daily wine picks

More than $30

Mar. 24, 2000: DUCKHORN Merlot Napa Valley (88 points, $36)

Duckhorn has been synonymous with Merlot from California for two decades now. Its 97' Napa Merlot shows a strong cedary oak and earthy flavor at this stage, but also enough polished currant, anise and spice notes that firm up on the finish. Drink now thro —James Laube

Mar. 16, 2000: DEHLINGER Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 1997 (91 points, $35)

This California Pinot is smooth, ripe and spicy, with bright and sharply focused black cherry, vanilla, cedar and spice flavors that fan out nicely, turning delicate and elegant, with a long, lively aftertaste. Drink now through 2008. Tasted twice, with c —James Laube

Mar. 11, 2000: KEN WRIGHT Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Shea Vineyard 1998 (93 points, $35)

Oregon Pinot Noir specialist Ken Wright's current release has a purity of flavor and a graceful balance that are totally disarming. A seductive wine, its pretty raspberry, black cherry and floral aromas and flavors linger enticingly on the open-textured f —Harvey Steiman

Mar. 10, 2000: RAMEY Chardonnay Carneros Hyde Vineyard 1997 (97 points, $48)

Amazing richness, complexity and finesse mark this ripe, polished, elegantly detailed California Chardonnay. Juicy pear, tangerine, citrus, hazelnut, fig and spice nuances unfold gracefully, with subtle toasty oak nuances that add pretty shadings. Delicio —James Laube

Mar. 09, 2000: LEWIS Syrah Napa County 1997 (93 points, $40)

Wonderful California Syrah. The dark, ripe, plush, juicy and complex flavors unfold in layers of plum, wild berry, chocolate and spice, and the long, intricate aftertaste is rich and full, with polished tannins. Best from 2001 through 2010. 300 cases made —James Laube

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