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daily wine picks

More than $30

Apr. 01, 2005: ALTA VISTA Alto Mendoza 2002 (92 points, $55)

A thick wall of bittersweet cocoa shrouds the dense core of black currant, blackberry and plum flavors. Coffee, loam and mineral ripple through the finish, which is dominated by its structure today. A brooding and reticent bruiser for now, but all the pie —James Molesworth

Mar. 31, 2005: RAMEY Chardonnay Russian River Valley Ritchie Vineyard 2002 (92 points, $56)

Spicy, floral and fruity aromatics carry over nicely to the palate in this rich, intense, elegantly styled wine that glides across the palate, ending with a complex range of fig and citrus flavors that linger. Drink now through 2008. 320 cases made. —James Laube

Mar. 30, 2005: CHÂTEAU MONTROSE St.-Estèphe 2002 (92 points, $40)

Very pretty aromas of blackberries, with hints of Indian spices and milk chocolate. Full-bodied, with a solid core of ripe fruit and silky tannins. Very, very nice indeed. Montrose did very well. Best after 2008. 12,500 cases made. —James Suckling

Mar. 29, 2005: CHÂTEAU LÉOVILLE LAS CASES St.-Julien 2002 (94 points, $85)

This is the essence of currants and berries with minerals and flowers. Full-bodied, with silky, refined tannins. Superlong and impressive. A beauty. Love it. As it should be. Best after 2008. —James Suckling

Mar. 28, 2005: CHÂTEAU PAVIE-MACQUIN St.-Emilion 2002 (92 points, $35)

Impressive aromas of ripe fruit with hints of spices. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a solid core of fruit and ripe tannins. Very impressive indeed. On the same level as 2000. Best after 2007. —James Suckling

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