daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Jan. 26, 2005: VERAMONTE Primus Casablanca Valley 2002 (89 points, $16)

Nice dark berry and plum fruit here, with a note of sweet earth as well. Hints of smoke, dried herbs and cocoa expand on the finish. Nice fleshy texture throughout. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenère. Drink now through 2006. 16,200 cases made. From —James Molesworth

Jan. 25, 2005: STOLPMAN Syrah Santa Ynez Valley 2003 (89 points, $24)

Smooth, rich and concentrated, with layers of currant, pomegranate, huckleberry and boysenberry fruit that are pure and tasty, with a lovely mocha coating and firm, rich, integrated tannins. Drink now. 1,789 cases made. From California. —James Laube

Jan. 24, 2005: ODFJELL Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley Orzada 2003 (89 points, $20)

Lots of mocha and vanilla here, but plenty of blackberry and cassis fruit to back it up. Long and ripe on the finish, where a cocoa-powder note lingers. Rich, modern-styled Cabernet. Drink now through 2006. 1,255 cases made. From Chile. —James Molesworth

Jan. 22, 2005: KUYEN Maipo Valley 2002 (89 points, $22)

Shows the game, plum and sanguine notes of Syrah, along with ripe black currant, cocoa and coffee flavors. Thick, burly finish needs a little time to harmonize fully, but very solid. The second wine of Antiyal, from Alvaro Espinoza. Drink now through 2007 —James Molesworth

Jan. 21, 2005: PAUL JABOULET AÎNÉ Crozes-Hermitage White Mule Blanche 2002 (89 points, $26)

Lush and lengthy, with lemon zest, honeysuckle, almond and pear flavors that move languidly through the cream-textured palette. A nice mineral hint lends definition to the finish. Drink now through 2006. 3,775 cases made. From the Rhône, France. —James Molesworth

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