daily wine picks


More than $30

Feb. 13, 2004: ALBAN Syrah Edna Valley Seymour's Vineyard 2001 (95 points, $85)

Dark, rich and concentrated, with a heady mix of beef, leather, spice, licorice and wild berry flavors that turn exotic and supple, finishing with a long, persistent aftertaste that keeps revealing extra flavor facets. Drink now through 2012. 275 cases ma —James Laube

Jan. 30, 2004: MARCASSIN Chardonnay Sonoma Coast Three Sisters Vineyard 1999 (94 points, $80)

Fresh, enticing scents of earth, lemon, pear and apple are firm, rich and concentrated, notably elegant, and even understated, showing off hints of mineral, hazelnut and nectarine. Long and detailed on the finish. Drink now through 2008. 375 cases made. —James Laube

Jan. 28, 2004: MARCASSIN Chardonnay Sonoma Coast Marcassin Vineyard 2002 (97 points, $80)

Ultra rich and creamy, with layers of ripe, opulent fig, apricot, lemon, anise, mineral and hazelnut, all tightly wound in a focused style, finishing with a long, rich, luxurious aftertaste that reveals time and again a wonderful depth of complexity. Drin —James Laube

Jan. 24, 2004: MARCASSIN Chardonnay Alexander Valley Upper Barn 1999 (97 points, $80)

An amazingly flavorful Chardonnay, this packs in loads of rich, multifaceted layers of flavor, built around a core of lemon meringue, honeysuckle, hazelnut, fig, smoke and apricot, turning fat and fleshy, with a super rich, long and tantalizing aftertaste —James Laube

Jan. 20, 2004: VIÑA MONTES Alpha M Santa Cruz 2001 (94 points, $72)

This Chilean Cabernet blend is cut like a fine suit. The black currant, black cherry and blackberry fruit drapes the palate, while an impressive array of espresso, mineral, sanguine, fig and black tea notes are stitched seamlessly together. Long, detailed —James Molesworth

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