daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Oct. 15, 2005: LOMAS DEL VALLE Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza Kaiken Ultra 2003 (89 points, $23)

Muscular, with a hint of funk (that blows off quickly) followed by black currant, espresso, bittersweet chocolate and loam flavors. Concentrated on the finish. For fans of the style. Drink now through 2007. 3,000 cases made. —James Molesworth

Oct. 14, 2005: HUGEL Gewürztraminer Alsace 2003 (89 points, $20)

Fresh and elegant, displaying pear and rosewater aromas and flavors, picking up a hint of litchi on the finish. A more delicate style for the vintage, this shows balance and harmony. Drink now through 2007. 7,500 cases made. —Bruce Sanderson

Oct. 13, 2005: JEAN-LOUIS CHAVE SÉLECTION Côtes du Rhône Mon Coeur 2003 (89 points, $20)

Focused, ripe blackberry and raspberry fruit dominates this fleshy, full-bodied version, while game, mineral and tar notes chime in. Solid, fleshy finish. Drink now through 2006. 3,500 cases made. —James Molesworth

Oct. 12, 2005: CASA LAPOSTOLLE Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley Cuvée Alexandre 2003 (89 points, $20)

Muscular and brutish now, with thick dark cocoa and toast dominating the blackberry and currant fruit. Big, brawny finish is loaded, but very tight. Worth cellaring to see if the fruit can push through the toast. Best from 2006 through 2008. 10,486 cases —James Molesworth

Oct. 11, 2005: TERRE DA VINO Barolo 2002 (90 points, $23)

Aromas of plums, blackberries and raisins follow through to a full-bodied palate, velvety tannins and a plummy, fresh herb aftertaste. Well done. And excellent value. Best after 2007. 10,000 cases made. —James Suckling

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