daily wine picks

More than $30

Jan. 27, 2003: LAGIER MEREDITH Syrah Mount Veeder 2000 (93 points, $50)

Dark, rich, intense and plush given its size and density of flavor, serving up a tight core of currant, plum, mineral, white pepper, sage and blackberry fruit. Amazing vibrancy and vitality to the fruit flavors. Tannins are substantial, too. Best from 200 —James Laube

Jan. 25, 2003: MICHEL NIELLON Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chaumées 2000 (94 points, $55)

From one of Burgundy's top producers comes this beauty of a white. Combines the best of two worlds: On the one hand it is thick, full-bodied and round, yet on the other it is elegant and racy, with a good balance between mineral, fruit and oak, and the ch —Per-Henrik Mansson

Jan. 23, 2003: ALBAN Syrah Edna Valley Reva 2000 (94 points, $44)

Here's another superb Syrah from Alban. Jet black and purple in color, with loads of ripe plum, black cherry and blackberry fruit, scents of violets, dark fruits, new leather, currants and minerals; a real mouthful that manages to be elegant and show a me —James Laube

Jan. 20, 2003: IO Syrah San Luis Obispo County Ryan Road Vineyard 2001 (92 points, $35)

Here's a top-flight California Syrah that isn't out of bounds price-wise. It's enormously complex and concentrated, deep and plush, with layers of currant, plum, mineral, spice and tobacco. Finishes in a long, luxuriant aftertaste. Excellent value. Drink —James Laube

Jan. 18, 2003: ALBAN Syrah Edna Valley Seymour's Vineyard 2000 (96 points, $85)

It will be hard to track this down, but Alban's Syrahs are worth the effort. Tremendous color, complexity, concentration and depth of flavor, yet for all the flavors that unravel -- espresso, blackberry, pencil lead, currant and cedary oak--there's a wond —James Laube

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