daily wine picks


More than $30

Dec. 23, 2000: BABCOCK Syrah Santa Barbara County Black Label Cuvée 1997 (93 points, $40)

Perhaps better known for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Babcock has recently added Syrah to its lineup. This '97 is concentrated and very intense, outstanding for its layers of rich, opulent cassis, black cherry, game and perfumed spice. Has wonderful len —James Laube

Dec. 22, 2000: DOMENICO CLERICO Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra (94 points, $62)

Nebbiolo lovers are faced with an embarrassment of riches right now, as Piedmont is enjoying back-to-back vintages of very high quality. Beautiful and powerful. Extremely attractive aromas of licorice, plum and cherry waft from the glass, while this full- —James Suckling

Dec. 21, 2000: ELIO ALTARE Barolo Vigneto Arborina 1996 (96 points, $67)

There's a lot to chase after from Piedmont these days -- here's another classic Barolo. The'96 Vigneto Arborina from Altare is a superpowerful wine, marked by amazing fruit concentration. It's full-bodied, with a wonderful core of very ripe blackberry cha —James Suckling

Dec. 20, 2000: MICHELE CHIARLO Barolo Cannubi (94 points, $76)

An extremely focused Barolo, with raspberry, wet earth and toasted oak, this wine is full in body, with velvety tannins and a long aftertaste echoing mineral and fruit. Best after 2005. 800 cases made. —James Suckling

Dec. 18, 2000: PIO CESARE Barolo Ornato (96 points, $105)

Generous and meaty. Gloriously rich character, with delightful aromas of plums, fresh flowers and spices. The wine is full-bodied with meaty, earthy, plummy flavors and big, thick and velvety tannins. Best from 2004 through 2012. 1,000 cases made. —James Suckling

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