The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2016

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Page 28 of 116

28  /  the tasting panel  /  september 2016 1 JAB Clear, legible label, solid branding. Pow, right in the kisser. 2 JABS Eye catching label and memorable branding. This one's got a one two punch. 3 JABS Creatively inspiring in both packaging and branding. I'm seeing stars and parakeets. 4 JABS A near work of art and meaningful branding. Might not last another round. 5 JABS A masterpiece in packaging and new benchmark in branding. An instant knock-out! I 'm sure for a lot of parents, September is a glorious month, so we're starting off the school year by highlighting wines meant to be consumed during "me time." 1000 Stories 2014 Zinfandel Batch 6, California ($19) Boysenberry and blueberry jam in a full-bodied crushed velvet texture. On the mid-palate, burnt campfire marshmallows along with melted Milky Way bars. With all that sweet, there's a bit of earth on the finish of this particular batch. 1000 Stories is made at about 5,000 cases at a time, in batches, much like bourbon. The wine sees American and French oak plus a small percentage of new bourbon barrels. The label feels proud to be American. Me too, label, me too . . . 89 FETZER VINEYARDS Happy Camper 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($9.49) Very ripe blackberry, plum and a touch of clove in a medium-plus body that drinks almost more like a Merlot. Much like the act of camping, the label evokes both adventure and relaxation all delivered with a convenient screwcap, making this a great wine for the great outdoors. Very good value. 87 HAPPY CAMPER WINES Infinite Monkey Theorem NV The Blind Watchmaker Red, Grand Valley, CO ($25) Blackberries, plum, dried cherries, dark chocolate (the kind with a super high percent- age of cacao), lots of oak and a ton of graphite in a medium-plus, gritty-tannin outfit made from fruit sourced mostly from Colorado. The thoughtful, clever packaging and branding makes the "urban winery" concept hip and enticing. 87 INFINITE MONKEY THEOREM Pavo Real 2012 White Wine, Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico ($12) Ripe pineapple, yellow apple, Meyer lemon, lemon zest, cashews and green banana in a creamy, medium-plus-bodied package. It went incredibly well with the Chinese food I just happened to be having, and I can certainly see it working with other spicy foods. This "blanco" is made with Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and little bit of Chardonnay from Baja, Mexico. 88 TURQUOISE LIFE Don & Sons 2014 Sonoma Signature Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast ($15) Juicy cranberry, dark cherry, dusty rock and a wisp of potpourri in a medium body made with Pinot Noir from the Petaluma Gap and Russian River Valley. Love the font used for the Don & Sons logo on the slightly textured, clean label. 86 DON SEBASTIANI & SONS September Contenders by Jessie Birschbach Our Wine Editor, Jessie Birschbach, Certified Sommelier—or JABS, as we call her in the office—uses her experience as a som- melier and her background in marketing to rate retail wines on both the inside and outside of the bottle. After all, let's face it, in off-premise environments it's usually the packaging that hooks us then it's up to the wine to keep us on the hook. For that reason, she'll employ both the classic 100-point number scale on taste, and the "JABS" rating system to assess packaging and brand identity. PHOTO: DOUG YOUNG For info on submitting samples, email

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