daily wine picks


$15 to $30

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

Aug. 18, 2005: DOMAINE COURBIS St.-Joseph White 2003 (89 points, $26)

Open-knit, with peach, cantaloupe and floral flavors supported by a fine minerality. Shows nice acidity on the finish. 500 cases made. —James Molesworth

Aug. 17, 2005: BODEGAS ALEJANDRO FERNANDEZ La Mancha El Vínculo Crianza 2002 (89 points, $25)

This dark-colored wine is brimming with dark flavors--earth, mineral, plum, coffee--that mingle effortlessly in a racy texture. The fine tannins and smoky oak are well-integrated, and the wine dances to a long, smoky finish. Drink now through 2010. —Thomas Matthews

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