The Tasting Panel magazine

March 2018

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66  /  the tasting panel  /  march 2018 WINES Metz Road 2015 Riverview Vineyard Pinot Noir, Monterey ($35) This esteemed 215-acre site—the Scheid family's northernmost estate vineyard—is located adjacent to the Pinnacles on a bench overlooking the Salinas River. With its moderate microclimate and cold afternoons, the Riverview Vineyard is fortunate to have a long growing season. The savoriness of this small-production Pinot Noir, produced from Pommard clones and grown in well-drained, decomposed granite, is interwoven with juicy fruit and an undercurrent of tobacco, earth, and wet stone. Distinct tones of Cara Cara orange kissed with butterscotch weave through the wine's silky frame. 94 SCHEID FAMILY WINES Pine Ridge 2016 Chenin Blanc + Viognier, California ($16) Pine Ridge began crafting wine showcasing the grape duo—one of the original unique California white blends—in the early 1990s. The Chenin Blanc (80%) comes from the winery's vineyards in the maritime- influenced Clarksburg area near the Sacramento River ; the Viognier, meanwhile, is sourced from Lodi with its Mediterranean climate. Aromas of freshly-juiced pears and honeyed lanolin lead to a palate of orange blossom and kiwi-lime honey. Wonderful with spiced cuisines. 90 Hanna Reserve 2015 Saint Macaire, Red Ranch, Alexander Valley ($68) Known as the "Lost Bordeaux Variety," the forgotten Saint Macaire cultivar has reappeared in this 125-case release in the U.S. thanks to Hanna Winery, which grows a half-acre. This blend of 77% Saint Macaire, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec, and 2% Merlot ages 19 months in French Treuil oak. The result astounds in color, tex- ture, flavor, and balance. Aromas of blackberry, espresso, and exotic tea merge into an earth and tar flavor profile as a velvet lead takes you through plush tannins, adding bittersweet dark chocolate, tobacco, and a continuous brightening of the dark black fruit. Refined and complex, its expressive nature is one of a kind. 95 The Prisoner Wine Company Cuttings 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($55) Bold cherry cedar, coffee, and earthen aromas are matched by the spice of anise and black pepper intertwining on the palate. Black cherry emerges from the earthy core and frames a statuesque posture. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon; 20% blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Zinfandel. 92 CONSTELLATION WINES In each issue, The Tasting Panel's Publisher and Editorial Director Meridith May selects her favorite wines and spirits of the month. Check here for the latest arrivals in our offices, the hottest new brands on the market, and an occasional revisited classic. Publisher's Worthy of a smooch. French-style double bizou. Wildly infatuated. Seriously smitten. Head over heels in love. PHOTO: DAVID GADD PICKS

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