daily wine picks


More than $30

Oct. 02, 2003: CHARLES HEIDSIECK Brut Champagne Champagne Charlie 1985 (97 points, $125)

This old Champagne is still a powerhouse. Full-bodied, rich and mature, evoking smoke, coffee, biscuit and a nutty, oxidative note, yet still very firm and vigorous, with intensity and concentration. Terrific finish. It needs food such as rich fish dishes —Bruce Sanderson

Sep. 26, 2003: JEAN-LOUIS CHAVE Hermitage 1999 (95 points, $129)

The father-and-son team of Gérard and Jean-Louis Chave currently handles the wine at this domaine, which Rhône lovers know as one of the region's best. The '99 Hermitage is rich and ripe, full-bodied, with great sweet fruit character. Lovely, thick, att —Per-Henrik Mansson

Sep. 24, 2003: E. GUIGAL Hermitage 2000 (97 points, $60)

The '00 Hermitage from this venerable Rhône producer is ultrarich and ultrathick. A full-bodied, stunningly sweet-tasting Northern Rhône, it delivers a ripe mouthfeel and plenty of fruit, mineral, and toasted, smoky character. Long, balanced finish. Gre —Per-Henrik Mansson

Sep. 20, 2003: PENFOLDS Shiraz Barossa Valley RWT 2000 (95 points, $69)

Another of Penfolds' flagship reds, the RWT rates classic in the '00 vintage. Rich in character and aristocratic in structure, a noble red that wears its subtle cherry, blackberry, chocolate, pepper and sweet spice flavors on a polished frame like a bespo —Harvey Steiman

Sep. 13, 2003: MASCIARELLI Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Villa Gemma 1998 (92 points, $60)

When ripe, the Montepulciano grape can produce wines like this -- complex, rich nose, with loads of tar-tinged black fruit, with fresh herb and spicy, meaty notes. Full- to medium-bodied, with fine, well-integrated tannins and a long, fruit-driven finish. —James Suckling

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