daily wine picks

More than $30

Sep. 15, 2001: NEYERS Merlot Napa Valley 1999 (90 points, $33)

This impressive Merlot is ripe, rich and full-bodied, revealing layers of currant, black cherry, plum, vanilla and cedar, while holding a tight focus and showing smooth texture. Drink now through 2006. 3,596 cases made. Spectator Selection.

-- Jame —James Laube

Sep. 13, 2001: LEONETTI Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 1998 (93 points, $60)

From one of the region's top producers comes another outstanding Cabernet. The '98 Leonetti is ripe, round and graceful, a pretty wine that's generous with its plum and black currant flavors, swirling with jasmine, rose petal and vanilla flavors, and ech —Harvey Steiman

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

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