daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Aug. 24, 2005: W.H. SMITH WINES Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2004 (89 points, $24)

Ripe and zesty, with a tasty range of wild berry and blackberry fruit that's well-defined. Turns elegant and supple on the palate, with enough tannin to merit short-term cellaring. Drink now through 2008. 1,467 cases made. —James Laube

Aug. 23, 2005: JEAN-MAURICE RAFFAULT Chinon Clos d'Isoré 2003 (89 points, $18)

Not as opulent as most '03 reds, as mineral, chalk and olive notes lead the way for black cherry and briar flavors. Nice, firm, tobacco-tinged finish. Drink now through 2006. 1,200 cases made. —James Molesworth

Aug. 22, 2005: DOMAINE PÉLAQUIÉ Côtes du Rhône-Villages White Laudun 2003 (89 points, $15)

Firm and stony, with lots of minerally spine running through the white peach, star fruit and almond notes. Nice, focused finish. Drink now. 600 cases made. —James Molesworth

Aug. 20, 2005: ORIEL Côtes du Rhône Courant 2003 (89 points, $15)

This is Côtes du Rhône? Thick and crammed with dark plum and currant fruit, along with tar, cocoa and mineral notes. A bit of a brute now, but this should blossom in time for fall barbecue fare. Drink now through 2006. Tasted twice, with consistent note —James Molesworth

Aug. 19, 2005: GÉRARD BERTRAND Minervois Terroir Les Matins d'Aurore 2003 (89 points, $15)

Meaty, seductive style, with loads of brambly flavors. Medium- to full-bodied, with a deep well of mocha, cream and peppery spices on the finish. Drink now. 10,000 cases made. —Kim Marcus

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