daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Apr. 16, 2003: MONTGRAS Ninquén Colchagua 2000 (92 points, $30)

This 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile has a gorgeous nose of blackberry, cassis, graphite, brier and minerals, with the graphite component echoing noticeably through the rich, dark palate. Long, pure, and almost racy despite the dark, briery prof —James Molesworth

Apr. 12, 2003: FAIRVIEW Shiraz Paarl Solitude 2001 (92 points, $30)

South Africa continues to improve, as this Shiraz bottling proves. Dark, roasted coffee aroma, with a blast of dense, pure blackberry compote. Also shows spice, dark chocolate, anise and floral notes. Powerhouse finish delivers another wave of fruit. Goes —James Molesworth

Apr. 11, 2003: SEBASTIANI Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2001 (88 points, $15)

Looking for a good Pinot Noir that's also moderately priced? Better grab some of this, then. It has lots to admire, from the bright, rich plum, blackberry and black cherry fruit to the supple texture and pretty toasty-mocha oak shadings. Concentrated, w —James Laube

Apr. 07, 2003: VIÑA MONTES Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz Alpha Apalta Vineyard 2000 (89 points, $22)

Lovely fruit flavor in this Chilean Cabernet -— red and black cherries, currants and cassis, with brier, vanilla and mineral notes coming in on the chunky finish. Needs a touch more harmony, but the spice and toast notes add complexity. Drink now throug —James Molesworth

Apr. 03, 2003: ACACIA Chardonnay Carneros 2001 (88 points, $20)

This California Chardonnay serves up lots of ripe fig, apricot, honey and butterscotch flavors that are rich and polished, picking up pretty toasty oak flavors on the finish. Drink now through 2005. 36,000 cases made. Smart Buys. —James Laube

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