daily wine picks


$15 to $30

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

Feb. 14, 2001: CHÂTEAU DE LANCYRE Coteaux du Languedoc Pic St.-Loup Grand Cuvée (92 points, $25)

France's Languedoc region enjoyed a terrific vintage in '98, and here's an outstanding red to prove it. A meaty red, showing ripe flavors and aromas of dark plum, cassis and blackberry, with exotic spicy and mineral elements. Dark chocolate, roasted plum —Kim Marcus

Feb. 12, 2001: CLINE Mourvèdre Contra Costa County Ancient Vines (90 points, $20)

Mourvèdre may not be a grape that is often found on its own, but track this down when you're ready for a change of pace. Flavors of roasted herbs, mint, black currants and plum are loaded with intensity. Chocolate notes and firm tannins carry through the —James Laube

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