The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2017

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THE MESSAGE Brief Encounters Whether The Tasting Panel goes to the brand execs or the brands call us, there is an abundance of news to report, from the latest releases to behind-the-scenes experiences with some of the world's most influential importers, winemakers, distillers . . . well, you name it. We may not have enough pages in each issue to devote as much attention as we would like to each person whose path we cross, but please note that if it's in the publication, we deem it noteworthy. —Meridith May, Publisher & Editorial Director Dinner with Craggy Range 18  /  the tasting panel  /  july 2017 I n May, Craggy Range Chief Winemaker Matt Stafford made a quick stopover in Los Angeles during a whirl- wind tour of the upper half of planet Earth. Fortunately, he had time to meet The Tasting Panel for dinner at Spago Beverly Hills to show us the latest releases from this dynamic New Zealand winery. The terroir-driven wines showed spectacularly and included the engaging Craggy Range 2016 Te Muna Road Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc from Martinborough ($22), which has a soft, richer mouthfeel than typical Kiwi Sauv Blancs and a restrained touch of French oak; the subtle, lees-aged 2015 Kidnapper's Vineyard Chardonnay from cool Hawkes Bay; the lovely 2016 Martinborough Pinot Noir ($25); the astonishingly complex and velvety 2014 Te Muna Road Pinot Noir ($45) and the 2013 Te Kahu ($22), a stately Merlot-driven Bordeaux-style blend from the Gimblett Gravels Vineyard. An older 2008 vintage of the Te Muna Road Pinot was a special treat—spectacular with Spago's truffled agnolotti—and showcased the world-class stature of the Craggy Range project. —David Gadd Chief Winemaker Matt Stafford with the Craggy Range Te Kahu Bordeaux-style blend and a superb veal dish at Spago Beverly Hills. PHOTO: DAVID GADD

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