daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Mar. 20, 2000: THOMAS FOGARTY Chardonnay Monterey 1998 (87 points, $18)

Here—s a solid California Chardonnay. Ripe, smooth and rich, with complex fig, apricot, spice and pear flavors, turning elegant, if a bit short. Drink now through 2003. 3,220 cases made. —James Laube

Mar. 18, 2000: GALLO OF SONOMA Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley Barrelli Creek Vineyard 1996 (88 points, $26)

Dark, ripe and rich, with supple blackberry, anise, cedar, tar and wild berry flavors. Tannins are smooth and integrated. Drink now through 2007. Should be easy to find some of 7,067 cases made. —James Laube

Mar. 17, 2000: CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE Chardonnay Columbia Valley Reserve 1997 (92 points, $29)

This Washington offering is supple in texture, generous and beautifully proportioned to emphasize its honey and spice-scented pear and sweet orange flavors that echo persistently on the long, long finish. Yummy. Drink now through 2004. 4,500 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

Mar. 15, 2000: PINE RIDGE Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford (89 points, $26)

From Napa's reputable Rutherford appellation comes this ripe and elegant Cabernet, displaying spicy black cherry, currant, plum, anise and tar character, turning supple and polished. Drink now through 2008. 15,000 cases made. —James Laube

Mar. 14, 2000: FREIE WEINGÄRTNER WACHAU Riesling Smaragd Trocken Wachau Dürnsteiner Kellerberg 1998 (92 points, $27)

Otherworldly. It's hard to believe these aromas and flavors of licorice, tobacco and Indian spices come from Riesling, yet it's exotic, concentrated, dense and built like a skyscraper. Seemingly impenetrable today, wait until it all comes together; best f —Bruce Sanderson

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