daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Jun. 28, 2001: SWANSON Merlot Napa Valley 1998 (88 points, $30)

Complex and concentrated, with a supple core of earthy currant, anise, tobacco, cedar and spice nuances, finishing with well-proportioned tannins. Drink now through 2006. 14,725 cases made. —James Laube

Jun. 27, 2001: TREFETHEN Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 1998 (88 points, $30)

This California Cabernet is pleasantly balanced, featuring ripe cherry, currant and berryish fruit, a nice touch of cedary oak and the right amount of tannin. Fails to excite, yet is quite appealing in its subtleties. Drink now through 2006. 10,700 cases —James Laube

Jun. 26, 2001: DEVIL'S LAIR Chardonnay Margaret River (90 points, $22)

Polished, round and spicy, with appealing barrel-fermented character, this Australian white plays out its pineapple, citrus and honey flavors on a lively frame. Drink now through 2005. 7,435 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

Jun. 22, 2001: AUSTRALIAN DOMAINE WINES Shiraz South Eastern Australia Alliance 1999 (90 points, $18)

Strikes a gorgeous balance between rich, ripe flavor and elegant structure. Not as big and brawny as some Shirazes, but seductive for its juicy raspberry, red plum and spice flavors on a bright frame. Impressive length and lovely texture, too. Drink now t —Harvey Steiman

May. 30, 2001: LEASINGHAM Shiraz Clare Valley Bin 61 2000 (91 points, $15)

This rich, complex red drips with juicy blackberry, cherry and exotic spice flavors, weaving in hints of game and pepper as everything lingers on the long finish. Tannins are soft, making the wine seductive. Drink now through 2010. 15,000 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

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