The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2016

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Page 83 of 108

october 2016  /  the tasting panel  /  83 Terlato 2013 Angel's Peak, Napa Valley ($50) A blend of 78% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, each vineyard block is vinified separately and the wine is aged in French oak (50% new) in underground wine caves for 22 months. The resulting profile is a ripe, lush red with a plum and spiced cedar core. Undertones of minerality (iron and slate) along with savory Italian herbs, a snappy acidity and a distinctive juiciness, add the halo to this score. 94 Y. Rousseau 2013 Merlot Pépé, Cavedale Vineyards, Moon Mountain District, Sonoma County ($50) Yannick Rousseau named the wine after his grandfather, who loved this variety. The grapes hail from the organically farmed Cavedale Vineyards on the western slopes of Mt. Veeder at an elevation of 2,000 feet. Barrel-aged in French oak for 18 months, this is one impressive red. The nose is peppered and perky, while a luster of dark plum, silky black berries and chocolate espresso charm the rest of the soul. 93 Luigi Bosca 2011 Icono, Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina ($169) From Argentina's oldest family-owned winery, this is a blend of 55% Malbec and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon from the 90-year-old, high-elevation Los Nobles Vineyard, comprised of rubble, silt, limestone and sandy- loam soils. Unctuous notes of grilled meat on the nose and deep black berry-brush fruit on the palate. 95 FREDERICK WILDMAN & SONS The Vineyard House 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($225) The blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cab Franc and 3% Petit Verdot is primarily Oakville fruit, with 10% from Calistoga. Aged for over 30 months, this limited edition starts out big and tannic, with aromas of dark roast coffee and black fruit. When it starts to mellow, the fruit ripens and becomes jammy, the tannins opt for a silkiness but the huge powerhouse notes of tobacco and saddle leather couple with the sleeker chocolate and cedar oak. It takes you for a long ride. 94 SPIRITS Humboldt Distillery Vodka Infused with Hemp (Cannabis Sativa L.), Humboldt County, CA ($30) Made in Humboldt County, California's cannabis mecca, this herb-y perfumed, 80-proof vodka can definitely replace your gin. On the nose, fresh greenery is far forward along with softer floral tones like jasmine and orange blossom. The brisk fennel, thyme, lime and black pepper on the palate are well integrated for a slide-across-the-tongue texture. 93 Distillerie Franciacorta Grappa Barricata, Brescia, Italy ($30) Distilled from the grapes traditionally used to make Franciacorta sparkling wine—Pinot Nero, Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco—the sweet, pungent notes of molasses, orange spice and rancio. A saltiness on the tip of the tongue may relate to its aging for one year in Sherry casks. The nectar-like apricot and pineapple play well with more serious undertones of musky orange. 92 MARKET STREET SPIRITS, A DIVISION OF OPICI WINES Antelope Island Rum, Utah ($27) This 80-proof, single- batch original white rum recipe calls for organic sugar cane, molasses and artesian well water. Antelope Island, located in the southwestern part of the Great Salt Lake, is a wildlife refuge for bison, antelope and more than 250 species of birds. The nose is sweet and inviting, with hints of fresh coconut water, vanilla and brine. Gentle on the palate, the pudding effect gets leaner in seconds, with dots of white pepper across the sugary core. 91 DENTED BRICK DISTILLERY Wild Tiger Special Reserve Rum, India ($25) This 80-proofer supports tiger conservation via the Wild Tiger Foundation to save its habitat in South India. While the liquid purrs aromatically, with notes of sweet Mandarin orange peel and cinnamon sugar, it roars with pleasure on the palate with exotic notes of crushed nutmeg, sarsaparilla and black tea. It also earns its stripes (and kisses) for a plush, furry packaging concept. 91 EASTERN LIQUORS

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