daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Nov. 05, 2004: HAMILTON RUSSELL Chardonnay Walker Bay 2003 (91 points, $25)

With lovely pear tartine, floral, matchstick and grilled nut aromas and flavors, this is lushly layered and ripe with enough minerality underneath to keep the extra mango and dried pineapple notes driving through the lengthy finish. Drink now through 2006 —James Molesworth

Nov. 04, 2004: SEGHESIO Zinfandel Sonoma County Old Vine 2002 (91 points, $30)

Firm, tight and concentrated, with a rich beam of complex raspberry, blackberry, wild berry and floral scents that give it a wide range of flavors, yet it has a great backbone of acidity and tannins, and the flavors push through on the finish. Drink now t —James Laube

Nov. 03, 2004: RIDGE Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Vineyard 2002 (91 points, $30)

A rich, full-bodied, mouthfilling style, with intense, concentrated layers of spice, hazelnut, pear and fig, holding a tight focus and finishing with a long, persistent aftertaste that picks up a trace of cedar on the finish. Drink now through 2007. 1,000 —James Laube

Nov. 02, 2004: RAATS Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch 2003 (89 points, $21)

Subtle at first, but layers of persimmon, orange blossom, white peach and minerals develop steadily in the glass, while showing length and concentration on the finish. Drink now through 2005. 300 cases made. From South Africa. —James Molesworth

Nov. 01, 2004: DOMINIO DEL PLATA Syrah-Bonarda Mendoza Crios de Susana Balbo 2003 (89 points, $15)

Lovely fruit here--plum and cassis--with sweet vanilla, violet and spice notes that add dimension. Round and creamy throughout, with a long, fruit-filled finish. Drink now through 2005. 4,500 cases made. From Argentina. —James Molesworth

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