daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Jan. 25, 2000: ROSEMOUNT Grenache-Syrah-Mourvèdre McLaren Vale GSM 1997 (94 points, $22)

This Aussie red blend is rich and distinctive, a bit lighter than most Shiraz, but dripping with flavors, corraling a wild range of meaty blackberry, red cherry, black cherry and pepper flavors into a smooth wine of enormous character and depth. Appealing —Harvey Steiman

Jan. 19, 2000: MASTROBERARDINO Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio White<br> 1998 (89 points, $19)

This southern Italian white is a deadringer for Riesling, with honey, mineral and piecrust aromas and flavors. Extremely well made. Medium-bodied, with lots of fruit and a flavorful finish. Drink now. 16,000 cases made. —James Suckling

Jan. 12, 2000: GOLDWATER Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Dog Point 1999 (90 points, $19)

Here's another solid Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Fresh and lively, offering bright apple, nectarine and citrus flavors that linger on the racy finish. Yummy now. Drink now. 10,000 cases made.

Jan. 07, 2000: ELYSE Zinfandel Napa Valley Rutherford Bench-Morisoli Vineyard 1997 (92 points, $28)

Nancy and Ray Courson founded Elyse in 1987, concentrating primarily on Zinfandel (though they do make a Cabernet and some other wines). The '97 Morisoli Vineyard has wonderful layers of ripe, jammy wild berry, plum and blackberry flavors that are plush a —James Laube

Jan. 06, 2000: SWANSON Merlot Napa Valley 1997 (91 points, $27)

This California Merlot is smooth, ripe, rich and complex, if a bit understated in its fruit profile. Layers of earthy, clay-laced currant, anise and black cherry mingle with light oak, anise and coffee. Delicious. Drink now through 2008. 11,578 cases made —James Laube

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