daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Jan. 26, 2004: ANDREW MURRAY Espérance Santa Ynez Valley 2001 (90 points, $22)

Aromas of wild berry, raspberry and floral notes lead to a tight band of flavors, accented by hints of fresh earth, smoke, spice and berry jam, finishing with a long, complex aftertaste and integrated jammy tannins. Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah. Drink n —James Laube

Jan. 23, 2004: JUSTIN Syrah Paso Robles Reserve 2001 (92 points, $30)

Really ripe, rich and concentrated, with layers of black cherry, cassis and melted chocolate flavors; subtle game, tar and roasted herb tones add complexity, with integrated oak character and round structure on the finish. Drink now through 2008. 600 case —James Laube

Jan. 21, 2004: VIÑA CASA SILVA Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley Los Lingues Single Vineyard Reserve 2001 (90 points, $15)

Big-boned red, with powerful cassis, plum and blackberry fruit and plenty of muscular smoke, licorice, iron, dark chocolate and mint notes. Thick, gutsy finish. Wins on power, not polish, but has lots of character. Drink now through 2006. 8,000 cases made —James Molesworth

Jan. 16, 2004: WARWICK Sauvignon Blanc Simonsberg-Stellenbosch Professor Black 2003 (91 points, $16)

From South Africa, this is very rich for a Sauvignon, with lemon curd, straw, fig and peach flavors that are ripe and lush. Yet there's ample stone and mineral underpinning it all, and a fine, zesty finish. Drink now. 2,500 cases made. Smart Buys. —James Molesworth

Jan. 12, 2004: ESTANCIA Pinot Grigio California 2002 (89 points, $15)

Wonderful intensity, vibrancy and purity of flavor, with zesty grapefruit, mineral, lemonade and peach flavors on a soft frame, with a zingy finish. Drink now through 2004. 6,200 cases made. Smart Buys. —James Laube

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