The Tasting Panel magazine

March 2012

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Page 42 of 124

Publisher's 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 offi ces, the hottest new brands on the market and an occasional revisited classic. WINES 3 smooches MAN Vintners 2011 Chenin Blanc, Cuvée V, Coastal Region, South Africa ($11) The fi rst taste leads you to believe this is a demure, coy white, with apricot tipped tropical notes and even a hint of tapioca. But then the brakes squeal as the shale hits the fan: rocky, stony . . . but still strikingly crisp and boldly sweet. 90 VINEYARD BRANDS 1.5 Paso Grande 2010 Carmenère, Valle Central, Chile ($10) Light hearted but blessed with a juicy blueberry soul, chocolate and caramel stand by for a delicious fi nish. What a great value. 89 BRONCO WINE CO. IMAGE 2 smooches 2 Meridith May; photo taken at Zin Bistro Americana in Westlake Village, CA. smooches Solsticio 2008 Malbec, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina ($16) Violets and grilled meat aromas are so entic- ing, you can fantasize the wine and not even take a sip. The royal purple velvet robe that it wears leads to a leaner palate than you would Worthy of a smooch. French-style double bizou. Wildly infatuated. Seriously smitten. Head over heels in love. 42 / the tasting panel / march 2012 imagine. The acidity cuts through the beef and aims straight for tobacco, cedar, licorice and bittersweet chocolate. 90 SOLSTICIO, LLC 3 smooches Summerland Winery 2010 Viognier, Paradise Road Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley ($24) The wine's pure form is evident from a sliding glass door of peaches and honey- suckle. Open it up and you'll taste the nectar of apricots. 92 Amos Cellars 2009 Chardonnay, The Churner, Central Coast ($24) Jon McDaniel of Los Olivos Café and Wine Merchant crafts this butter- and lemon-oil-battered beauty. Nutmeg and spiced pudding sound weighty but are masterfully balanced by an acidity that spans the gap from unctuous to buoyant. 92 2.5 smooches Amos Cellars 2009 Pinot Noir, Shepherd's Crook, Central Coast ($30) A raspberry lightness spins off wispy notes of roses and pansies. Rhubarb tart mid- plex wires this lean athlete with an all spice fi nish. 91 4 smooches Ferrari-Carano 2008 Trésor, Alexander Valley ($58) All hail this vintage as Trésor's best; a dramatic and dynamic red, or should I say inky purple, that showcases a range of savory herbs and a bottomless fi nish of double-drenched plums. 94 3.5 smooches Sanford 2008 Pinot Noir, La Rinconada Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills ($38) Black cherry and tangerines . . . sounds like a '60s song. The chorus chants a candy cane sweetness that plays in tandem with an earth-soil depth. 93 TERLATO WINES INTERNATIONAL PICKS PHOTO: ROB BROWN

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