The Tasting Panel magazine

January 2014

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BLUE REVIEWS Anthony Dias BLUE REVIEWS F or this installment, I've selected some recent releases that are suitable for gift-giving this holiday season. In each issue, Editor-in-Chief Anthony Dias Blue selects a wide range of the best wines and spirits from among the more than 500 he samples over the course of a month. The reviews are subjective editorial evaluations, made without regard to advertising, and products are scored on a 100-point scale: 85-89: VERY GOOD 90-94: OUTSTANDING 95-100: CLASSIC Once products are selected for publication, producers and importers will be offered the option of having their review accompanied by an image (bottle photo or label art) for a nominal fee. There is no obligation to add an image, nor does the decision affect the review or score in any way. DOMESTIC 90 Cornerstone Cellars 2011 Chardonnay, Willamette Valley ($40) Juicy and smooth with crisp citrus and lush, viscous texture; rich, dense and showing a racy finish. 90 Calera 2012 Viognier, Mt. Harlan ($30) Smooth, fresh and elegant with tangy acidity and spice; sophisticated and showing a long, refined finish. 91 J. Lohr 2010 Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles ($35) Lush, deep and smooth with dense plum, blackberry and spice; rich, lively and balanced with vivid flavors and a long, mellow finish. 99% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Syrah. 90 94 92 93 Hunnicutt 2012 Chardonnay, Napa Valley ($45) Smooth and creamy with bright, juicy fruit and hints of oak; vibrant, lush and mouth-filling; long and balanced. Patz & Hall 2011 Chardonnay, Hyde Vineyard, Carneros ($58) Another stunning wine from one of America's greatest vineyards; smooth and ripe with tangy, vibrant acidity and lovely texture; crisp and lively with elegance and great style. 88 Waterbrook Winery 2011 Syrah, Columbia Valley ($15) Fresh and spicy with ripe plum and juicy style with notes of pepper and tangy acidity; long and nervy. 92% Syrah, 4% Carmenere, 4% Viognier The "twisty" icon indicates wines sealed with a screwcap closure. For additional Blue Reviews, go to Prices are for 750 ml. bottles unless otherwise noted. PRECEPT BRANDS 92 R2 Wine Co 2012 Pinot Noir, S&B; Signature Series, Sta. Rita Hills ($56) Juicy, crisp and bright; racy and lively flavors with stylish elegance and a lovely finish; long and pure. Three Sticks 2011 Pinot Noir, The James, Sta. Rita Hills ($60) Tangy and bright with racy acidity, cherry and lively plum; elegant, refined and impressive; built with firm structure and lovely flavors; long and quite impressive. Black Kite Cellars 2010 Angel Hawk Pinot Noir, Kite's Rest Vineyard, Anderson Valley ($80) Smooth and lush with bright black cherry and raspberry fruit; lush and dense with lovely balance and depth; long, ripe and elegant. IMPORTS 91 Robert Weil 2012 Tradition Riesling, Rheingau, Germany ($20) Clean, fresh and juicy with tangy citrus and bracing acidity; pure, focused and racy with a hint of sweetness; balanced and lovely. LOOSEN BROS. USA 66  /  the tasting panel  /  january 2014 TP0114_66-108.indd 66 12/19/13 9:46 PM

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