daily wine picks


More than $30

Jul. 25, 2001: JOSEPH PHELPS Insignia Napa Valley (93 points, $120)

Despite the tricky '98 vintage, Phelps has turned out another outstanding Insignia. The '98 is a dark, deliciously rich and complex youngster, brimming with layers of currant, blackberry, plum, mineral, spice, chocolate and cedar. Finishes with a gush of —James Laube

Jul. 23, 2001: GROTH Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Reserve (93 points, $135)

Here—s a late-release from the '97 vintage that is worth hunting down. There's gorgeous fruit in this Cab, with flavors of juicy currant and plum, exotic spices, coffee beans and herbs. It's smooth, rich and creamy, finishing with ripe, integrated tanni —James Laube

Jul. 20, 2001: PETER MICHAEL Chardonnay Sonoma County Belle Côte 1999 (93 points, $60)

Rich, elegant and buttery in texture, offering complex pear, fig, melon and honeysuckle flavors before fanning out nicely on the finish to reveal even greater depth and richness. Drink now through 2006. 2,370 cases made. —James Laube

Jul. 18, 2001: KISTLER Chardonnay Sonoma County Cuvée Cathleen 1998 (93 points, $70)

Here—s another winner from Kistler—s stable of single vineyard Chardonnays. Wonderful intensity, richness and range of flavor are the hallmarks here, with earthy fig, pear, anise, green olive and herbal notes. The long-lasting finish adds a pretty dos —James Laube

Jul. 17, 2001: KISTLER Chardonnay Sonoma Mountain McCrea Vineyard (92 points, $55)

Kistler released another outstanding set of Chardonnay releases in '98. The McCrea is a delicious Chardonnay. Rich and full-bodied, with ripe, complex and concentrated pear, butterscotch, fig, melon, hazelnut and honey notes, finishing in a long, lingerin —James Laube

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