daily wine picks


More than $30

Feb. 15, 2001: BODEGAS VEGA SICILIA Ribera del Duero Valbuena 5.° (94 points, $85)

From Spain's venerable Vega Sicilia comes another outstanding release. This powerful red is like a finely tuned race car: energy under tight control. The fruit is vibrant, with blackberry and currant flavors, the tannins are muscular but well-integrated a —Thomas Matthews

Feb. 09, 2001: LEWIS Syrah Napa Valley (93 points, $45)

This is one of the top Syrahs being made in California today. Dark, rich and chocolaty, with a deep core of currant, plum and blackberry. An immense, plush, boldly flavored wine, with exotic oak shadings. Drink now through 2010. 400 cases made. —James Laube

Feb. 05, 2001: SPRING MOUNTAIN Reserve Napa Valley (95 points, $90)

Founded in 1968, this winery was bought by a group of investors headed up by Jacob Safra in 1990. Since then, quality has been on the upswing. The '97 Reserve is a big, rich, dense and distinctive wine that works some earthy, leathery flavors into the cur —James Laube

Jan. 18, 2001: CHÂTEAU LAFLEUR Pomerol (96 points, $200)

Albeit expensive and hard to find, this is a small-production Pomerol that rates classic in the '98 vintage. The '98 Lafleur is a superb red, with fascinating aromas of berry, chocolate, smoke and dried herb. Full-bodied, with incredibly well-integrated t —James Suckling

Jan. 16, 2001: TENUTA DI TRINORO Toscana Palazzi 1998 (93 points, $95)

Tenuta di Trinoro has only been around since 1992, when Barone Andrea Franchetti bought the nearly 60-acre site, situated in a rather wild area of Tuscany, south of the town of Montepulciano. He immediately cleared the vineyards completely and started pla —James Suckling

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