daily wine picks

Less than $15

Nov. 04, 1999: SONOMA CREEK Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County (87 points, $12)

Looking for a value in California Cabernet? This firm-textured wine has anise, blackberry and coffee notes framed by toasty oak, with supple tannins that give good structure, and the flavors resonate on the finish. Drink now through 2004. 12,000 cases mad

Nov. 02, 1999: PENFOLDS Sémillon-Chardonnay South Eastern Australia Koonunga Hill 1997 (85 points, $8)

Silky and appealing for its tobacco-scented pear and citrus flavors, and finishing with juicy acidity and a round texture, this white blend from Australia is quite a lovely wine for so modest a price. Drink now through 2002. 31,945 cases imported.

Nov. 01, 1999: CHÂTEAU LA ROQUE Mourvèdre Coteaux du Languedoc Pic St.-Loup Cuvée Vieilles Vignes 1997 (90 points, $11)

From France's emerging Languedoc region comes this oustanding Mourvèdre. A truly savage red wine, with plenty of sinew. Its enticing meaty aroma leads to tightly wrapped and intense flavors, including notes of dried plum, cherry, dark hummus, mushroom, p

Oct. 30, 1999: BONNY DOON Vin Gris de Cigare California 1998 (87 points, $9)

An offbeat offering at a try-me price, this blush-style Mourvèdre blend is dry, with lots of forward strawberry, tea and apple-skin flavors that finish crisp and refreshing. Drink now. 6,700 cases made.

Oct. 27, 1999: DUCK POND Chardonnay Columbia Valley Fries\' Desert Wind Vineyard Wahluke Slope 2000 (86 points, $9)

From Washington comes this wallet-friendly Chardonnay, rich, round and spicy, with enticing nutmeg and pepper overtones to the core of pear and caramel flavors. Drink now through 2003. 8,800 cases made.

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