daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Dec. 07, 1999: ST. SUPÉRY Chardonnay Napa Valley 1997 (88 points, $15)

This California Chardonnay proffers a lively mix of bright flavors -- tropical fruit, pear, fig and melon -- and finishes with shades of nutmeg and oak that add dimension. Very nice. Drink now through 2003. 20,798 cases made. —James Laube

Dec. 04, 1999: FIFE Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 1998 (91 points, $28)

Ripe, supple and rich, with a lovely array of complex currant, black cherry, plum and spice. The long, intricate aftertaste has firm, polished tannins. A delicious wine at what these days is a comparatively good price for California Cabernet of this quali —James Laube

Dec. 03, 1999: PRIDE Chardonnay Napa Valley 1998 (91 points, $25)

Though perhaps better known for its reds, Pride also makes an outstanding Chardonnay. There's lots of bright, ripe, tasty fruit flavor in this bottling, with pear, fig, apricot and melon echoing throughout. It keeps its fruity focus through the finish, wh

Dec. 02, 1999: LEASINGHAM Shiraz Clare Valley Bin 61 1997 (90 points, $15)

Brimming with brilliant raspberry and plum flavors, this pretty wine finishes with a nicely polished texture. The emphasis is on fruit all the way, so it's seductive to drink already. Best after 2002. 25,000 cases made.

Nov. 30, 1999: CHÂTEAU CABRIÈRES Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1998 (90 points, $25)

A silky '98, so full in the mouth, so ripe and balanced. Fresh while being rich, it doesn't taste alcoholic or hot, just clean and pure, with a velvety feel from start to finish. Drink now through 2010. 11,665 cases made.

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