daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Aug. 30, 2005: GÉRARD BERTRAND Corbières Terroir Les Cailloutis 2003 (88 points, $15)

A thick, ripe red, with loads of mineral, tar, dark plum and meat flavors. Firm structure and a long lasting finish of dark chocolate and smoke. Drink now through 2007. 10,000 cases made. —Kim Marcus

Aug. 29, 2005: GÉRARD BERTRAND Coteaux du Languedoc White La Clape Château l'Hospitalet La Reserve 2004 (88 points, $22)

Medium- to full-bodied, with a rich hazelnut aroma and tropical fruit flavors, including mango and pineapple. Cinnamon and spice on the finish. Drink now. 3,000 cases made. —Kim Marcus

Aug. 27, 2005: AMANI Chardonnay Stellenbosch 2003 (88 points, $16)

Plump and juicy, with lots of apple, fig, toast and spice notes. Lush, fruit-filled finish. A crowd pleaser. Drink now. 2,000 cases made. —James Molesworth

Aug. 26, 2005: BERNARDUS Chardonnay Monterey County 2003 (88 points, $20)

Rich, in an understated style, with a mix of ripe pear, fig and apricot flavors shaded by light toasty oak that gives it a slight butterscotch edge, gaining complexity on the finish. Drink now. 25,000 cases made. —James Laube

Aug. 25, 2005: DOMAINE RICHAUD Côtes du Rhône-Villages Cairanne 2003 (89 points, $22)

This wine offers a big, ripe core of blackberry and boysenberry fruit flavors, with ripe tannins and suave mocha and mineral notes. Round, fleshy finish echoes with fruit. Drink now through 2006. —James Molesworth

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