daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Jul. 02, 1999: OSBORNE Late Bottled Port 1994 (90 points, $15)

Here's an excellent alternative to vintage Port. This LBV is rich and concentrated, with fresh berry, cherry and plum character. It's full-bodied and medium-sweet, with a long, sweet fruit finish. Outstanding for this producer. Better in 2001 but who can

Jun. 22, 1999: PATZ & HALL Chardonnay Napa Valley 1998 (92 points, $30)

Distinctive for its peach, pear and nectarine flavors, this enticing California white turns smooth and silky on the finish, where its elegance and finesse hold the spotlight. Drink now through 2002. 3,200 cases made.

Jun. 14, 1999: AU BON CLIMAT Chardonnay Arroyo Grande Valley Talley Reserve 1997 (92 points, $25)

A ripe, smooth and creamy California Chardonnay, charming for its pretty, tightly focused pear, spice, fig and nutmeg flavors and its flinty, pleasantly earthy aftertaste. Enjoy now through 2002. 800 cases made.

Jun. 11, 1999: JUSTIN Chardonnay Paso Robles Reserve 1997 (91 points, $20)

"Focused" and "full-bodied" describe this California Chardonnay, with its well-balanced profile of toasty, creamy, citrus-tinged peach and apricot flavors. The clean finish is harmonious and silky. Ready to drink. 3,000 cases made.

May. 27, 1999: FERRARI-CARANO Chardonnay Alexander Valley (92 points, $23)

Here's a bottle of California's favorite white in a ripe and rich style. It's complex and concentrated, with lovely pear, apricot, tangerine and melon flavors that gain in opulence and pick up a pleasingly spicy note. Drink now through 2002. 45,000 cases

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