daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Jan. 20, 2001: TE MATA Sauvignon Blanc Hawkes Bay Cape Crest 1999 (91 points, $18)

Smooth, elegant and flavorful, this white is a refined style of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with pretty vanilla-scented lime, pear, cashew and floral flavors. Everything lingers enticingly on the juicy finish. Drink now. 1,000 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

Dec. 19, 2000: RANCHO ZABACO Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 1997 (90 points, $16)

What better way to jazz up the holiday dinner table than with a distinctly American wine — Zinfandel. This version, from one of the Gallo of Sonoma family of labels, has serious depth, weaving together ripe plum, raisin and espresso flavors that are acc —James Laube

Dec. 15, 2000: CLINE Syrah Los Carneros 1998 (91 points, $20)

The Cline family founded this winery in 1982, and they've specialized in Rhône varietals since then. A distinctive California version of Syrah, this offers a Côte-Rôtie-like spiciness and personality. Shows excellent concentration, with earthy flavors —James Laube

Dec. 12, 2000: FLORA SPRINGS Chardonnay Napa Valley Reserve 1999 (92 points, $26)

Flora Springs was founded in 1977 by Jerry and Flora Komes, who purchased the old Louis Martini winery, south of St. Helena, Calif.. This deliciously ripe and refreshing California Chardonnay boasts tiers of spicy pear, apple, peach and hazelnut that pick —James Laube

Nov. 29, 2000: LE VIEUX DONJON Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1998 (97 points, $25)

An explosive and racy Châteauneuf, bursting with roasted game, wild berry, grilled bread, black chocolate and espresso character. Ripe and sweet-tasting, with the opulent fruit to balance the firm tannin structure that rises like an impenetrable wall on —Per-Henrik Mansson

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