daily wine picks


More than $30

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

Mar. 03, 2000: FRANZ HIRTZBERGER Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Trocken Wachau Spitzer Honivogl 1998 (94 points, $40)

A sultry, smoky Grüner, luscious and creamy up front, with the underlying acidity revealing itself on the finish. Peach, vanilla and a white pepper note are some of the flavors in this complex, intense Austrian white. Drink now through 2010. —Bruce Sanderson

Mar. 02, 2000: F.X. PICHLER Riesling Smaragd Trocken Wachau Dürnsteiner Kellerberg 1998 (93 points, $70)

Incredibly harmonious, with well-expressed flavors of banana, violet, apricot, grapefruit and bitter almond allied with thick texture and crunchy acidity. This monolithic Austrian white is merely hinting at what's to come; your patience will be rewarded. —Bruce Sanderson

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