daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Oct. 23, 2002: MULDERBOSCH Faithful Hound Stellenbosch 2000 (90 points, $23)

This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc is the best version yet from Mulderbosch. Winemaker Mike Dobrovic has this estate at the forefront of South Africa's burgeoning wine scene. Full-bodied, with ripe currant and blackberry f —James Molesworth

Oct. 18, 2002: CIMS DE PORRERA Priorat Solanes 2000 (90 points, $24)

Priorat continues to emerge as one of Spain's most distinctive wine regions. This offering is thick and rich, with muscular, ripe plum and cassis flavors framed by coffee and chocolate oak notes. It sacrifices refinement for power, but has such lush flavo —Thomas Matthews

Oct. 15, 2002: DE BRUYNE Brut Champagne Cuvée Absolue NV NV (92 points, $27)

Made from equals parts of the three main Champagne grapes (Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay), this offering is bold and muscular, with concentrated honey, biscuit and beef bouillon notes weaving through the dense texture. Long and complex, it ends —Bruce Sanderson

Oct. 11, 2002: DEI Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 1999 (91 points, $24)

Young by Italian standards (founded in 1985), Dei has become one of Tuscany's most consistent Vino Nobile producers. Complex aromas of roses, berries and grilled meat. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a long, spicy finish. Very serious Vino Nobile. Sup —James Suckling

Oct. 09, 2002: THE HESS COLLECTION Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Hess Estate 1999 (89 points, $20)

One of California's most consistent performers, Hess has turned out another fine estate Cabernet in '99. Ripe and firm, with broad-shouldered blueberry, black currant, fresh herb and cedar flavors. Spicy, toasty oak and solid tannins frame solid, concentr —James Laube

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