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How they'd spend $300

In light of the incredible wines available today, we asked our panel of four sommeliers what they would buy if given $300 each to put together a cache of terrific bargains. They came up with four unique collections, each coming within $10 of their target budget. All are available on the retail market, although a couple may require sleuthing out. The wines can be found, variously, at Wine Exchange in Orange, Woodland Hills Wine Co., Wine House in West L.A., Beverage Warehouse in Marina del Rey, Mel and Rose Wine and Spirits in West Hollywood, Costco and other area wine stores. All prices listed are approximate and may vary from store to store.

Here are the sommeliers' selections:

Bonnie Graves

(Spago Beverly Hills)

2000 Château Beau Séjour-Bécot Saint-Emilion, $55

Soft, round Merlot-based Bordeaux



Bruno Paillard Première Cuvée Champagne (non-vintage) $28

Clean, creamy, bracing bubbly from fine small producer



1999 Chateau Ste. Michelle Reserve Syrah, $22

Big, elegant red from Washington state



1999 Ravenswood Zinfandel "Monte Rosso," $23

Classic, jammy Zin from Sonoma



1996 Marchesi di Barolo Barolo "Cannubi," $28

Unusually affordable, old-style Barolo



1997 Acinum Amarone Classico, $29

Big, intense companion to roasted meats



1995 Château Rieussec Sauternes, $37

Rich dessert wine, redolent of apricots, honey

1997 Marcel Deiss Riesling "Engelgarten," $23

Alsace white with mineral, white peach, floral qualities



1999 Grant Burge Holy Trinity Shiraz, $24

Gorgeous Rhône-style blend from Australia



1999 Petaluma Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay, $25

Elegant, complex, Burgundy-style Aussie

Patti Röckenwagner (Röckenwagner)



German wines:

2001 Dr. Loosen Riesling (Mosel), $10

Bright, lively, with juicy fruit; a good aperitif



2001 Robert Weil Riesling Halbtrocken (Rheingau), $18

Delicious half-dry wine from top estate



2001 Moenchof Riesling Spätlese "Uerziger Wuerzgarten" (Mosel), $20

Spicy, minerally, with hint of candied pears



2002 Franz Künstler Riesling Spätlese "Hochheimer Kirchenstück" (Rheingau), $28

Concentrated and highly-extracted with lots of fruit



2001 Pfeffingen Scheurebe Auslese "Ungsteiner Herrenberg" (Pfalz), $24 (half bottle)

Sweet, spicy wine with honey and mango aromas



Austrian wines:



2001 Domaene Wachau Riesling Federspiel (Wachau), $10

Excellent entry-level dry Riesling



2001 Domaene Wachau Riesling Smaragd (Wachau), $25

Big, dry, with excellent structure



2001 Bruendlmayer Riesling "Langenloiser" (Kamptal), $17

Good value from a high-end producer



2001 Hirsch Grüner Veltliner "Kammner Heiligenstein" (Kamptal), $12

Elegant, fresh, a little peppery



2001 Jamek Grüner Veltliner "Ried Achleite" (Wachau), $20

Distinctive minerality; versatile food wine



2001 Nigel Grüner Veltliner Smaragd "Alte Reben" (Kremstal), $25

Lush stone-fruit elements; creamy texture



2001 Alzinger Grüner Veltliner Smaragd "Weingarten" (Wachau), $29

Elegant; layers of spice, rhubarb, lime



2000 Bruendlmayer Sekt, $29

Creamy, delicate sparkling wine from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir



2001 Kracher Beerenauslese Cuvée, $27 (half bottle)

Rich, affordable offering from the godfather of Austrian dessert wines



Christophe Rolland (Bastide)



Mumm de Cramant Champagne (non-vintage), $32 (two bottles)

Light, traditionally made Champagne



1999 Domaine Emilian Gillet Macon Quintaine, $25 (two bottles)

Ripe, simple version of great white Burgundy



1997 Domaine Ostertag Muenchberg Riesling, $39

Dry, minerally, citrusy white from Alsace



1995 Montus Madiran, $19 (two bottles)

Dense, tannic, full-bodied red



1999 Louis Jadot Château de Jacques Moulin-à-Vent, $20

Dark, Burgundy-like Beaujolais



2000 Château Lafleur de Bouard Lalande-de-Pomerol, $33

Deep, soft, smoky Merlot blend from Bordeaux



2000 Nicolas Joly Savennières "Becherelles," $33

Dry, ripe, fruity Loire Valley white



1998 Château La Rame Sainte-Croix-du-Mont, $23

Sweet Semillion-Sauvignon Blanc blend

David Rosoff (Opaline)



2002 Moenchof "Estate" Riesling, $12 (four bottles)

Off-dry, with tremendous acidity and minerality



2001 François Chidaine Montlouis "Clos du Breuil," $12 (four bottles)

Complex, dry Chenin Blanc



2002 Château de Revelette Coteaux d'Aix en Provence Rose, $12 (four bottles)

Strawberry and orange rind flavors; dry, food-friendly



2001 Domaine Lafond Côtes-du-Rhône "Roc-Epine," $10 (four bottles)

Loads of Syrah pepper and Grenache red fruit



1999 Prager Riesling Smaragd "Achtleiten," $40

Clean, powerful, brilliant dry Austrian white



2000 Ghislaine Barthod Chambolle-Musigny, $38

Sensual, light, beautiful red Burgundy



1997 Marcarini Barolo "La Serra," $45

Dry, ripe, earthy Nebbiolo

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