The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2011

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KOSHER Wines Not to Pass Over O THESE WINES MAY BE KOSHER, BUT THAT’S NOT THE ONLY MEASURE OF THEIR MERIT ne of my favorite events to attend is the yearly interna- tional wine festival that Herzog Winery hosts at their lovely state-of-the-art facility in Oxnard, CA. Not only am I lured by an intriguing global portfolio of wine and spirits, but I can always count on some of the best gourmet nibbles from their in-house restaurant, Tierra Sur. Chef Todd Aarons’s Mediterranean-infl u- enced seasonal cuisine showcases California’s most delectable local produce. Close to Home Joseph Herzog of Royal Wines (left) with COSTCO Assistant Buyer Spring Allec and John Ruiz of Southern Wine & Spirits at the Herzog Winery International Wine and Food Festival. The following wines are available through Royal Wine Corp.; check with your local distributor. These are all on my Highly Recommended list. —Meridith May “This is our white revolution,” says Asaf Paz, winemaker for Binyamina in Israel’s Judean Hills. The unoaked Binyamina 2009 Chardonnay was originally meant to be a base for their sparkling wine, but the still wine was so magnifi cent, they decided to bottle it as is. Mineral and fl oral essences make for a clean and crisp sipper—a remarkable value at $20 SRP. Capçanes La Flor 2007 “del fl or de primavera” is an old-vine Garnarcha from Spain’s Monsant D.O. The 110- year-old-vine red tastes like an old soul: The soil glimmers through, and the ripest-ever plum, raspberry and lavender thread through each sip, with a deep anise fi nish. SRP $80 Jean Jacques and Clarisse Bokobsa are a great father- and-daughter winemaking team from France, produc- ing good stuff from the Côtes du Rhône to Chablis and Bordeaux. What stopped me in my tracks was their 2009 Côtes de Provence rosé from Château Maïme. The hand-harvested wine displays a pale peach hue and com- bines Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah for a gorgeous dusty palate of Asian pear and white fl owers. Check availability with your Royal Wines representative. 30 / the tasting panel / april 201 1 Every year, Herzog’s Director of Winemaking, Joe Hurliman, intro- duces a stellar single-vineyard wine from one of California’s best growing regions. “The project allows me to go from vineyard to vineyard, across Napa and Sonoma, to source from sub-appellations,” Hurliman points out. “But I still allow the grapes and terroir to dictate the results, as anthropomorphic as that may sound.” In what he also refers to as a “narrative between myself and the vineyard,” Hurliman’s latest release is a 2008 Oak Knoll–Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, just released in mid-February. Aged in 100% French oak (over 70% new), this big, elegantly-tuned red showcases its complexity by going from dusty raspberry to coffee and dark choco- late to tobacco leaf and soil in record time. Only 350 cases; SRP $75. photos by Maria Schriber

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