daily wine picks

More than $30

Oct. 31, 2001: CHARLES HEIDSIECK Brut Champagne Millésimé 1990 (98 points, $75)

In recent years, this '90 from Charles Heidsieck has been one of our top performers (we retaste all vintage and non-vintage Champagnes each year). Seamless from start to finish. An elegantly woven tapestry of fruit blossoms, citrus, honey and vanilla, cr —Bruce Sanderson

Oct. 20, 2001: DALLA VALLE Maya Napa Valley 1998 (93 points, $125)

One of California's top Cabernet producers, Dalla Valle bucked the trend of weak '98's with yet another outstanding version of its top wine. Dark, ripe, rich and intense, with a complex, persistent beam of black cherry, blackberry, currant, anise and sage —James Laube

Oct. 17, 2001: KRUG Brut Champagne Grande Cuvée NV (93 points, $150)

One of the top Champagne houses', Krug's non-vintage wine is better than many houses vintage cuvées. This is distinctive and dramatic. New oak lends accents of vanilla and clove to the torrefaction flavors of coffee, nuts and citrus. It's all disp —Bruce Sanderson

Oct. 11, 2001: ALDO CONTERNO Barolo Colonello 1997 (94 points, $112)

From one of the region's great traditional style producers comes this outstanding Barolo. The '97 Colonello is a racy young wine, with lots of class. Very refined aromas of flowers, raspberries and plums, with hints of spice. Starts off slow on the palate —James Suckling

Oct. 08, 2001: DESCENDIENTES DE J. PALACIOS Bierzo Corullón 1999 (93 points, $55)

This new project from Alvaro Palacios (of Priorat fame) takes the little known grape Mencía to new heights. Intense and intriguing, this distinctive red is polished and savage at once, with flavors of ripe black fruit, toasty oak and fragrant wild herbs. —Thomas Matthews

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