daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Aug. 18, 2005: DOMAINE COURBIS St.-Joseph White 2003 (89 points, $26)

Open-knit, with peach, cantaloupe and floral flavors supported by a fine minerality. Shows nice acidity on the finish. 500 cases made. —James Molesworth

Aug. 17, 2005: BODEGAS ALEJANDRO FERNANDEZ La Mancha El Vínculo Crianza 2002 (89 points, $25)

This dark-colored wine is brimming with dark flavors--earth, mineral, plum, coffee--that mingle effortlessly in a racy texture. The fine tannins and smoky oak are well-integrated, and the wine dances to a long, smoky finish. Drink now through 2010. —Thomas Matthews

Aug. 16, 2005: CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE Chardonnay Columbia Valley Canoe Ridge Estate 2003 (89 points, $20)

Bright and tangy, with a peppery edge to citrus and apple flavors, wrapped in a light veil of creamy texture as the finish lingers. Drink now. 5,500 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

Aug. 15, 2005: CHÂTEAU BELLES EAUX Coteaux du Languedoc Fûts de Chêne 2003 (89 points, $17)

Effusive red from the south of France, with rich and lively crushed red fruit aromas and intense red plum, mocha, blueberry and spice flavors. A concentrated finish of mocha, cream and Swiss chocolate flavors. Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Carignane. Dr —Kim Marcus

Aug. 13, 2005: RIDGE Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Lytton Springs 2003 (90 points, $30)

Excellent structure, with tight, mineral-edged tannins and a core of zesty wild berry and black cherry flavors that are firm and concentrated. It's almost Bordeaux-like in its balance and restraint. Drink now through 2009. 10,000 cases made. —James Laube

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