daily wine picks


More than $30

Aug. 23, 2001: WOODWARD CANYON Merlot Columbia Valley 1999 (91 points, $38)

From one of the region's top producers comes another outstanding Merlot. Chewy texture and vivid, ripe, violet-scented currant and berry flavors make this a good cellar candidate -- or drink it with a juicy steak. It' —Harvey Steiman

Aug. 18, 2001: SNOWDEN Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 1997 (93 points, $65)

Here's another late-release '97 Cali Cab that's worth tracking down instead of the generally weaker '98's that are being released now. An immense wine that reminds me of a barrel sample. A dark, rich and firmly tannic —James Laube

Aug. 17, 2001: HEITZ Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Martha's Vineyard 1996 (93 points, $120)

Back after a brief hiatus while the vineyard was replanted, Heitz' Martha's Vineyard doesn't seem to skip a beat. As distinctive as they come. Lots of rich minty chocolate flavors and aromas, with black cherry, curran —James Laube

Aug. 16, 2001: ROCHIOLI Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 1999 (91 points, $36)

Tight, well-structured, with a firm band of cherry, blackberry, raspberry and spicy notes. Gains momentum and finishes with an elegant, bright, lively aftertaste. Drink now through 2007. 2,385 cases made. —James Laube

Aug. 10, 2001: DOMAINE DE LA MORDORÉE Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de la Reine des Bois (95 points, $66)

Following up their superb '98, Mordorée has another classic Cuvée de la Reine des Bois in —99. Nearly flawless blockbuster -- a gem from start to finish. Full-bodied, ultrathick, very silky, displaying a seductive texture that is backed by black fruit —Per-Henrik Mansson

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