daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Feb. 19, 2000: GALLO OF SONOMA Chardonnay Russian River Valley Laguna Ranch Vineyard 1997 (91 points, $22)

From a winery that—s been cranking out solid values for a few years now comes this outstanding Chardonnay. Tastes more complex and sophisticated than it smells, with a tightly wound core of pear and nectarine and a rich buttery aftertaste that's long an —James Laube

Feb. 12, 2000: CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley Cold Creek Vineyard 1996 (92 points, $25)

From one of Washington state—s most consistent wineries comes this outstanding Cabernet. Rich, ripe and focused, layering its currant, plum and vanilla flavors with hints of pepper and bay leaf that sneak in on the long, supple finish. Fine-grained tann —Harvey Steiman

Feb. 04, 2000: HEITZ Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 1995 (90 points, $27)

From a winery with a track record for top-flight Cali Cab comes this outstanding '95. Smooth, rich and polished, with pretty black cherry, currant, chocolate, anise, sage and cedar notes. Finishes with a complex aftertaste and firm tannins. Best from 2001 —James Laube

Feb. 01, 2000: TRINITY HILL Sauvignon Blanc Hawkes Bay Shepherds Croft 1999 (88 points, $16)

From New Zealand comes this moderately-priced Sauvignon Blanc. Light, bright and zingy, this is appealing for its pure apple, citrus and pear flavors that linger on the bright finish. Drink now. 4,000 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

Jan. 31, 2000: THOMAS FOGARTY Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains 1997 (90 points, $20)

This California Chardonnay is ripe, rich and spicy, with a touch of butterscotch adding dimension to the complex pear, fig and vanilla flavors. Turns elegant and polished. Drink now through 2005. 6,446 cases made.

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