daily wine picks


Less than $15

Apr. 02, 1999: BOGLE Petite Sirah California 1997 (87 points, $9)

This California red is ripe and juicy, with spicy blueberry and black currant flavors, finishing with peppery herbal tones and smoky, toasted oak notes. Good value. Drink now through 2001. 30,000 cases made.

Mar. 30, 1999: CARMEN Merlot Rapel Valley Reserve 1997 (89 points, $14)

Lush and ripe, this velvety Chilean Merlot offers deep plum, licorice and chocolate flavors yet stays lively on the palate, with polished tannins and a clean, fresh finish. It's focused and concentrated enough to improve with age. Drink now through 2007.

Mar. 29, 1999: VINA SAN PEDRO Cabernet Sauvignon Lontue Valley Gato Negro 1998 (84 points, $5)

This soft Chilean Cabernet offers plenty of straightforward cherry and berry flavor, with notes of sweet vanilla and just enough tannin for grip. It's juicy and quaffable. Drink now through 2002. Easy to find, with 800,000 cases made.

Mar. 27, 1999: HERON Chardonnay North Coast 1997 (87 points, $11)

From one of California's lesser-known areas comes this solid but inexpensive Chardonnay. Elegant and refreshing, with supple lemon, spicy pear and fig notes. Drink now. 7,000 cases made.

Mar. 25, 1999: VINA TARAPACA Merlot Maipo Valley Reserva 1997 (87 points, $10)

From Chile comes this polished and rich Merlot. Bright, deep flavors of plum, chocolate and mint give this red concentration and length. It's well structured, with firm tannins and good balance. Drink now through 2003.

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