daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Aug. 01, 2000: CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE Chardonnay Columbia Valley Cold Creek Vineyard 1998 (91 points, $26)

A lively mouthful, round and juicy, its citrus, pear and nectarine shaded with lovely hints of nutmeg and vanilla. Gracefully balanced on a moderate scale, all echoing beautifully on the finish. Drink now through 2004. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. —Harvey Steiman

Jul. 28, 2000: LINDEMANS Cabernet-Merlot Padthaway 1997 (85 points, $16)

Lean and crisp, with modest cherry and herb flavors that linger on the snappy finish. Drink now through 2004. 6,535 cases imported. —Harvey Steiman

Jul. 27, 2000: MARKHAM Chardonnay Napa Valley (86 points, $16)

A strong cedary oak presence dominates, with hints of ripe pear, citrus and nectarine filling in the gaps. Drink now through 2003. 28,500 cases made. —James Laube

Jul. 24, 2000: D'ARENBERG Shiraz McLaren Vale The Footbolt Old Vine 1998 (87 points, $17)

This Aussie Shiraz is firm and tart, with jazzy cherry and spice flavors that echo pepper and cedar on the finish. On the lean side, but appealing for its zip. Best after 2002. 10,000 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

Jul. 10, 2000: COLUMBIA CREST Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley Estate Series 1996 (92 points, $16)

Round and cedary, this Washington Cabernet delivers depth, length and distinctive flavor. Ripe, plush and generous with its exotic, seductive aromas and flavors, layering rich plum, currant and clove on a bed of fine-grained tannins. Great price-to-score —Harvey Steiman

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