The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2012

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GLOBAL DRINKING A Taste of Morocco S Didier Pariente of Exotic Imports, LLC. nowcapped mountains tower- ing over verdant hills and kissed by the salt of the sea . . . Not exactly the classic description of Morocco. Sure, the Sahara lies just south of those snowy peaks, but that's the land of Bogart and Bergman. This is wine country. Wine country? The very idea of winemaking in Morocco defi es logic. Morocco is a Muslim kingdom, meaning that 98% of the population is forbidden by law to drink alcohol. One might assume wine production would be extremely limited here. "Not so," insists Didier Pariente of Exotic Imports, has worked tire- lessly for the past fi ve years to bring Moroccan wines to the U.S. "Morocco has a history of winemaking going back centuries." A former French colony, Morocco was a destination for many top French winemakers when phylloxera devastated European vineyards in the late 1800s. The terroir of Domaine Ouled Pinots in Paradise As if crashing surf, blossoming orchids and year-round warm temperatures wouldn't already entice you to make a trip to Hawaii, Four Seasons Maui has upped the ante. On June 7, the tropical location of the luxury resort chain will launch its three-day Four Pinots at Four Seasons Resort Maui. Part of the larger "Unforgettable Events" campaign, Four Pinots at Four Seasons seeks to create an indelible experience focused on the four exceptional California Pinot makers who are co-hosting the event: Anthill Farm Wineries, Brewer- Clifton, Costa de Oro and Patz & Hall. A series of special seminars, private dinners and a sunset oceanfront gala featuring wines from more than 40 participating wineries will be enhanced by "farm-to-table" cuisine prepared by Master Executive Chef Roger Stettler. The weekend will also include a charity golf tournament at Wailea Emerald Course. Four Pinots at Four Seasons gives consumers a chance to not only try some fantastic wines, but also interact with the winemakers and people behind the brand, providing a more holistic perspective and heightened meaning behind every sip of Pinot. For information, call 808-874-2201. —Megan Wieczorek 40 / the tasting panel / april 2012 Thaleb at the tip of northern Africa, only 20 miles from Casablanca, is unique. The vines of the estate's Thalvin Winery are planted on rolling hills protected by the vast Atlas Mountains, which separate the desert from the sea. Varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Grenache, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Clairette and an ancient variety called Faranah. The fruit basks in abundant sun and reaps the benefi ts of the cool breezes and fog swept in off the Atlantic Ocean. Winemaker Stéphane Mariot seeks to express the unique qualities of the land while making the wines in a traditional French style. Moroccan wines are intriguing and well-priced, and they're getting easier to fi nd. Thalvin is featured on the wines lists of fi ne Los Angeles restaurants such as Providence, Hatfi eld's, The Little Door and Nobu, as well as in select wine shops from L.A. to Aspen. —Elizabeth Kate Pinot people (left to right): co-owner and winemaker of Anthill Farms Winery, Webster Marquez; winemaker Gary Burk of Costa de Oro; Master Executive Chef Roger Stettler of Four Seasons Resort Maui; co-founder and National Sales Director of Patz & Hall, Donald Patz; Steve Clifton, co-founder and winemaker of Brewer-Clifton. PHOTO: MEGAN WIECZOREK PHOTO: ELIZABETH KATE

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