The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2012

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partner of Viña Montes, but is also the head winemaker, which ensures that he plays an active role throughout the whole winemaking process. "I define myself as a man of open doors," explains Montes. "I don't want to just sit quietly; I want to explore." His exploration is on-going as he continues to gain prestige in the wine world, this Grand Cru Challenge signifying yet another door successfully opened on his journey. The Panelists The judging panel consisted of premier wine- industry member from Los Angeles and beyond. Anthony Dias Blue (moderator), THE TASTING PANEL Henri Marquis, Fig & Olive, Los Angeles Lance Reed, BOA Steakhouse, West Hollywood Dana Farner, Wolfgang Puck's Cut, Beverly Hills Eric Espuny, Langham Hotel, Pasadena Duc Pham, Blossom Restaurant Shannon Beattie, Cecconi's, Beverly Hills Bonnie Graves, Eric Moe, California Club, Los Angeles Cameron Russell, Gordon Ramsay at The London Christopher Lavin, wine educator Tony Aspler, Canadian wine writer Dore Kraus, Wing Hop Fung The Wines Here are notes on the Montes wines from some of the panelists at the tasting. Montes Alpha M 2004 ($50 when released) composite score: 91 points out of 100 "Rich, smooth and deep; plum, blackberry and leather; dense, lush, complex and very long; 94 points." —Anthony Dias Blue, THE TASTING PANEL "Cherry and dusty fruit, rich tannins with cola and dried fig. " —Lance Reed, Sommelier, Boa Restaurant, Hollywood "Intense and suave; thick and rich." —Eric Espuny, Sommelier, The Langham Huntington Hotel, Pasadena "Great potential." —Dana Farner, Sommelier, Cut, Beverly Hills Montes Purple Angel 2007 ($40 when released; 92% Carmenère, 8% Petit Verdot) composite score: 90 points "Dark and rich with smoke, spice and ripe plum; tangy with blackberry and long keen fla- vors; silky and supple; 92 points." —Anthony Dias Blue "Sandalwood, dried cherries, hibiscus blos- soms and cedar. " —Dore Kraus, Wine Buyer, Wing Hop Fung, Monterey Park "Ripe blackberry, mocha, spice with a long finish. Exceptional." —Cameron Russell, Sommelier, Gordon Ramsay at the London, West Hollywood "Ripe and flavorful without being clumsy. Easy to drink." —Eric Moe, Sommelier, The California Club, Los Angeles Montes Folly Syrah 2004 ($62 when released) composite score: 91.8 points "Juicy vanilla and blackberry; lush ripe and intense; lovely sweetness and length; rich and balance; 93 points." —Anthony Dias Blue "Nose of cinnamon stick, clove, black pep- per; beautiful texture; the wine of the day for me." —Bonnie Graves, "Seductive and fun." —Shannon Beattie, Sommelier, Cecconi's, West Hollywood "Lovely dried fruits, red pepper, vanilla and baking spices; still quite youthful." —Christopher Lavin, Sommelier/Wine Educator, Los Angeles The Montes Folly edged out Penfolds Grange in the Rhône flight, which also included wines from Bonaccorsi and Chapoutier. august 2012 / the tasting panel / 79

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