daily wine picks


$15 to $30

May. 03, 2005: BIRD IN HAND Riesling Clare Valley 2004 (90 points, $18)

Beautiful ripe pear, apple and peppery-floral aromas and flavors on a dry, lean frame, exploding with character as the flavors persist with clarity. Drink now through 2014. 2,000 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

May. 02, 2005: SEBASTIANI Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley Appellation Selection 2002 (91 points, $28)

A rich, concentrated, deeply complex wine, laden with mocha, currant, blackberry and spicy anise notes. The tannins and oak flavors also have a strong presence, but the focus and depth of flavor are impressive. Best from 2006 through 2011. 3,400 cases mad —James Laube

Apr. 30, 2005: RUSTENBERG Chardonnay Stellenbosch 2004 (89 points, $17)

Bold, with fig, pear and toast flavors up front, but there's a taut side, with mineral and grilled almond notes showing up on the chiseled finish. Drink now. 1,000 cases imported. —James Molesworth

Apr. 29, 2005: DOMAINE DU CAILLOU Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2001 (92 points, $30)

Beautiful, pure plum and crème de cassis aromas lead the way for a beam of lovely fruit on the palate, followed by alluring vanilla bean, black tea, fig, mineral and tar notes. The long finish is carried by well-embedded acidity. Drink now through 2015. —James Molesworth

Apr. 28, 2005: KURT HAIN Riesling Spätlese Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Piesporter Goldtröpfchen 2003 (92 points, $25)

Piquant. Despite low acidity, a brightness brings the tasty nectarine and vanilla custard flavors into relief. Fine length. Delicious now, but will improve with time. Drink now through 2015. —Bruce Sanderson

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