daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Apr. 13, 2001: THOMAS FOGARTY Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains 1998 (92 points, $23)

Bucking the trend of the difficult '98 vintage in California, here's an outstanding '98 Chardonnay. Sleek and elegant, boasting rich, clean, vibrant and exotic pear, pineapple, guava and citrus flavors that sail on the finish. Drink now through 2004. 1,24 —James Laube

Apr. 04, 2001: JOH. JOS. PRÜM Riesling Spätlese Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Graacher Himmelreich 1999 (93 points, $28)

From one of the region top producer's comes an outstanding Riesling. The structure, like frozen snow that squeaks underfoot, combines with an airy yet dense texture to frame the slate, ruby grapefruit and peach flavors in this textbook Mosel-style '99. Wo —Bruce Sanderson

Apr. 03, 2001: ALLEGRINI Verona Palazzo della Torre 1997 (92 points, $18)

This Veneto red is glorious and rich, yet sophisticated. Dark ruby in color, it emits aromas of raisins and berries, with hints of cocoa and spice. It's full-bodied, with chewy yet velvety tannins and a long, long finish. Best after 2001. 11,000 cases mad —James Suckling

Apr. 02, 2001: LEONILDO PIEROPAN Soave Classico Superiore La Rocca 1998 (91 points, $21)

Looking for a break from the norm? Try this -- it's hard to believe it's just a Soave. Super, with wonderful late-harvest aromas of honey, light butterscotch and straw, this wine is full-bodied, with lots of ripe fruit and a long, long, creamy, fruity aft —James Suckling

Mar. 31, 2001: TIKAL Malbec Altos de Mendoza Amorío 1999 (91 points, $27)

From Ernesto Catena comes one of the best Argentinean reds I've tasted. This shows the briery, coffeelike side of Malbec, with gorgeous plum, raspberry and cinnamon flavors. Chewy and dense on the finish, with tongue-coating tannins. Needs a little time t —James Molesworth

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