daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Oct. 22, 2004: FAMILIA RUTINI Merlot Tupungato Felipe Rutini 2002 (89 points, $20)

Lovely blackberry, plum and cocoa aromas and flavors here, with a sweet, plush texture and finish where the cocoa and fruit notes echo. Delicious. Drink now. 4,000 cases imported. From Argentina. —James Molesworth

Oct. 21, 2004: ARCENO Toscana Prima Voce 2002 (90 points, $24)

Lots of berry and coffee character on the nose and palate. Full-bodied, with round tannins and a ripe fruit aftertaste. Best after 2005. 1,150 cases made. From Italy. —James Suckling

Oct. 20, 2004: PIPER-HEIDSIECK Brut Champagne NV NV (90 points, $30)

An assertive, graphite-laced bubbly with citrus, honey and spice filling out the flavor spectrum. Concentrated and densely textured, with a lively acidity and lingering aftertaste. Drink now through 2009. From France. —Bruce Sanderson

Oct. 19, 2004: J. LASSALLE Brut Champagne NV NV (90 points, $30)

An extremely distinctive Champagne. An intense red berry note pervades, with shades of citrus and ginger adding complexity. It's dry and vividly structured, with a lean, intense finish. Not typical, but very tasty. Drink now. From France. —Bruce Sanderson

Oct. 18, 2004: VILLA BRANCA Chianti Classico Riserva 2001 (90 points, $22)

Solid, tasty red, with Indian spices, red and dark berries and mineral aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied, with fine tannins and a spicy finish. Drink now. 2,200 cases made. From Italy. —James Suckling

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