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daily wine picks


$15 to $30

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

Dec. 23, 2005: BLANDY'S Sercial Madeira 5 Year Old NV NV (89 points, $21)

Dried apricot, golden raisin and smoky flavors fill this fresh and lively Madiera. Balanced, and edged with lush spicy notes, which linger on the creamy finish. Try on ice as an aperitif. Drink now through 2010. —Kim Marcus

Dec. 22, 2005: DESSILANI Fara Caramino 2001 (90 points, $30)

Aromas of meat, spice and leather follow through to a full-bodied palate, with lots of spice, pepper and tobacco character, verging on funky. Big and rich. I like it. Best after 2006. 1,600 cases made. —James Suckling

Dec. 21, 2005: ROBERT EYMAEL (MÖNCHHOF) Riesling QbA Mosel-Saar-Ruwer 2004 (89 points, $15)

Plump and juicy, with apricot, nectarine and mineral notes married to a bright structure. It's balanced and lingers on the finish. Drink now through 2010. —Bruce Sanderson

Dec. 20, 2005: QUINTA DO VALE MEÃO Douro Meandro 2003 (90 points, $20)

Broad and rich, with layers of ripe plum and blackberry flavors, that are nicely feathered with cream and spice. Finishes oozes with chocolate, mineral and smoke. Drink now through 2008. 4,330 cases made. —Kim Marcus

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