daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Nov. 04, 2002: RUST EN VREDE Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch 1999 (89 points, $20)

Jean Engelbrecht has this South African estate in top form. Not a blockbuster, this Cabernet is really focused, with winy currant, sanguine, herb and mineral notes, and elegant tannins framing the finish. Has length and poise, with a mouthwatering finish —James Molesworth

Oct. 31, 2002: BARTON & GUESTIER Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2000 (89 points, $20)

The Rhône has enjoyed a trio of fine vintages recently, from '98 through '00. This '00 Châteauneuf should provide a nice introduction to the region's wines. Clean and measured, this balanced, traditional red is reserved on the nose, delivering some mine —Per-Henrik Mansson

Oct. 30, 2002: ARTESA Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 1999 (92 points, $30)

Smooth, rich and elegant. This is a supple, deeply flavored, harmonious wine, with focused currant, cassis and blackberry fruit that's pure and succulent, finishing with ripe, well-integrated tannins and a burst of fruit. Drink now through 2012. Tasted tw —James Laube

Oct. 29, 2002: THELEMA Sauvignon Blanc Stellenbosch 2002 (88 points, $16)

Owner and winemaker Gyles Webb has this estate among the best in South Africa today. Known for a superb Cabernet Sauvignon, Thelema also produces fine Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, and the estate recently added Shiraz to its lineup. The '02 Sauv —James Molesworth

Oct. 26, 2002: NEWTON Claret Napa Valley 1999 (90 points, $22)

A supple, elegant style, with a range of herb, currant and green olive that offers complexity, picking up anise, earth and mineral flavors. Pleasantly balanced on the finish. A wine of grace and delicacy. Drink now through 2009. 9,800 cases made. Smart B —James Laube

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