daily wine picks

More than $30

Feb. 23, 2004: VALETTE FONTAINE El Principal Maipo Valley 2001 (91 points, $40)

Ripe and direct, with a wall of black currant, coffee, bittersweet chocolate ganache and toast aromas and flavors. Dense, but lots of sweet fruit here, this really stretches out in the glass. Firm yet focused, let this flesh out in the cellar. Cabernet Sa —James Molesworth

Feb. 19, 2004: FEUDI DI SAN GREGORIO Irpinia Serpico 2001 (94 points, $65)

From southern Italy comes this bold and structured red. Dark color; black licorice, raspberry and mineral character with hints of dried flowers. Full-bodied, with spicy fruit and undertones of black pepper. Chewy finish. This is fantastic. Give it time. B —James Suckling

Feb. 17, 2004: ALBAN Syrah Edna Valley Reva 2001 (94 points, $44)

Tremendous. Dark, dense, rich and concentrated, with layers of beef carpaccio, blackberry, wild berry, exotic peppery spices and touches of tar and herbs, finishing with a long, rich, detailed finish. Drink now through 2012. 1,450 cases made. Highly Reco —James Laube

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

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