daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Feb. 03, 2002: ROCKING HORSE Zinfandel Napa Valley 1999 (89 points, $20)

The '99 vintage for California Zinfandels was successful, as this solid offering from Rocking Horse attests. Intense, with rich, complex, beautifully focused Zinfandel flavors, brimming with sage, wild berry, juniper and cedary oak, and finishing with a t —James Laube

Feb. 01, 2002: NEYERS Chardonnay Carneros 2000 (92 points, $30)

The '00 Carneros Chardonnay from Neyers is in a decidedly rich and earthy style, with layers of fig, nectarine, anise, pear and toasty oak, all well-proportioned, finishing with a long, rich aftertaste. Drink now through 2005. 2,331 cases made. —James Laube

Jan. 31, 2002: PEZZI KING Merlot Sonoma County Susie's Reserve 1999 (89 points, $24)

This is a charming, supple, wonderfully focused California Merlot, rich with black cherry, plum and chocolaty flavors. Offers wonderful depth and complexity, with plush tannins. Drink now through 2007. 2,700 cases made. —James Laube

Jan. 29, 2002: HENDRY RANCH Zinfandel Napa Valley Block 7 1999 (89 points, $27)

Fruit from the Hendry-owned vineyards at the base of Mount Veeder was sold off for many years.In 1992, George Hendry began to produce his own wine from the vineyards his parents had planted. The '99 Block 7 Zinfandel is a firm, rich, intense yet graceful —James Laube

Jan. 29, 2002: NAVARRO Pinot Noir Anderson Valley Méthode à l'Ancienne 1999 (88 points, $19)

This California Pinot Noir offers wonderful balance and intensity, serving up a medley of berry flavor, with well-focused cherry, plum, blackberry and raspberry, accented by a minty spiciness. Drink now through 2006. 3,712 cases made. —James Laube

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