daily wine picks


$15 to $30

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

Dec. 26, 2005: DR. PAULY-BERGWEILER Riesling Kabinett Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Bernkasteler Badstube 2004 (89 points, $23)

Racy and spicy in character, with apple, beeswax and cardamom notes driven by the bracing acidity. This needs time to settle down, but has good length. Best from 2007 through 2018. 1,000 cases made. —Bruce Sanderson

Dec. 24, 2005: CASCINA BALLARIN Barbera d'Alba Giuli 2003 (90 points, $21)

Dark colored with blackberry and light toasted oak. Almost raisiny on the nose. Full-bodied, with loads of fruit and a long, long flavorful aftertaste. It's all there. Best wine I have had from here, even better than the Barolos. Drink now. 450 cases made —James Suckling

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