daily wine picks

$15 to $30

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

Mar. 22, 2003: JOH. JOS. PRÜM Riesling Spätlese Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Wehlener Sonnenuhr 2001 (96 points, $30)

A completely seductive and appealing '01 Spätlese, seamless and airy in texture, yet layered with peach, citrus and mineral aromas and flavors enmeshed in the delicate frame. Lovely finish. Drink now through 2015. 1,500 cases made. Highly Recommended. —Bruce Sanderson

Mar. 20, 2003: CLOS DU MARQUIS St.-Julien 2000 (94 points, $30)

The nose shows loads of plum, spice and meat aromas, as well as hints of licorice. It's full-bodied, with firm, yet velvety textured tannins. It's big and rounded. If you can't afford Las Cases, try some of this. Some might call this a second wine, but it —James Suckling

Mar. 18, 2003: CHÂTEAU D'AGASSAC Haut-Médoc 2000 (90 points, $15)

Super effort. Complex aromas of milk chocolate, plum and coffee, with hints of game. Full-bodied, soft and round tannins, with a ripe fruit finish. Lovely wine. Best after 2005. 12,675 cases made. Smart Buys. —James Suckling

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Top Values: California Cabernet for $35 or Less


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