daily wine picks

More than $30

Aug. 05, 2002: CHÂTEAU LA NERTHE Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2000 (92 points, $38)

Following on the heels of the excellent '98 and '99 vintages, the southern Rhône excelled again in '00. Big wine, but so refined and sleek, it comes across as delicate on the palate. Plenty of finely tuned oak, with vanilla, chocolate and mocha aromas th —Per-Henrik Mansson

Aug. 03, 2002: VINCENT GIRARDIN Corton-Charlemagne 2000 (96 points, $98)

Clearly made in Burgundy, this is a wild animal of a wine, a highly distinctive Chardonnay. Immensely powerful, it burns holes in the palate with a concentrated lemon, honey, wet earth, ripe fruit combination. Full-bodied, it lasts for over a minute on th —Per-Henrik Mansson

Aug. 02, 2002: PENFOLDS Shiraz South Australia St. Henri 1998 (90 points, $40)

A serious Shiraz, crisp in texture, brightly ripe in flavor, tightly packed with blackberry, plum and a spicy mineral note that weaves through the firm finish. This has plenty of depth. Tightly wound, it needs cellaring to flesh out. Best from 2004 throug —Harvey Steiman

Jul. 27, 2002: VIÑA SANTA RITA Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley Casa Real 1999 (91 points, $60)

The Casa Real is Santa Rita's flagship wine, so there's no surprise it excelled in Chile's excellent '99 vintage. Intriguing nose of dark currant, cocoa and sanguine aromas, followed by a tightly wound body of currant, smoke, mineral and loam notes. You f —James Molesworth

Jul. 22, 2002: JOSEPH PHELPS Insignia Napa Valley 1999 (94 points, $125)

One of the most sought-after California Cabernets these days, the '99 Insignia doesn't disappoint. Dark, rich and intensely concentrated, with a firm, tightly wound core of currant, black cherry, mineral, anise, sage and mocha-laced oak. Well-focused, wit —James Laube

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