daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Nov. 16, 1999: RIDGE Geyserville California 2005 (92 points, $28)

This hearty Zinfandel blend from Ridge is a perennial winner. The '97 is dense and earthy, delivering layers of complex cherry, wild berry, raspberry, cedar and spice, turning supple and polished, culminating in a long aftertaste. Drink now through 2005.

Nov. 12, 1999: FATTORIA DI FELSINA Chianti Classico Berardenga 1997 (91 points, $22)

Just as expected from Felsina: a superb Chianti Classico, displaying lots of cherry, berry and wet earth character. The wine is medium-bodied, with medium, silky tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Drink now through 2001. 13,330 cases made.

Nov. 10, 1999: FONTODI Chianti Classico 1997 (92 points, $23)

The best Chianti normale of the vintage. This fantastic wine emits terrific aromas of plum and blackberry, with hints of vanilla. It's full-bodied and very chewy, with an ultralong finish. Best after 1999. 8,000 cases made.

Nov. 06, 1999: GALLO OF SONOMA Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Frei Ranch Vineyard 1997 (90 points, $18)

Here's an outstanding California Zinfandel that's also reasonable in terms of price and availability. It's dark, ripe, rich and complex, with concentrated cherry, plum, blackberry, cedar and spice and a long, rich aftertaste. Drink now through 2006. 10,00

Oct. 29, 1999: CHATEAU ST. JEAN Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County Cinq Cépages (95 points, $28)

"Dense", "rich" and "complex" describes this '96 California Cabernet, with its layers of currant, mineral, plum, cherry and toasty oak and its broad, intense and deeply flavorful finish. An extraordinary wine, scoring classic, and well-priced. To be relea

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