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daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Oct. 07, 2005: JEAN-MAURICE RAFFAULT Chinon Les Picasses 2003 (90 points, $20)

Rustic for an '03, with briary tannins and olive and chalk notes holding the upper hand over black currant fruit. Firm, structured finish shows game and black olive hints. Complex and lengthy. Drink now through 2008. 2,900 cases made. —James Molesworth

Oct. 06, 2005: PAGO DE LOS CAPELLANES Ribera del Duero Crianza 2002 (90 points, $29)

This modern style red shows a strong oak note of chocolate and vanilla, but there's enough ripe fruit to balance, with black cherry and plum flavors. It's rich, with integrated tannins and fresh acidity. Balanced and refreshing. Drink now through 2010. 60 —Thomas Matthews

Oct. 05, 2005: ALAIN JAUME Lirac Clos de Sixte 2003 (90 points, $20)

Showy, opulent raspberry and blackberry jam aromas and flavors lead the way for firm hot stone, iron, cocoa and tar notes. Muscular finish really pumps out the fruit and structure together. Impressive. Drink now through 2010. 900 cases imported. —James Molesworth

Oct. 04, 2005: DOMAINE DU COLOMBIER Chinon Cuvée Vieilles Vignes 2003 (90 points, $18)

Dark, with a tarry intensity to the black currant, tobacco, iron and smoke flavors. Firm and muscular but with plenty of flesh and minerality on the finish. Drink now through 2009. 1,400 cases made. —James Molesworth

Oct. 03, 2005: CASA LAPOSTOLLE Merlot Colchagua Valley Cuvée Alexandre 2003 (90 points, $20)

Ripe and smoky, with lots of plum and blackberry fruit supported by dark cocoa. Rich, fleshy finish. A sure crowd-pleaser. Drink now through 2006. 10,466 cases made. —James Molesworth

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