daily wine picks


$15 to $30

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

Dec. 24, 2004: WILLI SCHAEFER Riesling Kabinett Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Graacher Himmelreich 2003 (89 points, $23)

A mix of apricot and herbs highlight this rich, forward Riesling. Balanced and concentrated, it picks up a little astringency on the finish. Nice mouthwatering impression. Drink now through 2012. From Germany. —Bruce Sanderson

Dec. 23, 2004: VIÑA PEÑALOLÉN Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley 2002 (89 points, $17)

Alluring notes of mint, sage and roasted vanilla and coffee beans run through the stylish black cherry and currant fruit here, with the fruit gaining in intensity through the loamy yet supple finish. Drink now through 2006. 2,000 cases made. From Chile. —James Molesworth

Dec. 22, 2004: BODEGAS SALENTEIN Malbec Mendoza 2002 (89 points, $18)

Show's Malbec's unique combination of dark plum and boysenberry fruit offset by bright acidity and fresh notes of vanilla, mineral and violets. Ripe, clean finish. Drink now through 2005. 4,500 cases imported. From Argentina. —James Molesworth

Dec. 21, 2004: MUELLER Chardonnay Russian River Valley LB 2002 (91 points, $24)

A notably rich, creamy, deftly balanced style, with layers of fig, melon, vanilla and citrus, turning elegant and complex on the finish. Drink now through 2008. 840 cases made. From California. —James Laube

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