daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Mar. 01, 2002: L'ECOLE NO. 41 Merlot Walla Walla Valley 1999 (91 points, $30)

L'Ecole No. 41 has a solid track record with its Merlot, and the '99 is another beautifully made wine. This is soft and silky, generous with its black cherry and currant flavors, which linger on the polished frame, echoing fruit and spice. Drink now throu —Harvey Steiman

Feb. 28, 2002: PETER LEHMANN Cabernet Sauvignon Barossa 1999 (90 points, $23)

Here's another fine red from Down Under. Sleek and lithe, this red offers plum and blackberry flavors, super-smooth texture and a refined balanced on the finish. More like a cross between Shiraz and Pinot Noir than Cabernet, but what the heck, it's delici —Harvey Steiman

Feb. 12, 2002: CHATEAU SOUVERAIN Syrah Alexander Valley 1999 (90 points, $20)

Not necessarily known for its Syrah, Chateau Souverain has nonetheless released a winner with this offering. A dark, rich, spicy style, with complex, concentrated grapey blackberry, black cherry, anise, sage, leather and mineral flavors that turn supple. —James Laube

Feb. 11, 2002: NEYERS Chardonnay Napa Valley 2000 (90 points, $30)

Neyers has steadily built a fine track record for top-notch Chardonnay, and this is another example. Exotic smoky, toasty oak entices, leading to a ripe, spicy core of nectarine, citrus, pear and fig flavors that are complex and concentrated. Drink now th —James Laube

Feb. 06, 2002: JEAN-PAUL THÉVENET Morgon Vieilles Vignes 2000 (90 points, $21)

Here's another terrific cru Beaujolais from 2000, from one of the region's top producers. This could stand in for a village-level Vosne-Romanée, with its crushed plum, spice cake, cinnamon and smoke notes. Long, detailed finish, with mouthw —James Molesworth

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