The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2016

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108  /  the tasting panel  /  june 2016 Ferrari-Carano Head Winemaker Sarah Quider strives for precision while maintaining individual vineyard characteristics. "Sauvignon Blanc benefits from a short time in oak by creating roundness on the palate with increased body weight and structure," she explains. While crafting a unique Fumé Blanc, she also delivers a range of Chardonnays. Keeping the blocks and subsequent fermentations separate in order to allow for later blending yields great control to Sarah. Lazy Creek Vineyards Winemaker Christy Ackerman focuses on Gewürztraminer as her white wine grape. A pleasing contradiction, it tempts with very ripe fruit on the nose but is tart on the palate. "Gewürztraminer can be so intense, almost to the point of sensory overload, so I find that little or no residual sugar makes it a more elegant wine," shares Christy. Convenience aside, many other regions and styles of wine subsist throughout the world. Sometimes, it's just fun to play with wines of pure individuality. Riesling finds a fun manifestation in Smith-Madrone's Spring Mountain example—jasmine, honeysuckle, white peach and nectarine and just 12.6% alcohol. Picpoul de Pinet AOP, in the south of France, generates fruity, salty wines perfect for the beach or pool—banana and papaya on the nose, citrusy on the palate, zippy with just enough texture; HB provides an unfailing example. Pinot Gris reveals an interesting, structural wine in Victoria, Australia. Camfield's Pinot Gris displays melon and celery salt and, with a little bit of tannin, begs for delicate fish. Summer and Sauvignon Blanc—it's tough to fight the obvious. Summer provides a perfect opportunity to further survey Sauvignon Blanc and its different expressions depending upon where it is grown. Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley demonstrates classic, cool climate characteristics of fresh herbs and penetrating acidity, like Attitude by Pascal Jolivet. On the other end of the spectrum, Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc bears ripe, more tropical fruit and less of the grassy component, typified by Madrigal Family Winery. Even Washington is playing with the grape. Mercer, in Horse Heaven Hills, splits the difference, showcas- ing just ripe fruit with floral notes and bright but not searing acidity. To round out the summer selections, rosé commands a conversation. A classic Grenache-based style of rosé from Provence AOP, Château Roubine steps up as the rosé to sip on the patio. Light in both color and aromat- ics, it's simply revitalizing. Another varietal producing stellar rosé is Tempranillo. Hacienda de Arínzano's Rosé of 100% Tempranillo has weight, and the fruit is vibrant—candied raspberries and cherries—a perfect complement to a cheese board. The summer season spurs time outdoors, fresh produce and exploration of all things, both in our backyards and beyond. Whether the occasion and mood lean toward the easy-drinking or the thought- provoking, to the familiar or the undiscovered, the wine world delivers refreshing, chilled and crisp wines to enjoy throughout the season. Riesling from Smith-Madrone delivers jasmine and honeysuckle. Hacienda Arínzano's Rosé is made from 100% Tempranillo. Responsible Summer Drinking At a time period when we are acutely aware of our individual impact on the environment, consumers like to know they can help—and that includes buying the right wines. Fetzer Vineyards leads the industry with its commitment to clean energy, zero waste and regenerative agriculture. Sister winery Bonterra uses 100% organic grapes for its wines. Fetzer Vineyards 2014 Shaly Loam Gewürztraminer, Monterey County, California ($10) Off-dry with ripe but just ripe peaches, kiwi and cantaloupe—the sugar provides a broader mouthfeel. This wine needs no food, although it would be great with something a little spicy. Bonterra Organic Vineyards 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Mendocino/Lake County, California ($14) Subtle, easy- drinking and pleasant aromas of under-ripe pear and green banana, white flow- ers and a cinnamon apple finish. This is a perfect wine for an outdoor activity on a hot day.

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