daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Dec. 31, 2004: ELAINE MARIA Sauvignon Blanc Alexander Valley 2003 (90 points, $17)

Vibrant and intense, serving up a bright beam of passion fruit, grapefruit, grass and tangy nectarine flavors that dance with lemon and lime peel notes on a mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2006. 400 cases made. From California. —James Laube

Dec. 30, 2004: ST.-URBANS-HOF Riesling Kabinett Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Piesporter Goldtröpfchen 2003 (90 points, $17)

There's a tad more zip here than usual for 2003, which helps to focus the slate, peach and citrus notes. Good persistence, ending in an almost salty finish. Drink now through 2012. 1,200 cases made. From Germany. —Bruce Sanderson

Dec. 29, 2004: KANGARILLA ROAD Shiraz-Viognier McLaren Vale 2003 (90 points, $25)

Nearly black in color, but refreshing for its lively mouthful and open-textured, sweet-spicy berry flavors, the flavors hovering gently through the long, elegant finish. Drink now through 2009. 400 cases imported. From Australia. —Harvey Steiman

Dec. 28, 2004: KANGARILLA ROAD Shiraz McLaren Vale 2002 (90 points, $21)

Goes for elegance over power, with delicious blueberry, plum, olive and black pepper flavors mingling effectively. Has fine tannins and refined texture to lift the flavors through a long finish. Drink now through 2012. 6,000 cases imported. From Australia —Harvey Steiman

Dec. 27, 2004: MASTROBERARDINO Fiano di Avellino Radici 2003 (89 points, $24)

Wonderful mineral and apple aromas with hints of lemon rind. Medium- to full-bodied, with fresh acidity and a long finish. Very nice indeed. Drink now. 6,700 cases made. From Campania, Italy. —James Suckling

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