daily wine picks

More than $30

Dec. 23, 2002: BODEGA CATENA ZAPATA Nicolás Catena Zapata Mendoza 1999 (93 points, $90)

Formerly with Bodegas Esmeralda, Nicolás Catena has moved into his new Catena Zapata winery. Despite confusing wine names, this is his flagship bottling, a Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend that sets a new quality standard for the region. Dense, this takes —James Molesworth

Dec. 14, 2002: HENRIOT Brut Champagne Millésimé 1995 (92 points, $50)

Delicious. Full, rich and exuding toasted brioche, vanilla and honey notes, this suave Champagne feels like velvet, ending with a lingering aftertaste of coffee. Drink now through 2005. 17,000 cases made. Highly Recommended.

For a complete look at —Bruce Sanderson

Dec. 13, 2002: ZIND-HUMBRECHT Riesling Alsace Wintzenheim Clos Häuserer 2000 (93 points, $40)

A perennial benchmark for the region, this Alsace Riesling offers up wonderful aromas of peach, citrus and white pepper, with the peach theme continuing on the dry, full-bodied palate. It turns austere on the finish, but has the concentration and balance —Bruce Sanderson

Dec. 11, 2002: ENGELBRECHT-ELS Ernie Els Stellenbosch 2000 (93 points, $60)

The debut for this joint venture between Rust en Vrede's Jean Engelbrecht and pro golfer Ernie Els. Gorgeous, with polished currant, cocoa, boysenberry and toast aromas and flavors, supported by a seamless texture. You almost get lost in the long, dense, —James Molesworth

Dec. 07, 2002: M. CHAPOUTIER Hermitage La Sizeranne 2000 (94 points, $110)

A high-end wine, but from one of the Rhône's top producers, it's worth tracking down. Graceful, classy, modern Hermitage. Toasted oak and milk chocolate complements the ripe fruit. Sweet tannins give this medium-bodied red a soft edge. Long, balanced, sa —Per-Henrik Mansson

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