The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2015

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Page 71 of 140

october 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  71 Tangley Oaks 2012 Merlot Lot #13, Napa Valley ($15) Each lot numbered, Lot #13 has good fortune on its side: elegance, lush texture and graced with ripe, pretty fruit. Plums are sweet, not tart; cherries are at their summer peak of flavor ; and chocolate drizzles in from middle to a juicy finish. 91 TERLATO WINES Wirra Wirra 2012 Catapult Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia ($23) It was the late Greg Trott who transformed Wirra Wirra Vineyards into what it is today in McLaren Vale in the southern tip of South Australia. McLaren Vale is highly regarded for its Shiraz style: ripe, spicy, savory and sleekly structured. Trott's vision for the winery was probably equal to his sense of humor, as he envisioned a large catapult on the property (especially good for tossing watermelons) and this wine was named for that imaginative device. Big, generous plum and a touch of white pepper engage, sending up spiced blue and black fruit. A touch of Viognier brings in floral tones. Silky espresso tannins sweetened by milk chocolate on the finish has us over the moon. 92 NEGOCIANTS USA Cremaschi Farlotti 2013 Edición Limitada de Familia, Valle del Loncommila, Chile ($27) Brilliant, ripe blackberry blankets the palate as this sumptuous and over tly glamourous wine flaunts a creamy body. Balanced (13.5% ABV) and dense, it softens as it continues to open up; impressive structure and color. An iron-blueberry minerality sets a serious tone on the finish. 92 DUGGANS DISTILLERS PRODUCTS CORP. Moniker 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendocino ($30) Scents of earth-laden blackberry are a nod to nature. The juicy black-fruited bramble is seasoned with extra white pepper and still remains lithe on the tongue. The Thornhill family, producers of this slate-y beauty with dry, dusty bittersweet chocolate tannins, has created a powerfully balanced and well- structured wine. 94 SPIRITS Absentroux Absinthium Aperitif Wine, France ($20) In this first of its kind absinthe-meets-vine, the fra- grance of lemon oil, mountain brush, lanolin and a touch of anise is outright seductive. The litheness on the palate is sublime, a wonderful alterna- tive to a more oily nature of absinthe. This pretty 36-proofer is generous in stone fruit tones: pear nectar, apricot and nectarine. The finish is silky, with the anise a delicate breath alongside lavender and lemongrass. 96 CRILLON IMPORTERS Popcorn Sutton Small Batch Recipe, USA ($24.99– $27.99) Bright, red-fruited tones on the nose begin a fine relationship. The ease of entry: a bit salty, a shade spicy and melded with vanilla, create an excellent texture and flavor profile for this super-smooth 88-proof white spirit from Cocke County, Tennessee, named after legendary moonshiner Popcorn Sutton. 94 Feni: Spirit of India ($25) Distilled from cashew apples native to Goa, India, the bouquet that rises up and fills the air is exotically floral—violets, gardenia and the idea of flowers growing alongside a fresh stream. The golden apple notes from this 85-proof spirit are spiced with a mild horseradish, a lilting warmth and dimensions of honeysuckle, cashew and pineapple. This is one of the prettiest spirits I've tasted: unique and lively. 94

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