daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Dec. 31, 2005: LES CLOS DE PAULILLES Banyuls Rimage 2003 (90 points, $22/500ml)

Rich dessert red, with loads of dark plum, cassis and plum pudding flavors. Reminiscent of an LBV Port, with good grip, a firm structure and a lasting finish of molten chocolate. Drink now through 2012. 1,600 cases imported. —Kim Marcus

Dec. 30, 2005: KELLER Chardonnay Sonoma Coast La Cruz Vineyard 2003 (90 points, $29)

The fruit stars in this sleek, refreshing wine, with a beam of green apple, melon, lemon and light hazelnut shadings. Drink now through 2008. 2,859 cases made. —James Laube

Dec. 29, 2005: MICHEL & STÉPHANE OGIER Syrah Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes La Rosine 2003 (89 points, $27)

Big nose of blackberry, game, lavender flower and toast, with ripe fruit and toast flavors gliding along the palate. Ripe, smoky finish is embedded with terroir. Côte-Rôtie in all but name. Drink now through 2006. —James Molesworth

Dec. 28, 2005: SELBACH-OSTER Riesling Kabinett Mosel-Saar-Ruwer 2004 (89 points, $23)

A drier kabinett, this offsets its peach note and lush texture with bracing acidity and a mineral streak. A little reserved now, yet this should really hit its stride in 5 to 7 years. Best from 2009 through 2022. —Bruce Sanderson

Dec. 27, 2005: MARK WEST Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2003 (89 points, $20)

Aromas of wild berry and raspberry jam are ripe, rich and elegant on the palate. Deftly balanced, with a hint of watermelon and strawberry peeking through on the finish, returning to the hint of jammy fruit. Drink now. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. —James Laube

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