daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Jun. 08, 2000: ALLEGRINI Valpolicella Classico Superiore Palazzo della Torre 1996 (90 points, $16)

A gorgeous Italian red, this is rich and polished, with intense plum, mint and tanned leather aromas. Medium- to full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a long, minty berry and cherry aftertaste. Needs time; best after 2001. 5,000 cases made. —James Suckling

Jun. 07, 2000: FRANÇOIS COTAT Vin de Table Français Les Culs de Beaujeu 1998 (92 points, $15)

Beeswax, white peach, chamomile and hay aromas and flavors run through this remarkably dense and rich white from the Loire. It maintains a gorgeous, round and suave mouthfeel all the way to the lengthy, mineral-tinged finish. Normally a Sancerre, this was —Bruce Sanderson

May. 31, 2000: R. LÓPEZ DE HEREDIA VIÑA TONDONIA Rioja White Viña Gravonia Crianza (90 points, $17)

This 10-year-old white Rioja is still in great shape, with all the traditional virtues: a golden color, aromas of almond, vanilla and coconut, a rich texture and a long, smooth finish. Balanced, elegant and complex. Not many like this are made anymore. Dr —Bruce Sanderson

May. 29, 2000: CHATEAU SOUVERAIN Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley (88 points, $20)

A California Cab with a broad-shouldered profile, delivering its distinctive herb, blackberry and earth notes in a wrap of substantial tannins. Drink now through 2006. 52,000 cases made. —James Laube

May. 09, 2000: FATTORIA LE PUPILLE Morellino di Scansano Riserva 1997 (91 points, $19)

This Tuscan red is gorgeous. Emitting beautiful aromas of blackberry, wet earth and toasted oak, it's full-bodied and very polished, with fine tannins and a fresh, delicious finish. Needs time; best after 2000. 2,590 cases made. —James Suckling

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