daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Dec. 15, 2000: CLINE Syrah Los Carneros 1998 (91 points, $20)

The Cline family founded this winery in 1982, and they've specialized in Rhône varietals since then. A distinctive California version of Syrah, this offers a Côte-Rôtie-like spiciness and personality. Shows excellent concentration, with earthy flavors —James Laube

Dec. 12, 2000: FLORA SPRINGS Chardonnay Napa Valley Reserve 1999 (92 points, $26)

Flora Springs was founded in 1977 by Jerry and Flora Komes, who purchased the old Louis Martini winery, south of St. Helena, Calif.. This deliciously ripe and refreshing California Chardonnay boasts tiers of spicy pear, apple, peach and hazelnut that pick —James Laube

Nov. 29, 2000: LE VIEUX DONJON Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1998 (97 points, $25)

An explosive and racy Châteauneuf, bursting with roasted game, wild berry, grilled bread, black chocolate and espresso character. Ripe and sweet-tasting, with the opulent fruit to balance the firm tannin structure that rises like an impenetrable wall on —Per-Henrik Mansson

Nov. 27, 2000: TALTARNI Shiraz Pyrenees-Victoria (90 points, $16)

Here's an appealing Australian Shiraz, distinctive for the exotic bay leaf and eucalyptus overtones that add dimension to the varietal black cherry and black pepper flavors. Smooth through the finish. Drink now through 2010. Well-priced and amply made. 70 —Harvey Steiman

Nov. 15, 2000: PAUL COULON & FILS Châteauneuf-du-Pape White Domaine de Beaurenard (95 points, $30)

When you think of Châteauneuf, you first think of red wine, but this white Châteauneuf is rich and thick, yet very elegant, showing superaromatic expressions of fruit, mineral and toasted oak. So ripe yet so clean, this has a long, seductive and hedonis —Per-Henrik Mansson

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