The Tasting Panel magazine

March 2014

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Page 67 of 128

march 2014 / the tasting panel / 67 90 Shaw Vineyard 2007 Keuka Hill Reserve, Finger Lakes ($35) An impressive New York State red; dense and generous with rich texture and ripe plum, blackberry and notes of chocolate and earth; lush and full-bodied; long, balanced and focused. 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc. 90 Alexander Valley Vineyards 2010 CYRUS, Alexander Valley ($55) Dense and lush with ripe plum, blackberry and spice; good acid structure, notes of earth, mocha and smoke; complex, balanced and long. 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec. 92 Coup de Foudre 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($95) Lush, dense and concentrated with deep plum and cassis; deep and ripe with a firm structure of juicy acidity; long, complex and balanced. 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc. 91 Astrolabe Winery 2012 Chenin Blanc, Wrekin' Vineyard, Marlborough ($25) Silky and bright with juicy apple fruit and minerals; lovely barrel nuances and depth; rich, complex and seamless; a knockout. CANNONBALL WINE COMPANY 90 Hunnicutt 2011 CUTT, Fearless Red, Napa Valley ($42) Dark, dense and rich with blackberry and spice; deep and showing notes of chocolate and oak; intense and long. 52% Petite Sirah, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah, 10% Zinfandel. An Exquisite New Rum: Selvarey MADE IN CHITRÉ, ON THE GULF OF PANAMA, Selvarey is a newly launched white rum made from cane grown in Panama's volcanic soils, distilled in copper and aged in ex-bourbon casks for between three and five years. Selvarey's Master Blender, Francisco "Don Pancho" Fernandez, oversees the marriage of these aged rums to create the final Selvarey blend, which is then shipped stateside (to Los Angeles) for distribution. Sibling release Selvarey Cacao is a super-premium chocolate rum—the world's first—made by infusing five-year aged dark rum with the essence of Panamanian cacao. "Rum occupies an almost sacred place in Latin America and so many other regions around the world," says Selvarey co-founder Seth Gold. "But in the U.S., it's often the bottom rung of the spirits ladder. We knew if we could create white and flavored rums good enough to sip on the rocks, we could help to elevate the image of rum here at home to its rightful place up there with the finest vodkas, tequilas and whiskeys." Striking modern packaging enhances the contemporary vibe for both Selvarey expressions. Although it was just launched this year, celebrated mixologists such as Damian Windsor and Matthew Biancaniello have already gotten behind the bar with Selvarey. It's hardly surprising. I was among the first spirits writers to sample these products and they are some of the finest rums I've tasted in quite some time. 94 Selvarey Rum, Panama ($30) Smooth vanilla-laced nose; lush, creamy texture and elegant, layered flavors; complex and savory yet not overly sweet, it delivers a long, vanilla-oak finish. 95 Selvarey Cacao, Panama ($35) A five-year aged dark rum infused with natural Panamanian cacao. Dry, mellow and silky with a lovely overlay of rich cacao; deep, elegant and long with remarkable definition of flavors; complex and persistent on the finish.

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