daily wine picks


More than $30

Sep. 24, 2003: E. GUIGAL Hermitage 2000 (97 points, $60)

The '00 Hermitage from this venerable Rhône producer is ultrarich and ultrathick. A full-bodied, stunningly sweet-tasting Northern Rhône, it delivers a ripe mouthfeel and plenty of fruit, mineral, and toasted, smoky character. Long, balanced finish. Gre —Per-Henrik Mansson

Sep. 20, 2003: PENFOLDS Shiraz Barossa Valley RWT 2000 (95 points, $69)

Another of Penfolds' flagship reds, the RWT rates classic in the '00 vintage. Rich in character and aristocratic in structure, a noble red that wears its subtle cherry, blackberry, chocolate, pepper and sweet spice flavors on a polished frame like a bespo —Harvey Steiman

Sep. 13, 2003: MASCIARELLI Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Villa Gemma 1998 (92 points, $60)

When ripe, the Montepulciano grape can produce wines like this -- complex, rich nose, with loads of tar-tinged black fruit, with fresh herb and spicy, meaty notes. Full- to medium-bodied, with fine, well-integrated tannins and a long, fruit-driven finish. —James Suckling

Sep. 12, 2003: RAYMOND USSEGLIO Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2001 (93 points, $33)

Here's another racy '01 Châteauneuf that Rhône lovers will want to track down. Delightful, elegant and classy, this displays the mineral, stony, chalky, plummy and smoke-leather complexity of the appellation, all in a clean, long and refined style. Brav —Per-Henrik Mansson

Sep. 11, 2003: DOMINIO DE PINGUS Ribera del Duero 2000 (93 points, $325)

This cult wine from Spain's Ribera del Duero region is impressive again in the '00 vintage. Lavish oak gives alluring chocolate and toasty flavors, yet there's enough ripe fruit for balance, with notes of cassis and blueberry. Firm, ripe tannins give age- —Thomas Matthews

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