daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Jun. 07, 2003: TIKAL Corazon Altos de Mendoza 2001 (90 points, $25)

From Ernesto Catena (Nicolás' son) comes this ripe blend of Bonarda and Malbec. Dark, juicy and lush, with blackberry and raspberry fruit, lots of dark toast, and hints of spice and chocolate on the fleshy, persistent finish. For fruit bomb lovers. Drink —James Molesworth

Jun. 05, 2003: CASTELLO DI BOSSI Chianti Classico 2000 (88 points, $25)

From Tuscany comes this solid Chianti buy. It's dark, with a rich nose, offering loads of spicy plum, with a hint of sandalwood and dried herb. Medium-bodied, with lots of flavor, velvety tannins and a medium-long, minerally finish. Drink now. 25,000 case —James Suckling

Jun. 03, 2003: DOMAINE TEMPIER Bandol 2000 (92 points, $27)

Rich, bacony aromas and flavors mix with alluring dark plum and red cherry flavors in this broad-tasting, full-bodied red. Intense blood, iron and mineral notes linger with spicy elements on the powerful finish. Drink now through 2007. Highly Recommended —Kim Marcus

May. 31, 2003: CHÂTEAU LA ROQUE Coteaux du Languedoc Pic St.-Loup Cupa Numismae 2000 (93 points, $18)

Here's another super wine from France's Languedoc region. Pure, intense red, with delicious and intense-tasting red plum, berry and gamey/spicy flavors on a muscular frame. Pepper and leathery notes linger appealingly on the finish. Almost Hermitage-like —Kim Marcus

May. 22, 2003: LANDMARK Chardonnay Sonoma-Monterey Counties Overlook 2001 (90 points, $25)

This California Chardonnay has loads of rich flavors yet a sense of elegance and finesse, with layers of ripe, spicy, apple, pear and buttery notes, finishing with lively, well-integrated acidity and a burst of flavor on the aftertaste. Drink now through —James Laube

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