The Tasting Panel magazine

JULY 2012

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Page 65 of 132

Ferrari-Carano 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Mountain Vineyards, Alexander Valley ($42) Charmed by its fragrant dusty cocoa-cherry nose, we are further "dusted" with plums and blueberries working their way through a textural experience . . . back and forth from juicy to dusty, sliding on the back of the mouth and smacking down on the tongue. Blackberry surges on the finish and doesn't stop till it smoothes to a coffee finish with a hint of astringency and a dash more fruit skin. 94 Loma Prieta Winery 2010 Pinotage, Amorosa Vineyard, Lodi ($45) Sweet, savory baking spices are part of the recipe of this full-bodied spice rack of a wine. High- elevation fruit (2,600 feet and only 15 miles from the ocean) make for intense flavor that is awash with rhubarb and cinnamon juiciness. 92 Lost Canyon Winery 2009 Pinot Noir, Morelli Lane Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($45) From vineyards reaching an elevation of 1,000 feet, and from three different Pinot Noir clones, this dusted cherry cedar chest opens to a treasure of candied rhubarb, roasted coffee and Porcini mushrooms. The finish is a plum pudding effect: creamy and well balanced with a fine acidity. 93 Bodega Cuarto Dominio 2009 Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina ($50) Ripe red fruit with an earthy core; white pepper, snappy tannins and a lush texture round it out, but the pepper ascends on the finish for added drama. 93 TERLATO WINES INTERNATIONAL Hawk & Horse Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lake County, Red Hills AVA ($65) Grown on an 18-acre organic and certified biodynamic mountain estate vineyard on rocky, volcanic soils about 2,200 feet in elevation. We were wowed: It was love at first nosing. Dramatic aromatics of roses and cranberries are startling. While the texture begins with an indulgent plushness, it becomes dusty and mouth-smacking mid-palate. The more you sip, the blacker the fruit, and a sinewy stream of dark chocolate runs parallel to the pool of plums and ink-berries. 94 SPIRITS Dos Armadillos Plata Tequila, Mexico ($55) It certainly has shelf presence, from its handcrafted round crystal bottle of texturized glass resembling an armadillo, to its artisanal braided rope neck. The salty, herbal entry is one of the more unique plata expressions I have tasted; basil and sage meander through lime and cooked agave. With a full body framed by sleek mineral tones, this high mountain region tequila is a spicy, exotic creature. 91 FOURCADE & HECHT july 2012 / the tasting panel / 65 Here's how to wine them. Starting at $3 per glass. YOU KNOW HOW TO DINE THEM. Available through your distributor or at T:10.875" Degustazione Red Wine Glass Height: 8-7/8" Capacity: 19-3/4 oz.

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