daily wine picks


More than $30

Dec. 11, 2000: GAJA Barbaresco (95 points, $160)

Super Barbaresco, from one of the top producers in the region. Intense aromas of ripe plums, violets and berries lead to a full-bodied palate with chewy tannins. Long finish tastes of superripe fruit. Lovely and powerful wine. Best after 2005. 5,000 cases —James Suckling

Dec. 09, 2000: KENWOOD Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County Artist Series 1996 (93 points, $70)

Here's a late-release California Cabernet from the '96 vintage. Spicy, floral and perfumed, showing off earthy, cedary black cherry and blackberry flavors and pretty, toast- and vanilla-scented notes. Unusually supple and polished version of this wine. Dr —James Laube

Dec. 07, 2000: LEEUWIN Chardonnay Margaret River 1997 (97 points, $62)

A regal Australian Chardonnay, rich in texture and dripping with gorgeous pear, pineapple, honey and spice flavors, gaining zingy citrus notes and touches of earth and mushroom on the long, long finish. Doesn't strike one harsh note while building its fla —Harvey Steiman

Dec. 06, 2000: ALDO CONTERNO Barolo Cicala 1996 (97 points, $110)

A masterpiece. This Barolo shows class and gorgeously ripe fruit -- layers and layers of the stuff, yet all very subtly presented. It's full-bodied, with ultrasilky tannins that go on and on. Best after 2004. 800 cases made. —James Suckling

Dec. 05, 2000: POL ROGER Brut Champagne Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 1990 (96 points, $155)

Known for using a generally higher amount of Pinot Noir than Chardonnay, as opposed to most tête de cuvées, the '90 Winston Churchill is power and intensity in a glass. Bold and full of bread dough and apple character, with a marmalade note, marr —Bruce Sanderson

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