daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Sep. 06, 2003: ALTOS DE MEDRANO Malbec Mendoza Viña Hormigas Reserva 2001 (91 points, $24)

Italians Alberto Antonini and Attilio Pagli form the winemaking team at this Argentinean winery. They produce two Malbecs, and this is their high-end cuvée. It's serious juice, with deep, vivid purple color, loads of plum, boysenberry and blackberry frui —James Molesworth

Sep. 02, 2003: NIEPOORT Tawny Port 10 year old NV NV (95 points, $30)

This Port house has been on a roll lately with its vintage bottlings, and now its tawny Port rates classic as well. Amazing aromas of orange and lemon peel, with hints of toffee, caramel and honey. Full-bodied and luscious, with lots of sweet fruit and a —James Suckling

Aug. 23, 2003: QUINTA DO CRASTO Douro Reserva 2000 (92 points, $27)

This unctuous Portuguese red has an alluring aroma of smoke and spice and lovely dark plum, boysenberry and dark cherry flavors that are firmed up by crisp acidity and notes of cigar box, mineral and spice, which intensify on the long finish. Drink now th —Kim Marcus

Aug. 21, 2003: J. & F. LURTON Toro Barricas El Albar 2000 (89 points, $15)

From Spain comes this rich, dark and alluring red. It shows lavish oak, with chocolate and toasty flavors enrobing black cherry and cassis flavors on a generous frame. For fans of oak. Best from 2004 through 2009. 5,000 cases made. Smart Buys. —Thomas Matthews

Aug. 18, 2003: CASA LAPOSTOLLE Syrah Rapel Valley Cuvée Alexandre 2001 (91 points, $20)

Syrah shows real promise in Chile, and there's lovely purity in this bottling, with expressive violet, cassis, blackberry, licorice and mineral notes and a focused, even racy texture. Has some toasty muscle to shed before it blossoms fully, but this is ri —James Molesworth

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