daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Oct. 25, 2004: PHILIPPE RAIMBAULT Sancerre Apud Sariacum 2003 (89 points, $21)

Plump and forward, with peach and pear flavors atop modest hints of citrus peel and herbs. With patience, flint and herb notes emerge more on the finish. Solid for the vintage but I prefer the '02 versions for their verve and balance. Drink now. 3,000 cas —James Molesworth

Oct. 22, 2004: FAMILIA RUTINI Merlot Tupungato Felipe Rutini 2002 (89 points, $20)

Lovely blackberry, plum and cocoa aromas and flavors here, with a sweet, plush texture and finish where the cocoa and fruit notes echo. Delicious. Drink now. 4,000 cases imported. From Argentina. —James Molesworth

Oct. 21, 2004: ARCENO Toscana Prima Voce 2002 (90 points, $24)

Lots of berry and coffee character on the nose and palate. Full-bodied, with round tannins and a ripe fruit aftertaste. Best after 2005. 1,150 cases made. From Italy. —James Suckling

Oct. 20, 2004: PIPER-HEIDSIECK Brut Champagne NV NV (90 points, $30)

An assertive, graphite-laced bubbly with citrus, honey and spice filling out the flavor spectrum. Concentrated and densely textured, with a lively acidity and lingering aftertaste. Drink now through 2009. From France. —Bruce Sanderson

Oct. 19, 2004: J. LASSALLE Brut Champagne NV NV (90 points, $30)

An extremely distinctive Champagne. An intense red berry note pervades, with shades of citrus and ginger adding complexity. It's dry and vividly structured, with a lean, intense finish. Not typical, but very tasty. Drink now. From France. —Bruce Sanderson

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