daily wine picks


More than $30

Nov. 06, 2001: ALVARO PALACIOS Priorat L'Ermita 1998 (93 points, $180)

This is the flagship wine from the producer who helped bring this region to prominence a few years ago. Plush on the midpalate yet firm on the finish, this concentrated red delivers plenty of ripe fruit and toasty oak, balanced and rich. It has internatio —Thomas Matthews

Nov. 03, 2001: ANTINORI Toscana Solaia 1998 (93 points, $130)

One of the major 'super Tuscans,' this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese rates outstanding once again in '98. Rich aromas of smoke, sage and ripe fruit. Full-bodied, with big, velvety, chewy tannins and a long, mouthpuckering fini —James Suckling

Nov. 02, 2001: BODEGAS LAN Rioja Viña Lanciano Reserva 1996 (92 points, $35)

This is the second consecutive outstanding showing for this single vineyard Rioja from Bodegas LAN. Powerful and still youthful, this muscular red is dark, with firm, ripe tannins supporting ripe, fresh flavors of black cherry, cassis, vanilla and licoric —Thomas Matthews

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

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