daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Nov. 25, 2004: ARMAGH Syrah Sonoma Coast 2002 (90 points, $25)

Those who delight in peppery Syrah need not look much further than this, as it is two or three grinds of the pepper mill ahead of the pack. But it's not all pepper. The beefy, leathery flavors are rich and concentrated, firm and sinewy, with a long spicy —James Laube

Nov. 24, 2004: CLOS FIGUERES Priorat Font de la Figuera 2002 (90 points, $24)

Bright, focused black cherry and plum flavors, and lively acidity, give this big red a refreshing quality that brings you back for another sip. Then the smoky, toasty and spicy notes build and linger. Polished and balanced. Drink now through 2010. 800 cas —Thomas Matthews

Nov. 23, 2004: EL MASROIG Montsant Les Sorts Vinyes Velles 2001 (91 points, $25)

Rich and ripe. This modern-style red is packed with juicy blackberry, mineral and cola flavors, framed by toasty oak and well-integrated tannins. It has plenty of muscle, but remains balanced and accessible. Drink now through 2012. 2,000 cases made. Fro —Thomas Matthews

Nov. 22, 2004: M. LAPIERRE Morgon 2002 (90 points, $22)

Lovely nose of plums, violets and fruitcake, with a rich, layered palate of cherry, blackberry, cocoa, mineral and sweet earth. Starts supple, but gains grip on the finish. Artisanal Beaujolais. Drink now through 2006. From France. —James Molesworth

Nov. 20, 2004: DOMAINE DE LA BUTTE Bourgueil Le Haut de la Butte 2002 (90 points, $20)

Dark and briary, with olive, mineral and tobacco notes surrounding a dense core of black cherry and blackberry fruit. Long, chewy finish needs to harmonize a bit. Best from 2005 through 2007. 1,580 cases made. From France. —James Molesworth

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