daily wine picks

More than $30

Nov. 16, 2002: DOMENICO CLERICO Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra 1998 (99 points, $71)

Piedmont keeps cranking out the hits these days, as with this nearly perfect Barolo. This is breathtaking. Unbelievable. Big and powerful, with loads of plum, blackberry, raisin and meaty aromas. Full-bodied, with big, luscious tannins and masses of fruit —James Suckling

Nov. 15, 2002: GAJA Langhe Costa Russi 1998 (95 points, $340)

One would expect Gaja to shine in a year as good as '98. The '98 Costa Russi has terrific aromas of ripe fruit, spices, licorice and blackberries. Full-bodied, with lots of ripe fruit and a lovely balance of round tannins and hints of oak. Very concentrat —James Suckling

Nov. 13, 2002: CHATEAU ST. JEAN Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County Cinq Cépages 1999 (95 points, $70)

This former Wine Spectator Wine of the Year rates classic again in the outstanding '99 vintage. Gorgeous, offering a mix of ripe, rich, fleshy currant and blackberry fruit, with hints of herb, olive and sage. Finishes with a firm, structured backbo —James Laube

Nov. 12, 2002: LUCIANO SANDRONE Barolo Cannubi Boschis 1998 (95 points, $105)

Piedmont enjoyed a trio of amazing vintages from 1997 through 1999. The '98 Cannubi Boschis shows the hallmarks of the '98 vintage -— balance and elegance. All in harmony and refinement. Glorious aromas of roses, berries and minerals. Full-bodied, with —James Suckling

Nov. 08, 2002: DESCENDIENTES DE J. PALACIOS Bierzo Corullón 2000 (93 points, $55)

Alvaro Palacios helped put Priorat on the map, and now he's doing the same for the formerly obscure Bierzo region of northwest Spain. Made from the Mencía grape, this red wine is beautiful and distinctive. It marries savage flavors with sleek structure, —Thomas Matthews

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