Issue link: http://digital.copcomm.com/i/44136
GUEST EDITOR Yazi Ginger Flavored Vodka, USA ($30) With its cinnamon, gingerbread and cranberry nose, this is not a "cookie" moment, but rather intriguingly spicy, clean and edgy. On the palate, zoom in on velvet textured caramel with a sweet sting of red peppers and lingering ginger. 91 HOOD RIVER DISTILLERS KATE WEBBER of Webber Restaurant Group, Groton, MA Gran Dovejo Reposado Tequila, Mexico ($50) How alluring: mango green tea on the nose sidles up to pineapple and lime-soaked agave. The tropical theme continues on the palate with a "pow" burst of fl avor: sweet grilled pineapple, while black pepper accents the toffee middle. 93 MENDEZ IMPORTS Rudo Reposado Tequila, Mexico ($32) WIth a nose of cinnamon-spiced lime chiffon, this reposado had us at the fi rst sniff. At its core, a lean mineral driven agave stays in the ring, while pepper and peppermint lingers on and on with its one- two punch. This is a robust, well constructed tequila that keeps consistent on the palate. 94 DOUBLE EAGLE IMPORTS Peachy Canyon 2009 Cirque du Vin ($17) This crazy blend of Cabernet, Petite Sirah, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec covers all the bases of bigness while still delivering texture. The wine maintains a medium body with black cherry, cranberry and vanilla fl avors, which makes it a great match for light pork, grilled sausages, and our favorite barbecue sliders. Terry Hoage 2008 Skins Grenache ($38) This winery is owned by the former defensive back for the Washington Redskins, and it shows in its sheer power. "Skins" has all the bright raspberries, cherries, and strawberries of Grenache, but this one beautifully integrates the oak and balances some dusty earth. We think it's a perfect match for steak tartare and our brick-oven pizzas. Bols Barrel Aged Genever, Netherlands ($50) Aged for 18 mos. in oak casks, this rye, wheat and corn distillate has characteris- tics of both gin and American rye whiskey. Caraway seeds and celery roots meet up fi rst, with a mid- palate lime zest. But surrounding peppered coriander, juniper and a grassy profi le is caramelized brown sugar from the oak. A notable accomplishment from a 19th-century recipe. 94 LUCAS BOLS USA J Dusi 2009 Zinfandel ($32) This elegant but dark Zinfandel comes from the famous Dusi Ranch, known for some of the best Zinfandel grapes ever grown. Full of raspberries, blackberries and smoky spice, J Dusi Zinfandel is always a crowd-pleaser. Try it with short ribs, hamburgers and sweet sauces for your grilled meats. It won't let you down. Cypher Winery 2008 Heretic Petite Sirah ($40) Full-bodied and fi rm with raspberry, blackberry, licorice and spice, this tight and delightful wine is dry but never tiring. Incredibly powerful but balanced, "Heretic" goes with all of your biggest steaks and lamb, and it's our favorite with a classic shepherd's pie. october 201 1 / the tasting panel / 89 A PASSION FOR PASO Choosing wines for a steakhouse has led us to red wine regions all over the globe. Paso Robles always provides huge ripe fruit, but we always want to make sure there's serious complexity as well. Take a look at these Paso powerhouses that really deliver the quality.