daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Sep. 27, 2005: LOMAS DEL VALLE Malbec Mendoza Kaiken Ultra 2003 (88 points, $23)

Very good raspberry and blackberry fruit, but the toast is a bit heavy, turning to cinnamon and coffee in the end, leaving a slightly rigid feel. Plenty of fruit though; this should come around with brief cellaring. Drink now through 2007. 5,000 cases mad —James Molesworth

Sep. 26, 2005: FLORA SPRINGS Merlot Napa Valley 2003 (88 points, $25)

Scents of black cherry and blackberry, with a dash of cedar and anise. This shows a strong presence of rich, chewy tannins; a very complex, concentrated and well-structured Merlot. Decant. Best from 2006 through 2011. 7,400 cases made. —James Laube

Sep. 24, 2005: VIÑA ERRÁZURIZ Cabernet Sauvignon Aconcagua Valley Max Reserva 2003 (88 points, $19)

Juicy blackberry and briar flavors run through this medium-weight red, with dark cocoa and smoke notes framing the finish. Drink now through 2006. 2,500 cases imported. —James Molesworth

Sep. 23, 2005: MOUNT LANGI GHIRAN Shiraz Victoria Billi Billi 2002 (90 points, $15)

Ripe, generous and distinctly peppery around a generous core of ripe plum, cherry and spice flavors, the black pepper character weaving enticingly through the finish. Yummy stuff. Drink now through 2015. 2,000 cases imported. —Harvey Steiman

Sep. 22, 2005: PENFOLDS Cabernet-Shiraz South Australia Bin 389 2002 (89 points, $25)

Bright and juicy, a claret-style blend of Cabernet and Shiraz that lets its blackberry and currant flavors glow on a supple core, lingering nicely on the velvety finish. Drink now through 2010. 19,000 cases imported. —Harvey Steiman

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