile offers bright cherry and cedar flavors with light, firm tannins and crisp acidity. Though no blockbuster, it has the character and complexity to match well with medium-weight dishes -- and gives change from

Apr. 21, 1999: BOGLE Zinfandel California Old Vine Cuvee 1997 (88 points, $10)

Joining Bogle's Petite Sirah of the same vintage as a Best Buy is this soft, rich, very ripe plum- and blackberry-flavored Zin, with pleasant notes of herbs and spices. Drink now through 2002. 10,000 cases made.

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