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daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Sep. 28, 2004: NOVY Syrah Napa Valley 2002 (92 points, $23)

A brilliant Syrah, ripe, rich and concentrated, offering a dazzling array of blackberry, wild berry and loganberry flavors that are focused and complex, picking up tar, raspberry, sage and herbal notes along the way. Finishes with a burst of ripe fruit an —James Laube

Sep. 17, 2004: GEORGES DUBOEUF Fleurie Domaine des Quatre Vents 2003 (89 points, $16)

Shows the vintage's typically lush black cherry and boysenberry fruit backed up by spice, mineral and tar hints on the fleshy finish. Has a touch more grip than is common for the vintage too. Drink now through 2005. 8,000 cases made. Smart Buys. From Fr —James Molesworth

Sep. 16, 2004: CHATEAU ST. JEAN Merlot Sonoma County 2001 (90 points, $25)

An impressive wine that is deliciously complex, with layers of ripe, juicy plum and blackberry fruit that is rich and elegant, with a pretty overlay of smoky, vanilla-laced oak and hints of herb and olive. Finishes with rich, fleshy texture and a gush of —James Laube

Sep. 15, 2004: VALENTÍN BIANCHI Cabernet Sauvignon San Rafael Famiglia 2002 (91 points, $18)

The lush cassis and raspberry fruit is surrounded by cocoa, spice and toast notes. The fruit really pumps through the finish, offset by a mineral note that adds further dimension. Elegant, and well put together. Drink now through 2008. 6,000 cases made. S —James Molesworth

Sep. 11, 2004: CIMICKY Shiraz Barossa Valley Trumps 2002 (89 points, $17)

Supple, round and generous, with a gently spicy edge to the toasty blackberry and cherry flavors, all of it persisting onto a long finish. Needs to resolve some of the oak and tannins. Best after 2006. 5,000 cases made. Smart Buys. From Australia. —Harvey Steiman

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