daily wine picks


More than $30

Feb. 15, 2003: PATZ & HALL Chardonnay Napa Valley 2001 (90 points, $33)

Here's another California winery that has turned out a string of fine Chardonnays in recent years. A mix of rich, creamy pear, fig, honeysuckle and melon with a sense of elegance and finesse. Long, luxurious aftertaste. Drink now through 2006. 3,900 cases —James Laube

Feb. 14, 2003: KONGSGAARD Chardonnay Napa Valley 2000 (91 points, $70)

Owner and winemaker John Kongsgaard founded this winery in 1996, and has since turned it into one of California's top Chardonnay sources. Deliciously ripe, rich and intense, deeply concentrated, with layers of ripe fig, apricot, pear, hazelnut and citrus. —James Laube

Feb. 12, 2003: QUINTESSA Rutherford 1999 (91 points, $110)

From a prime spot in Rutherford comes this high-end cuvée. The '99 Quintessa is intense, vibrant and concentrated, with firm, complex currant, cedar, anise and black cherry fruit. Tightly wound, with chewy tannins, it can stand short-term cellaring. Best —James Laube

Feb. 10, 2003: PAHLMEYER Chardonnay Napa Valley 2000 (92 points, $60)

Another fine offering from this winery, the '00 Chardonnay has a lot to admire. Ripe, rich, full-blown style, it serves up layers of complex fig, citrus, hazelnut, pear and appley flavors, finishing long and detailed. Drink now through 2006. 2,400 cases m —James Laube

Feb. 08, 2003: FROG'S LEAP Rutherford 1999 (91 points, $65)

Though pricey, there's outstanding quality in this '99 California Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc blend. Dark, rich and focused, with ripe and polished currant, blackberry, cherry and spicy, toasty oak. Intense and concentrated, with a long, complex —James Laube

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