daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Mar. 13, 2001: FOPPIANO Petite Sirah Sonoma County 1998 (91 points, $20)

A dazzling wine, dark, rich and exuberant, with layers of peppery plum, black cherry and blueberry fruit that turn lush, with smooth tannins. Drink now through 2008. 8,000 cases made. —James Laube

Mar. 07, 2001: LANDMARK Chardonnay Sonoma-Santa Barbara-Monterey Counties Overlook (92 points, $25)

Smooth, rich and creamy, with a pretty array of spice, pear, apple, tangerine, pineapple, fig and guava, staying tightly focused, turning elegant and sophisticated. Drink now through 2005. 18,000 cases made. —James Laube

Mar. 05, 2001: CHATEAU REYNELLA Shiraz McLaren Vale Basket Pressed (93 points, $29)

From Australia comes this crisp and juicy Shiraz, rich with fruit, bursting with flavor, offering a cascade of bright berry, guava, plum and anise, echoing with a distinctive black pepper note on the spicy finish. Fine-grained tannins don't get in the way —Harvey Steiman

Mar. 02, 2001: BODEGAS ESMERALDA Malbec Mendoza Catena Lunlunta Vineyards 1999 (90 points, $20)

From Nicolas Catena comes this serious Malbec. Dense, with a brooding feel to the smoky currant, plum and spice flavors. Really packed with fruit, with ripe, thick tannins coming in on the finish. Just needs a little time to strut its stuff, but shows how —James Molesworth

Feb. 17, 2001: SEBASTIANI Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County 1997 (90 points, $20)

California's '97 Cabernet vintage is one of the best ever -- and here's another example of it. Ripe, rich and complex, with layers of coffee, currant, mineral, black cherry, sage and cedar, finishing with a long, intricate aftertaste. A great deal on a wi —James Laube

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