daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Dec. 16, 2003: DOMINIO DEL PLATA Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza Crios de Susana Balbo 2002 (88 points, $15)

From Argentina comes this concentrated and ripe red, with brawny blackberry and currant fruit and plenty of toast. Has a beefy, gamy edge that recedes with air, revealing more fruit on the muscular finish. Drink now through 2005. 7,000 cases made. Smart —James Molesworth

Dec. 05, 2003: MULDERBOSCH Sauvignon Blanc Stellenbosch 2003 (92 points, $20)

The latest outstanding release from one of South Africa's top white wine producers is this crackling, live-wire Sauvignon, with textbook gooseberry, grass, lime and mineral flavors on a racy frame. Pure and long, with great acidity rippling beneath it all —James Molesworth

Dec. 04, 2003: MAS MARTINET VITICULTORS Priorat Martinet Bru 2001 (91 points, $24)

From Spain comes this entrancing red. The texture is at once velvet and gossamer, rich yet delicate, and the flavors are intense and balanced, with blueberry, blackberry, vanilla, toast and spice notes that dance on the finish. Drink now through 2012. 2,7 —Thomas Matthews

Dec. 01, 2003: BUITENVERWACHTING Sauvignon Blanc Constantia 2003 (90 points, $15)

Racy Sauvignon, with distinct chalk, lime, herb and chive flavors, and hints of white peach and honeysuckle emerging on the finish. Deceptively concentrated, this should develop nicely in the cellar. Drink now through 2004. 10,000 cases made. Smart Buys. —James Molesworth

Nov. 24, 2003: BODEGAS AS LAXAS Albariño Rias Baixas 2002 (88 points, $17)

From Spain comes this version of the Albariño grape. It's rich and deep, structured and austere, offering melon, smoke, mineral and honey flavors and a long, smoky finish. Better with food than as an aperitif. Drink now through 2005. 15,000 cases made. —Thomas Matthews

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