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daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Aug. 28, 2004: ALLAN SCOTT Chardonnay Marlborough 2002 (90 points, $15)

This New Zealand Chardonnay is polished, striking a wonderful balance between ripe, spicy pear and caramel against a lovely zing of acidity, letting the flavors linger persistently. Drink now through 2008. 20,000 cases made. Smart Buys. —Harvey Steiman

Aug. 26, 2004: WORTHY Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Sophia's Cuvee 2001 (93 points, $27)

A newcomer, this Cabernet is appealing for its exuberant display of ripe, fleshy blackberry and wild berry fruit. It adds a pretty touch of floral and cedar nuances before revealing its depth, richness and concentration on a long, persistent, impressive a —James Laube

Aug. 25, 2004: ORIGIN-NAPA Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley Gamble Vineyard 2002 (93 points, $25)

Here's an outstanding Sauvignon Blanc from a new California winery. Concentrated, with a noteworthy balance and delineation to the rich, structured core of mineral, melon, green apple and tart citrus flavors that stay fresh and vibrant on a lively, focuse —James Laube

Aug. 21, 2004: TAMARACK Firehouse Red Columbia Valley 2002 (91 points, $18)

Polished, focused and impressive for its pure currant and blackberry fruit, nicely shaded with hints of mineral and a whisper of red pepper. The flavors linger enticingly against fine, crisp tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. D —Harvey Steiman

Aug. 20, 2004: MIGUEL TORRES Carmenère-Cabernet Sauvignon Curicó Valley Santa Digna Reserva 2002 (87 points, $25)

Shows the leafy, tobacco notes of Carmenère, along with black cherry and currant fruit. Slightly firm toast and black pepper notes on the finish. Drink now through 2005. 5,500 cases made. From Chile. —James Molesworth

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