daily wine picks


$15 to $30

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

Jan. 26, 2002: RIDGE Geyserville Sonoma County 1999 (88 points, $30)

Paul Draper continues to churn out brawny Zinfandels built for the cellar, and the '99 Geyserville is no exception. A ripe, rich, earthy style, with waxy wild berry, black cherry, blackberry, herb and minty notes. Turns a bit rustic on the finish, but the —James Laube

Jan. 24, 2002: VOYAGER ESTATE Chardonnay Margaret River 1999 (1999 points, $20)

This Aussie Chardonnay gives a lot of bang for the buck. Bright and vivid, with crisp acidity and juicy nectarine and pineapple flavors shaded with hints of mineral and spice, all echoing beautifully on an open-textured finish. A dramatic wine that retain —Harvey Steiman

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