daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Aug. 15, 2005: CHÂTEAU BELLES EAUX Coteaux du Languedoc Fûts de Chêne 2003 (89 points, $17)

Effusive red from the south of France, with rich and lively crushed red fruit aromas and intense red plum, mocha, blueberry and spice flavors. A concentrated finish of mocha, cream and Swiss chocolate flavors. Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Carignane. Dr —Kim Marcus

Aug. 13, 2005: RIDGE Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Lytton Springs 2003 (90 points, $30)

Excellent structure, with tight, mineral-edged tannins and a core of zesty wild berry and black cherry flavors that are firm and concentrated. It's almost Bordeaux-like in its balance and restraint. Drink now through 2009. 10,000 cases made. —James Laube

Aug. 12, 2005: DOMAINE LE COLOMBIER Vacqueyras Cuvée G. 2003 (89 points, $22)

Lots of suave spice and vanilla notes on the nose, backed by supple blackberry and black cherry fruit flavors. Shows tar and mineral notes on the dark finish, but stays long and stylish. A very intriguing wine. Drink now through 2007. 600 cases made. —James Molesworth

Aug. 11, 2005: DOMAINE BOIS DE BOURSAN Châteauneuf-du-Pape White 2003 (89 points, $30)

Reticent at first, this sheds its nutty, buttery notes to reveal bright peach, lemon verbena, star fruit and mineral flavors. Firm, stony finish. Drink now through 2006. 500 cases made. —James Molesworth

Aug. 10, 2005: DOMAINE PÉLAQUIÉ Côtes du Rhône-Villages Laudun 2003 (90 points, $15)

Nice purity, with supple black cherry and plum fruit riding atop lavender, spice and mineral notes, all of it staying in balance through the lengthy finish. Drink now through 2006. 800 cases made. —James Molesworth

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