The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2015

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Page 81 of 140

september 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  81 Merryvale Vineyards 2013 Pinot Noir, Carneros ($38) Cinnamon dusts a super-fine acidity that complements a nose of earth and plum cherries. Spice inches up towards the mid-palate and awakens the tongue with a white peppered pinch. 90 Groth Vineyards 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, Napa Valley ($57) Scents of summer blackberry pie waft from the glass. The satin sinewy red is deep and rich with an ebb and flow of berry mocha and a procession of creamy lavender-honey. The blue fruit is at full mast to the finish. 95 Surprise of the Month! JOYA Red Sangria, Spain ($13) The instructions on this "joyful" bottle indicate that this is best enjoyed on ice. The rustic, dry-fruited juice is 12% ABV; boysenberry, vanilla and plum notes are not as sweet as much as authentic tasting and appreciated. Yikes! We love it. (Also comes in a 3L Bag-in-Box at $30 SRP.) 90 SEIZE THE VINE SPIRITS W. L. Weller 12 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, USA ($25) Roasted cashews, maple and a heavenly scent of peach blossoms are refined on the nose. The elegance of the entry is defined by the satin touch of this remarkable 90 proofer. There's a nip of black pepper, a sweetness of wheat toast and an intimate gathering of apricot and peach to further enhance its charm. 96 GEMINI SPIRITS & WINE Pendleton Midnight Blended Canadian Whisky, Canada ($35) Orange spiced tea on the nose is a superb start to the night. The clock ticks with the first sip of this 90-proofer, turning this autumn leaf- amber spirit into a toffee for adults: orange bitters, tobacco and a whisk of nutmeg and chili pepper. By the time you reach the finish, the cedar plank and antique resin leaves a trail of tannins on the tongue. 91 HOOD RIVER DISTILLERS Old Hickory Great American Straight Bourbon, USA ($40) With an aromatic nose of cherry blos- soms, vanilla and oats, this 86-proof, 100% American grain, straight bour- bon whiskey—Old Hickory "White Label"—makes a dramatic turn on the palate with a striking, peppered entry. Bold and tongue-coating, dried herbs and almonds lend even more character. 91 LIPMAN BROTHERS Maracame Tequila Plata, Mexico ($45) Vanilla bean, clay and spear- mint take hold of the senses, aromas lifted and long through the nose. The round, unctuous body alongside the grassy, lime, peach and peppered palate is an impressive procession of surging flavors and texture. 94 GLOBAL BEVERAGE TEAM Mayfair London Dry Gin, U.K. ($40) Juniper and licorice are spicy and fresh on the nose. The licorice mirrors back the dry, bitter-sweet flavor and opens a door for black pepper, roasted walnuts and dried lavender and herbes de Provence. Austere and masculine, with glimpses of floral tones coming and going. 92 EPIC WINES & SPIRITS Arkansas Black Straight Applejack, USA ($52) Twenty- five pounds of various varieties of sweet, crisp and cider apples go into each bottle, with no grain spirits added. The end spirit is rested at 100 proof in French and American barrels. The scent of apples, resin, vanilla, almond- cashew and sandalwood are a dashing, regal combination. The unctuous palate almost floats on the tongue, saltwater taffy and cin- namon apples adrift and lingering. The flavor profile is balanced and anchored; its spicy, salty edge at the finish keeps you on board. 94 TIMBERLANE LLC Stay Cool. RumChata. Stay Cool. RumChata. RumChata® Caribbean Rum with Real Dairy Cream, Natural and Artificial Flavors, 13.75% alc./vol. Produced and Bottled by Agave Loco Brands, Pewaukee, WI 53072. Please Enjoy Responsibly. RUMCHATA and CHATA are Registered Trademarks of Agave Loco, LLC. Visit for recipes

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