daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Oct. 20, 2003: CABREO Chardonnay Toscana La Pietra 2001 (88 points, $17)

Pretty apple, vanilla and mineral character, with a very fresh focus. Medium-bodied, with good acidity and a lovely, soft, delicious finish. Modern and attractive. 5,500 cases made. Smart Buys. —James Suckling

Oct. 14, 2003: CHAPPELLET Chardonnay Napa Valley 2001 (90 points, $22)

From a California winery with a long history of successful Cabernet comes this outstanding Chardonnay. Firm, rich and intense, with layers of apple, fig and honeydew shaded by smoky, toasty oak, giving it a rich, unctuous aftertaste. Drink now through 200 —James Laube

Oct. 07, 2003: NAVARRO Pinot Noir Mendocino 2001 (89 points, $15)

It's always nice to find a Pinot Noir that won't break the bank. This California version is made in a delicate style, with fragrant floral and rose petal aromas and ripe cherry, raspberry and strawberry flavors that are elegant and refreshing. A terrific —James Laube

Oct. 03, 2003: FATTORIA LE PUPILLE Morellino di Scansano 2002 (88 points, $15)

This comes from an emerging appellation in Tuscany. Enticing, exotic nose, with grapey aromas and hints of Indian tea. Medium-bodied, with a silky, fruity palate and an elegant finish. Nice balance. Proof that some good wine was made in 2002 in Tuscany. D —James Suckling

Sep. 29, 2003: HAMILTON RUSSELL Chardonnay Walker Bay 2002 (91 points, $25)

Owner Anthony Hamilton Russell oversees the production of one of South Africa's best Chardonnays (if not the best) in the cool-climate region of Walker Bay. The '02 version is loaded with toast, smoke and grilled nut aromas that are captivating, wi —James Molesworth

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