The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2014

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Page 96 of 128

96  /  the tasting panel  /  june 2014 WINES Robert Mondavi Winery 2012 Fumé Blanc, Oakville ($40) Lemon and Key lime ripe and tart with a juicy pineapple essence that rushes over the stone floor that lines the palate. Tarragon and clean, green herbs add character and rich texture and placates the high acidity. A wonderful vintage for an iconic wine. 92 CONSTELLATION WINE U.S. Freeman Vineyard 2012 Ryo-Fu Chardonnay, Russian River Valley ($40) Japanese for "cool breeze," Ryo-Fu is fragrant and perfumed with distinct—and exotic—perfume: jasmine, honeysuckle and other ethereal notes. White chocolate and caramel converge mid-palate with pretty notes of apples and pears and a light nuttiness. The mouthfeel is both grassy and stony. 100% French oak–fermented and aged sur lie for 14 months. 93 Don Sebastiani & Sons 2012 "The Crusher" Growers Selection Petite Sirah, Clarksburg ($13) On the nose: grilled meat, chocolate and blue fruit. But that first sip is an indul- gence of tannic blackness with hints of violets and blueberries . . . which seem to be seeping through that tannic wall in a gritty, snappy fashion. Youthful but at the same time super ripe, allowing its generous nature to shine through. 92 Robert Oatley 2012 Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia ($20) A peppered lip-smacker, grapey-plums party with spiced herbs. Basil, meet blackberry; blackberry, meet pencil shavings. Grippy tannins and a juicy finish keep the good times going. 90 PACIFIC HIGHWAY WINES & SPIRITS Ousterhout 2013 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Woods Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($25) Dried rose petal–scented, this lighter-than- salmon-hued wine is so dry you can't help but wipe your teeth with your tongue, tasting the minerals with each swipe. The wispy cotton candy tones are flavored with lavender, tarragon, dill and lanolin with ripe, orange peel undertones. Complex enough??? 94 Ousterhout 2011 Zinfandel, Nance's Vineyard, Alexander Valley ($29) Medium-bodied, but high acidity, baking spices and milk- chocolate raspberries lend a chef 's hand at creating a great food wine. A peppered sauciness calms down the jamminess from the sun-shiny fruit. 91 PICKS In each issue THE TASTING PANEL's Publisher and Executive Editor, Meridith May, selects her favorite wines and spirits of the month. Check here for the latest arrivals in our offices, the hottest new brands on the market and an occasional revisited classic. Worthy of a smooch. French-style double bizou. Wildly infatuated. Seriously smitten. Head over heels in love. PHOTO: MONA SHIELD PAYNE Publisher's At this year's WSWA Convention, Meridith May interviews Duke Bourbon brand owner Ethan Wayne. TP0614_072-101.indd 96 5/23/14 9:40 PM

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