daily wine picks


More than $30

Sep. 10, 2001: CHÂTEAU LA NERTHE Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée des Cadettes 1999 (95 points, $80)

This is the high-end cuvée for the top-notch southern Rhône producer, and it's a winner again in '99. A seductive wine that's rich and ripe, thick and delightful, filling the palate with sweet fruit that cascades in a symphony of subtle violet, plum and —Per-Henrik Mansson

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

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