daily wine picks


$15 to $30

May. 10, 1999: MINER Chardonnay Napa Valley 1997 (94 points, $26)

Ripe, smooth and polished, with a wonderful band of smoky, toasty oak, ripe pear, fig, hazelnut and spice, turning sleek and elegant as it unveils hints of fruit and citrus, this delicious new Chardonnay is a welcome addition to California's expansive bot

May. 07, 1999: GEORGES DUBOEUF Pouilly-Fuisse Eleve en Fut de Chene (90 points, $17)

Lively, racy and full-bodied, this white Burgundy is packed with deftly created oak accents, showing a pronounced toasted character along with plenty of lemon notes, good fruit and impressive length on the finish. It's tempting now, but worth cellaring sh

May. 04, 1999: CHATEAU DE CHAMIREY Mercurey White 1997 (94 points, $17)

A Mercurey that tastes like a little Montrachet. With its beautiful blend of tropical and toasty aromas, this full-bodied white Burgundy is generous and silky, coating every taste bud with luscious, thick-as-oil liquid. Remarkable concentration of refined

Apr. 30, 1999: STEELE Chardonnay California Steele Cuvee 1997 (91 points, $18)

Lots of up-front fruit and spice make this California Chardonnay distinctive. Tiers of fig, pear, melon, apricot and nutmeg cascade to a long finish with an intricate aftertaste. Even better than last year's version, which was also a Spectator Selection.

Apr. 27, 1999: JOSEPH PHELPS Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 1996 (92 points, $30)

Serving up lots of juicy ripe fruit -- with layers of cherry, currant, blackberry and anise -- this Cabernet turns supple and concentrated, with a rich aftertaste that keeps pumping out the flavors. Drink now through 2007. Tasted twice, with consistent no

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