daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Jan. 14, 2003: QUPÉ Syrah Central Coast 2001 (88 points, $15)

Here's a fine introduction to California Syrah. A ripe, fruity style, centered around a core of cherry and rhubarb pie flavors, right down to the crust. Firmly tannic, it can be enjoyed now or cellared short-term. Excellent value. Drink now through 2008. —James Laube

Jan. 13, 2003: ROSENBLUM Petite Sirah Napa Valley Pickett Road 2000 (92 points, $28)

This Zinfandel specialist also makes numerous other wines, and this Petite Sirah is worth tracking down. A mouthpuckering style, ripe, rich and earthy, with layers of blackberry, wild berry, plum and huckleberry. Finishes with a gush of mouthcoating fruit —James Laube

Jan. 02, 2003: EMMOLO Merlot Napa Valley 2000 (88 points, $25)

Intense and concentrated, with blackberry, fresh herb and loads of cedar, mocha and vanilla from toasty oak. Firm tannins persist through the finish. Drink now through 2008. 560 cases made. Smart Buys.

Dec. 31, 2002: ROSEMOUNT Grenache-Syrah-Mourvèdre McLaren Vale-Barossa Valley GSM 2000 (91 points, $30)

From a well-known Australian winery comes this mouthfilling red made from a blend of three grapes. Ripe, round and distinctive for its aromatic and flavor profile, offering spicy, floral blackberry, raspberry and plum fruit at the center, finishing with m —Harvey Steiman

Dec. 30, 2002: REICHSGRAF VON KESSELSTATT Riesling Spätlese Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Kaseler Nies'chen 2001 (92 points, $24)

The '01 German vintage favored Spätlese level ripeness, and this bottling from Kesselstatt is worth tracking down. Delicious, it's simply bursting with apricot, passion fruit and slate aromas and flavors all matched to a seamless texture and lively, eleg —Bruce Sanderson

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