The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2012

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Page 56 of 140

Publisher's In each issue THE TASTING PANEL's Publisher and Executive Editor, Meridith May, selects her favorite wines and spirits of the month. Check here for the latest arrivals in our offi ces, the hottest new brands on the market and an occasional revisited classic. WINES Montes Wines 2011 Twins Red, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($13) This 50% Malbec, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon (hence, the "twins") is a magnifi cent blackberry, licorice and spiced specimen of tightly wound Cab and a velvet-gloved Malbec. The bodies are textured and in motion, empowered by grace and elegance. 92 T.G.I.C. IMPORTERS Smoking Loon 2011 Steelbird Unoaked Chardonnay, California ($9) Steely and modern-edged, with spiced melon, zesty lemon and tart green apple softened by honey and butterscotch. 89 Meridith May, standing in the Chihuly Room at Long Shadows Winery. See her complete story on this unique Washington State wine "collection" on page 93. DON SEBASTIANI & SONS Worthy of a smooch. French-style double bizou. Wildly infatuated. Seriously smitten. Head over heels in love. 56 / the tasting panel / october 2012 Folie à Deux 2010 Ménage à Trois, Califronia ($10) A juicy rendition of three varieties, each fer- mented separately: frolicking blueberry, white pepper-tinted jammy Zinfandel; lush, ripe brambly Merlot body; and a strong-willed, dynamic coffee and plum Cabernet Sauvignon. 89 TRINCHERO FAMILY ESTATES Shafer Vineyards 2009 Relentless, Napa Valley ($63) Powerful, extracted and meaty, this blend of 82% Syrah and 18% Petite Sirah roars like a lion from fi rst sip. Cigar tip and black coffee eventually lead to a path of early-picked blackberry. 93 Chateau Adoré 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County ($20) From the family owned JW Vineyard near Healdsburg, this value-plus Cab's personality surges forth from its inky black depth to reveal blackberries and black tea on the inside. Spice and black pepper commingle with mocha java, served up with a spoonful of black cherry. 90 FAMILY WINE PARTNERS 818-322-5050 Lo Nuevo 2010 Garnacha, Sorbo a Sorbo, Calatayud, Spain ($15) The delicate spice sprinkled on ripe cherries and cranberries engages a lower realm of soy sauce and stone, deepening the complexity of this deliciously modern Spanish red. 90 VINTAGE POINT PICKS Laurel Glen 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Counterpoint, Sonoma Mountain ($30) This Sonoma Mountain winery changed hands in 2011. This garnet-purple beauty, the fi rst effort from winemaking team Randall Watkins and consultant David Ramey, offers up dry—and not especially round—tannins and minerality. The palate opens up to a spreading brownie cake melt-away effect along the tongue. At its very core is sagebrush and tobacco, a dollop of white pepper dots the juicy red cherry along the earthy path. Power and beauty play together in counterpoint. 95 PHOTO: JOANN ARRUDA

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