daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Aug. 17, 2000: DOMAINE COMBIER Crozes-Hermitage Clos des Grives 1998 (92 points, $23)

Showy Northern Rhône red that's pumped up with fancy oak, yet it's hard not to love it. Ultrarich, oozing with fruit, violet, rose petals, grilled meat, cassis character. Silky texture. Harmonious and full-bodied. Clean, focused fresh fruit keeps it in l —Per-Henrik Mansson

Aug. 11, 2000: DOMAINE DES AMOURIERS Vacqueyras 1998 (94 points, $18)

In vintages as great as 1998, lesser-known appellations can produce great wine. Vacqueyras, in the Southern Rhône, received its appellation status only in 1990 (it was previously included in the broader Côtes-du-Rhône appellation). Vacqueyras must be m —Per-Henrik Mansson

Aug. 08, 2000: DOMAINE SANTA DUC Gigondas 1998 (95 points, $29)

Here—s a Southern Rhône red (made from Grenache) that delivers on the promise of the 1998 vintage. Distinguished, deep and complex, offering layers of wet earth, mineral and ripe fruit in a seductive and harmonious combination. Superb midpalate concent —Per-Henrik Mansson

Aug. 05, 2000: HOGUE Syrah Columbia Valley Vineyard Selection 1999 (90 points, $16)

A stylish Washington red with plenty of room to grow, this is bright and jazzy, with raspberry and red plum bursting through the fine-grained tannins to reverberate on the finish. Drink now through 2008. 6,470 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

Aug. 01, 2000: CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE Chardonnay Columbia Valley Cold Creek Vineyard 1998 (91 points, $26)

A lively mouthful, round and juicy, its citrus, pear and nectarine shaded with lovely hints of nutmeg and vanilla. Gracefully balanced on a moderate scale, all echoing beautifully on the finish. Drink now through 2004. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. —Harvey Steiman

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