The Tasting Panel magazine

January / February 2017

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Page 77 of 148

january/february 2017  /  the tasting panel  /  77 Somm 2015 Rosé of Tannat, Lodi ($22) This project from Master Sommelier Willi Sherer (he runs the wine program for Redd Napa Valley) shows itself to be one to watch: a salmon pink–hued treasure. The dusty, floral- toned nose combines the sweetness of rose petals and the savoriness of sage. The texture is fleshy, with plump yellow plum, watermelon, raspberry and light thyme notes. Enough weight to drink for winter. 94 REMIX WINES Andis Wines 2013 Grenache, Shenandoah Valley, Amador County ($20) With roses and red fruits wafting, the tart, lean acidity cleans the palate. Rooibos tea, white pepper and cinnamon are the spicy edges to the raspberry core. 89 Z'IVO 2014 Whole Cluster Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley ($45) Sweet rose petals, tilled soil and pomegranate are rich on the nose. This light, feminine Pinot Noir is juicy and silky, with notes of jasmine and red raspberry. 90 De Tierra 2012 Mesa del Sol Syrah, Arroyo Seco ($28) Owned by Anna Russell, a second-generation Salinas Valley farmer and sommelier, the grapes are organically grown and the estate is SIP cer tified. In 2010, the San Francisco International Wine Competition named De Tierra Winery of the Year. With a nose that speaks mint chocolate with ear thy strawberry, the complexity star ts at ground zero. Chewy cherry oak hits the palate, with blueberries not far behind. Lavender, coffee and a lush texture are par t of the grand show. 93 Beringer 2014 The Waymaker Red Wine, Paso Robles ($28) From Beringer's Regional Estates series, this (56%) Syrah-based red blend comes from Camatta Hills, a 600-acre vineyard near Paso Robles. Also in the blend is Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Malbec. Even with its plush, juicy core, rustic coffee tannins intercede gracefully for a dry palate. Deep blackberry weaves through mocha-kissed leather. Complex, original and impressive. 91 TREASURY WINE ESTATES Rutherford Hill 2013 Merlot, Napa Valley ($28) Winemaker Marisa Taylor blends in some Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon to create a noticeably structured and dimensional Merlot, aged 16 months in French oak. The nose is already layered with an intense, meaty earthiness punctuated by fragrant rhubarb. The texture is chewy and sumptuous. Red floral notes weave in with black raspberry and cinnamon, diving into an earthy mocha core. The wine gets juicier on the finish, even with the teeth-coating toasted cherry tannins along for the ride. 93 TERLATO FAMILY WINES Aberrant Cellars 2014 Confero Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley ($29) Translated from Latin, one of the various meanings of confero is to bring together, and here Willamette Valley producer Eric Eide (who loves Latin) brings together four clones from five vineyards. Aged 11 months in French oak (23% new), the integration of fruit, acidity and tartly appointed tannins keep the wine fresh, edgy and a bit earthy. I found this immensely food-friendly with a variety of dishes. Deep notes of blueberry and white-peppered strawberry gets juicier as the wine continues to open up. 95 Masthead 2014 Sangiovese, Mohr-Fry Vineyard, Block 433, Lodi ($30) Well, from a magazine publisher's standpoint, I could write pages about this fun red. This is the first commercial wine created by wine bloggers under the guidance of Scotto Cellars winemakers Mitch Cosentino and Paul Scotto. Grown at one of Lodi's most prestigious vineyards, two barrels of Sangiovese are aged in Hungarian and French oak. Cranberry meets tilled soil, while wild strawberries shine with red tea tannins. Colorful, bright and pleasingly juicy. 93 SCOTO CELLARS Alta Colina 2013 Estate GSM, Paso Robles ($48) The blend of 68% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre and 12% Syrah is an opaque blood red–hued big boy. Its nose of brandied, salted strawberry leads to a flavor profile so concentrated, with extracted notes of tarry blackberry tea and espresso bittersweet chocolate. The gritty teeth coating tannins break loose to reveal a deeply committed (and peppercorn spiced) red of streamlined texture. 92 Cadaretta 2013 Windthrow, Columbia Valley ($60) This is the culmination of Rhône varietals from the top barrels of the vintage, comprised of 76% Syrah, 16% Mourvèdre and 8% Cinsault sourced from five vineyards in Washington's Columbia Valley. Intense aromas of tar, black olive, blackberry and pie crust merge into an elegant mouthfeel. Grainy chocolate raisin, blackberry and cherry- tinged tannins are a fine finish. 94

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