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daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Dec. 08, 2004: CHATEAU SOUVERAIN Syrah Alexander Valley 2002 (89 points, $20)

Serves up a lively array of zesty wild berry, blueberry, cranberry and plummy notes that are rich and concentrated, tightly focused, long and detailed, ending with rich, concentrated tannins. Drink now through 2009. 3,300 cases made. From California. —James Laube

Dec. 07, 2004: CICCIO ZACCAGNINI Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Myosotis 1999 (91 points, $16)

Dark inky color. Intense aromas of ripe fruit and spicy, almost meaty undertones. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a fresh and caressing finish. Refined. Small production and all is sent to the U.S. Drink now. 100 cases made. From Italy. —James Suckling

Dec. 06, 2004: PHILIPPE DELESVAUX Coteaux du Layon-St.-Aubin 2003 (91 points, $18)

Nice ripeness here with papaya, fig, quince and honeycomb notes that run from start to finish, along with smoke, clove and earth notes that add dimension. Shows good structure for the vintage, but will still be only a moderate ager. Drink now through 2008 —James Molesworth

Dec. 04, 2004: MAS GIL Catalunya Clos d'Agon 2001 (91 points, $17)

This rich red is stuffed with blackberry and plum jam flavors, supported by coffee and chocolate oak notes, yet it has enough acidity to remain crisp on the palate. The tannins are firm yet well-integrated. A fine example of the international style. Caber —Thomas Matthews

Dec. 03, 2004: BETHEL HEIGHTS Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2002 (90 points, $25)

Firm and nicely focused to show its peppery black cherry flavors, balanced well with fine tannins and just enough acidity to give it zest. Finishes with a floral, cedary touch. Cries out for food. Roast chicken anyone? Drink now through 2009. 1,596 cases —Harvey Steiman

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