daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Feb. 02, 2001: MONTES Merlot Curicó Valley Montes Alpha 1996 (86 points, $22)

Good job for a '98, with juicy plum and currant flavors, and nice vanilla and cedar notes peeking out on the finish. Drink now. 25,000 cases made. —James Molesworth

Jan. 31, 2001: CHÂTEAU FAUGÈRES St.-Emilion (91 points, $20)

Now run by Corinne Guisez after the passing of her husband Péby in 1997, this St.-Emilion grand cru has vineyards made up of 70 percent Merlot, 25 percent Cabernet Franc and 5 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. Their '98 shows fantastic aromas of berry, —James Suckling

Jan. 30, 2001: CHÂTEAU CHASSE-SPLEEN Moulis (88 points, $20)

Along with Poujeaux, Chasse-Spleen is another very solid wine from the lesser-known Haut-Médoc appellation of Moulis. Very pretty indeed, with lovely cherry, berry and floral aromas. Medium-bodied, with fine tannins and a berry and cherry aftertaste. Del —James Suckling

Jan. 29, 2001: CHÂTEAU BATAILLEY Pauillac (86 points, $20)

Despite a rainy vintage on the left bank in '98, there were some good wines made. This Pauillac fifth-growth should be easy to track down. A succulent red, with tobacco, cherry and berry character. Medium-bodied, with soft tannins and a barley and fruit a —James Suckling

Jan. 27, 2001: CHÂTEAU CARBONNIEUX Pessac-Léognan (86 points, $22)

Perhaps better known for its white wine, Carbonnieux has turned out a very good '98 red. Meaty and earthy, with berry and tobacco aromas. Medium-bodied, with silky tannins and a medium finish. Best after 2004. 20,000 cases made. —James Suckling

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