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daily wine picks

More than $30

May. 10, 2005: VALDICAVA Brunello di Montalcino Madonna del Piano Riserva 1999 (96 points, $128)

Fantastic aromas of ripe fruit and coffee, with hints of plum and cedar. Full-bodied, with lovely, velvety tannins and a long, juicy finish. Big and glorious. The greatest wine ever from here. Best after 2006. 1,500 cases made. —James Suckling

May. 09, 2005: PAHLMEYER Jayson Napa Valley 2002 (92 points, $55)

A rich, plush, sophisticated style with great intensity and concentration, offering layers of currant, black cherry, melted chocolate and cedary notes. Shows some restraint and nuance on the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Ver —James Laube

May. 07, 2005: BODEGAS MONASTERIO Ribera del Duero Hacienda Monasterio Crianza 2001 (92 points, $39)

Elegant and polished, with blackberry and black cherry flavors accented by toasty, vanilla-scented oak and backed by focused tannins. Graceful through the long, floral finish. Drink now through 2009. —Thomas Matthews

May. 06, 2005: RUFFINO Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Il Greppone Mazzi Riserva 1999 (93 points, $80)

Extremely bright and floral, with blackberry, plum and cedar and just a hint of fresh porcini mushroom. Full-bodied, with chewy yet refined tannins and a long, caressing finish. Beautiful. Best after 2005. 665 cases made. —James Suckling

May. 05, 2005: DE TRAFFORD Shiraz Stellenbosch 2002 (92 points, $60)

Pure fruit expression, with lush blackberry and boysenberry followed by enticing cocoa, fig, mineral and tobacco flavors. Fine-grained tannins and well-embedded acidity work together on the finish for a finely stitched feel. Drink now through 2006. 44 cas —James Molesworth

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