daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Dec. 06, 2004: PHILIPPE DELESVAUX Coteaux du Layon-St.-Aubin 2003 (91 points, $18)

Nice ripeness here with papaya, fig, quince and honeycomb notes that run from start to finish, along with smoke, clove and earth notes that add dimension. Shows good structure for the vintage, but will still be only a moderate ager. Drink now through 2008 —James Molesworth

Dec. 04, 2004: MAS GIL Catalunya Clos d'Agon 2001 (91 points, $17)

This rich red is stuffed with blackberry and plum jam flavors, supported by coffee and chocolate oak notes, yet it has enough acidity to remain crisp on the palate. The tannins are firm yet well-integrated. A fine example of the international style. Caber —Thomas Matthews

Dec. 03, 2004: BETHEL HEIGHTS Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2002 (90 points, $25)

Firm and nicely focused to show its peppery black cherry flavors, balanced well with fine tannins and just enough acidity to give it zest. Finishes with a floral, cedary touch. Cries out for food. Roast chicken anyone? Drink now through 2009. 1,596 cases —Harvey Steiman

Dec. 02, 2004: MULDERBOSCH Sauvignon Blanc Stellenbosch 2004 (91 points, $20)

Lean and racy, with tightly wound lime, chive, chalk and sweet pea notes that will need some moderate cellaring to fully unwind. Crisp, chiseled finish is really mouthwatering. Drink now through 2006. From South Africa. —James Molesworth

Dec. 01, 2004: VIÑA MAMBRILLA Ribera del Duero Alidis Crianza 2001 (91 points, $27)

Ripeness and power. A thick texture and chewy tannins give this red a monolithic aspect, but there's a core of plum, prune and blackberry fruit, and the coffee-scented oak is well-integrated. Impressive but reserved. Best after 2005. 3,250 cases made. Fr —Thomas Matthews

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