daily wine picks

More than $30

May. 14, 2004: DE TRAFFORD Shiraz Stellenbosch 2001 (94 points, $50)

Terrific wine here, with pure, modern plum, blackberry and boysenberry fruit up front being driven by freshly roasted coffee bean, Valrhona chocolate, sweet earth and smoke notes that explode on the back end. Like a new wave Côte-Rôtie, this is silky sm —James Molesworth

May. 12, 2004: CASANOVA DI NERI Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova 1999 (94 points, $64)

Warm and ripe red with lots of blackberry and cedary oak character. Full-bodied, and very thick yet refined and silky. This should turn out fabulously. Another super wine from Casanova. Best after 2007. 5,025 cases made. Highly Recommended. From Italy. —James Suckling

May. 11, 2004: MARCHESI DE' FRESCOBALDI Brunello di Montalcino Castelgiocondo 1999 (95 points, $56)

This is one of the most serious producers in Montalcino now. A tight and chewy wine, with full body and lots of raisin and spice character. Impressive ripe tannins. Needs time in the bottle. This is thick and powerful. Give it time. Best after 2007. 21,66 —James Suckling

May. 10, 2004: CASTELLO BANFI Brunello di Montalcino 1999 (94 points, $66)

This shows an incredible concentration of fruit with loads of berries and spices on the nose. Full-bodied, with soft and silky tannins and lots of smoky character. It goes for a long time on the finish. Always a benchmark for the region. Best after 2005. —James Suckling

May. 07, 2004: LA PODERINA Brunello di Montalcino 1999 (96 points, $70)

Incredible richness to this red with layers of blackberry, licorice and treacle tart on the nose and palate. Full-bodied, with loads of silky tannins and a long, long finish. Seductive stuff. This is even better than 1997. Get it. Best after 2006. 4,375 c —James Suckling

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