daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Feb. 04, 2000: HEITZ Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 1995 (90 points, $27)

From a winery with a track record for top-flight Cali Cab comes this outstanding '95. Smooth, rich and polished, with pretty black cherry, currant, chocolate, anise, sage and cedar notes. Finishes with a complex aftertaste and firm tannins. Best from 2001 —James Laube

Feb. 01, 2000: TRINITY HILL Sauvignon Blanc Hawkes Bay Shepherds Croft 1999 (88 points, $16)

From New Zealand comes this moderately-priced Sauvignon Blanc. Light, bright and zingy, this is appealing for its pure apple, citrus and pear flavors that linger on the bright finish. Drink now. 4,000 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

Jan. 31, 2000: THOMAS FOGARTY Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains 1997 (90 points, $20)

This California Chardonnay is ripe, rich and spicy, with a touch of butterscotch adding dimension to the complex pear, fig and vanilla flavors. Turns elegant and polished. Drink now through 2005. 6,446 cases made.

Jan. 29, 2000: BRANCOTT Chardonnay Gisborne Reserve 1998 (90 points, $16)

This New Zealand Chardonnay is bright, jazzy and lively, with citrus-scented pear, guava and apple flavors that practically jump out on the finish. The texture remains silky and refined throughout. Drink now through 2003. 5,000 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

Jan. 27, 2000: PENFOLDS Shiraz South Australia Kalimna Bin 28 1996 (90 points, $25)

This Australian Shiraz is a beguiling combination of rich, almost decadent flavors on an upright frame that has a nicely buried backbone of acidity and tannin. Nothing is obtrusive, everything is in graceful balance, leaving an ultimate impression of both —Harvey Steiman

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