daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Dec. 22, 2004: BODEGAS SALENTEIN Malbec Mendoza 2002 (89 points, $18)

Show's Malbec's unique combination of dark plum and boysenberry fruit offset by bright acidity and fresh notes of vanilla, mineral and violets. Ripe, clean finish. Drink now through 2005. 4,500 cases imported. From Argentina. —James Molesworth

Dec. 21, 2004: MUELLER Chardonnay Russian River Valley LB 2002 (91 points, $24)

A notably rich, creamy, deftly balanced style, with layers of fig, melon, vanilla and citrus, turning elegant and complex on the finish. Drink now through 2008. 840 cases made. From California. —James Laube

Dec. 20, 2004: GEMTREE Shiraz McLaren Vale Uncut 2003 (89 points, $25)

Smooth and vibrant, with pretty blackberry, plum and gentle spice flavors, shaded with sweet oak as the finish lingers impressively. Drink now through 2009. 1,300 cases made. From Australia. —Harvey Steiman

Dec. 18, 2004: CHÂTEAU CARBONNIEUX Pessac-Léognan White 2002 (90 points, $28)

Bright and lively with lovely lime, celery and mineral character on the nose and palate. Medium- to full-bodied, with a long finish. Like this a lot. Well done. This is always an underrated white. Drink now. From Bordeaux, France. —James Suckling

Dec. 17, 2004: TAMELLINI Soave Classico Anguane 2002 (90 points, $16)

Attractive white with lemon and green apple character and medium body. Very lemony. Fresh and lively. Minerally and creamy. Not as rich as some past vintages but very good. Drink now. 1,950 cases made. From Veneto, Italy. —James Suckling

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