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daily wine picks

More than $30

Oct. 31, 2003: MARCHESI DE' FRESCOBALDI Chianti Rufina Montesodi 2001 (93 points, $40)

A beauty. Dark, with beautiful aromas of blackberry, mineral and spice. Full-bodied, with a solid core of fruit and tannins and a long, long finish. Serious wine. The greatest Montesodi I have ever tasted. Pure Sangiovese. Best after 2006. 5,800 cases mad —James Suckling

Oct. 30, 2003: STAGLIN Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 2002 (94 points, $100)

A brilliant showcase of ripe, pure Rutherford Cabernet flavors, brimming with currant, blackberry, black cherry and plum. Shows pretty floral and cedary, mocha-scented notes, with a long, rich, focused aftertaste that picks up hints of herb and sage. Best —James Laube

Oct. 27, 2003: NIEBAUM-COPPOLA Rubicon Rutherford 2000 (93 points, $100)

Beautifully crafted, rich, vibrant and deftly balanced. Wonderful currant, blackberry, anise, sage, mineral and fresh earth offer layers of complexity and concentration. Finishes with just the right amount of tannin to give it a solid backbone. Best from —James Laube

Oct. 25, 2003: MAZZEI Maremma Toscana Belguardo 2001 (94 points, $60)

Wow. Rich and powerful, with intense aromas of crushed raspberry, blackberry and just a hint of wood. Full-bodied, very rich in ripe tannins, with a long, rich fruit finish. Mazzei knows how to make serious wines. Proves that Maremma is an excellent regio —James Suckling

Oct. 23, 2003: DUVAL-LEROY Brut Blanc de Chardonnay Champagne 1996 (94 points, $38)

Totally seductive. This lush, opulent '96 has the texture of cashmere wrapped around vanilla bean, citrus, honey and coffee notes, with an aftertaste of grilled hazelnut. Elegant, medium-bodied and sophisticated, with a chameleon character and endless app —Bruce Sanderson

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