daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Dec. 02, 2004: MULDERBOSCH Sauvignon Blanc Stellenbosch 2004 (91 points, $20)

Lean and racy, with tightly wound lime, chive, chalk and sweet pea notes that will need some moderate cellaring to fully unwind. Crisp, chiseled finish is really mouthwatering. Drink now through 2006. From South Africa. —James Molesworth

Dec. 01, 2004: VIÑA MAMBRILLA Ribera del Duero Alidis Crianza 2001 (91 points, $27)

Ripeness and power. A thick texture and chewy tannins give this red a monolithic aspect, but there's a core of plum, prune and blackberry fruit, and the coffee-scented oak is well-integrated. Impressive but reserved. Best after 2005. 3,250 cases made. Fr —Thomas Matthews

Nov. 30, 2004: MAS MARTINET VITICULTORS Priorat Martinet Bru 2002 (90 points, $27)

Rich, pure flavors of raspberry and cherry jam are framed by chocolate notes in this alluring red. It has firm, well-integrated tannins and enough acidity to keep it lively. Voluptuous yet balanced. Drink now through 2012. From Spain. —Thomas Matthews

Nov. 29, 2004: VIÑA SANTA EMA Catalina Rapel Valley 2001 (90 points, $28)

This is a solidly built version with raspberry, boysenberry and currant fruit coursing along ripe, sweet tannins and powered by chocolate and toast notes. Round, rich, powerful finish. Could be aged a touch too, before it really hits its stride. Cabernet —James Molesworth

Nov. 25, 2004: ARMAGH Syrah Sonoma Coast 2002 (90 points, $25)

Those who delight in peppery Syrah need not look much further than this, as it is two or three grinds of the pepper mill ahead of the pack. But it's not all pepper. The beefy, leathery flavors are rich and concentrated, firm and sinewy, with a long spicy —James Laube

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