daily wine picks


$15 to $30

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

Oct. 18, 1999: LA GRANJA NUESTRA SENORA DE REMELLURI Rioja 1996 (90 points, $20)

This ambitious Rioja shows a deep, opaque color, deep, almost charred aromas of coffee and toast, and is firmly tannic on the palate, with ripe flavors of coffee, plum, prune and licorice. The wood notes are dominant now, but it has the concentration to i

Oct. 16, 1999: MONTES Cabernet Sauvignon Curico Valley Montes Alpha 1997 (88 points, $18)

This ripe, rich Chilean Cabernet marries concentrated flavors with voluptuous texture. It delivers plum, prune, dark chocolate and cola flavors, with ripe, full tannins and a clean, sweet finish. Drink now through 2004. 30,000 cases made.

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