daily wine picks

Less than $15

Apr. 08, 1999: CONCHA Y TORO Chardonnay Casablanca Valley Trio 1997 (86 points, $9)

This vibrant white shows assertive tropical fruit, ginger and nutmeg flavors, with fresh acidity and toasty oak. A bit exaggerated, perhaps, but a nice match with fusion fish dishes. Drink now through 2001.

Apr. 05, 1999: LES COSTIERES DE POMEROLS Coteaux du Languedoc Picpoul de Pinet Domaine St.-Peyre 1997 (84 points, $8)

From the Picpoul de Pinet subappellation of France's burgeoning Languedoc-Roussillon region comes this crisp and lively white, with pretty flavors of green plum, pepper and honeydew melon. This wine has a nice backbone of acidity and a good, clean finish.

Apr. 03, 1999: MONTGRAS Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley Reserva 1997 (88 points, $11)

Ripe cherry and sweet vanilla flavors give this plush Chilean Cab an immediate appeal. It's round and balanced, with firm tannins under the baby fat, and has enough depth to improve in the bottle. Drink now through 2005.

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.

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