daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Jul. 24, 2002: THELEMA Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch 1999 (91 points, $30)

Winemaker Gyles Webb has Thelema on top of its game. This is one of the top South African Cabernets. Lovely, supple feel, with alluring cocoa powder, cassis and mint aromas and flavors. Sweet, fine tannins hang on while the fruit reemerges on the finish. —James Molesworth

Jul. 13, 2002: TALLEY Chardonnay Arroyo Grande Valley 2000 (90 points, $24)

A wine of finesse and elegance, with intense, vibrant fruit that's ripe and rich, with layers of smoky toasty oak, honeysuckle, fig and melon, turning subtle and polished. Drink now through 2005. 9,630 cases made. Spectator Selection.

For a complet —James Laube

Jul. 11, 2002: CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE-DR. LOOSEN Riesling Columbia Valley Eroica 2001 (90 points, $20)

In just a few vintages, this Washington Riesling has established a solid track record. Bright and tangy, with an uncanny balance that finds the right mix of peach, pear and mineral flavors, juicy but nicely concealed acidity, and enough richness to make i —Harvey Steiman

Jul. 08, 2002: BEAULIEU VINEYARD Chardonnay Napa Valley Carneros Reserve 2000 (90 points, $28)

Openly complex, with a mix of rich, juicy fruit and pretty oak elements, it holds a tight focus while letting the pear, fig, butter and spice flavors unfold gracefully. Finishes with a long, anise-laced aftertaste. Drink now through 2005. 8,000 cases made —James Laube

Jul. 06, 2002: CAVEN Valtellina Superiore Inferno Al Carmine 1998 (92 points, $20)

From Italy's Lombardy region comes this blockbuster red. Built for aging. Loads of crushed berries in this red, with hints of roses. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a long, long finish. Best after 2004. 1,000 cases made. Highly Recommended. —James Suckling

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