daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Dec. 09, 1999: GEYSER PEAK Chardonnay Russian River Valley 1998 (89 points, $16)

Geyser Peak enjoys one of California's oldest winemaking histories -- dating back to the winery's founding in 1880. Their latest Chardonnay release is tight, crisp and focused, rich and concentrated, meshing ripe pear, fig and citrus with light oak shadin

Dec. 08, 1999: ARGYLE Chardonnay Willamette Valley Nuthouse (90 points, $21)

Focused, distinctive and elegant, this a beautifully formed, round, complex Oregon white, unfolding layers of nutmeg, melon, pear, peach and vanilla flavors that linger enticingly on the finish. Drink now through 2005. 2,300 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

Dec. 07, 1999: ST. SUPÉRY Chardonnay Napa Valley 1997 (88 points, $15)

This California Chardonnay proffers a lively mix of bright flavors -- tropical fruit, pear, fig and melon -- and finishes with shades of nutmeg and oak that add dimension. Very nice. Drink now through 2003. 20,798 cases made. —James Laube

Dec. 04, 1999: FIFE Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 1998 (91 points, $28)

Ripe, supple and rich, with a lovely array of complex currant, black cherry, plum and spice. The long, intricate aftertaste has firm, polished tannins. A delicious wine at what these days is a comparatively good price for California Cabernet of this quali —James Laube

Dec. 03, 1999: PRIDE Chardonnay Napa Valley 1998 (91 points, $25)

Though perhaps better known for its reds, Pride also makes an outstanding Chardonnay. There's lots of bright, ripe, tasty fruit flavor in this bottling, with pear, fig, apricot and melon echoing throughout. It keeps its fruity focus through the finish, wh

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