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daily wine picks


More than $30

Jun. 04, 2005: EL MOLINO Chardonnay Rutherford 2003 (92 points, $41)

Delivers pure, ripe Chardonnay fruit, which shows off a medley of citrus, green apple and ripe pear flavors that are well-focused, holding their fruit intensity through a long, complex finish. Drink now through 2009. 800 cases made. —James Laube

Jun. 03, 2005: CASA FERREIRINHA Douro Quinta da Leda 2001 (92 points, $60)

A caressing mouthful of ripe plum and cherry flavors, with good concentration and definition to the sweet spice notes. Delicious chocolate elements fill the finish, with hints of mint and coffee. Fine balance. Drink now through 2008. 2,015 cases made. —Kim Marcus

Jun. 02, 2005: ACHÁVAL-FERRER Malbec Mendoza Finca Bella Vista 2002 (92 points, $85)

So dense it seems monolithic right now, but look carefully and you'll see the layers of boysenberry, raspberry and black fig fruit rippling underneath all the loam and toast. Despite its weight, there's fine acidity stitching it all together. One for the —James Molesworth

Jun. 01, 2005: LUCIEN LE MOINE Meursault Les Perrières 2002 (93 points, $85)

This captures the essence of the soil: Mineral, citronella, peach and vanilla aromas and flavors seemingly float on the vivid structure in this lively white. It builds in intensity and resonates on the long finish. Plenty of power, yet stylish. Best from —Bruce Sanderson

May. 31, 2005: JOSEPH PHELPS Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2002 (92 points, $48)

A rich, dense and deeply concentrated young Cabernet, with layers of currant, plum, spice, cedar and blueberry notes that are tightly focused and supported by firm, ripe tannins. Impressive also for its balance and amplitude, it should reward short- to me —James Laube

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