daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Jul. 08, 2002: BEAULIEU VINEYARD Chardonnay Napa Valley Carneros Reserve 2000 (90 points, $28)

Openly complex, with a mix of rich, juicy fruit and pretty oak elements, it holds a tight focus while letting the pear, fig, butter and spice flavors unfold gracefully. Finishes with a long, anise-laced aftertaste. Drink now through 2005. 8,000 cases made —James Laube

Jul. 06, 2002: CAVEN Valtellina Superiore Inferno Al Carmine 1998 (92 points, $20)

From Italy's Lombardy region comes this blockbuster red. Built for aging. Loads of crushed berries in this red, with hints of roses. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a long, long finish. Best after 2004. 1,000 cases made. Highly Recommended. —James Suckling

Jun. 29, 2002: CLOUDY BAY Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2001 (91 points, $26)

One of the standard-bearers for New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, the '01 vintage from Cloudy Bay is another winner. Lively, jazzy style absolutely brims with racy lime, green apple, passion fruit and guava flavors, which linger effortlessly on the polished, v —Harvey Steiman

Jun. 20, 2002: BODEGAS ESMERALDA Chardonnay Mendoza Catena Agrelo Vineyards 2000 (90 points, $17)

Nicolás Catena and his winemaker José Galante keep cranking out delicious Argentinean wines in large quantities at moderate prices. This Chardonnay is delicious stuff. Juicy, with fig, pineapple and pear flavors, fat texture, and a long, bright finish t —James Molesworth

May. 24, 2002: JACKSON Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2001 (90 points, $15)

New Zealand has built a reputation for itself based on their Sauvignon Blancs, and this is a prime example. A particularly generous Sauvignon Blanc that jumps with ripe pear, citrus and passion fruit aromas and flavors, remarkable for its intensity and fr —Harvey Steiman

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