The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2016

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Page 73 of 116

september 2016  /  the tasting panel  /  73 Scala Dei 2011 Cartoixa, DOQ Priorat, Spain ($55) Scala Dei translates as "ladder of God," and it definitely takes ascending steps in elegance with each sip. The winery dates back to the 12th century, founded by Carthusian monks who introduced vine growing into the region. The nose speaks of herbal tea and dark cranberry-chocolate. The dry mouthfeel has a dusty mineral-slate profile and the backdrop of spiced cinnamon, toasted marshmallow and raspberry jam completes the experience. A blend of 40% Garnarcha, 25% Cariñena, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah. 94 Pellet Estate 2014 Un-Oaked Chardonnay, Sunchase Vineyard, Sonoma Coast ($36) This is an OMG wine for me, the best the Petaluma Gap has to offer. Grown in elevations from 900 to 1,400 feet, it is intensely voluptuous from nose to palate. Lemon sugar cookies and fresh pineapple and peaches are juiced to order. Towards the middle, the vanilla-white tea comes in, with a white floral finish that dazzles. 96 Moobuzz 2015 Grenache Syrah Mourvèdre, Central Coast ($22) Sourced from vineyards that span from Paso Robles to the backroads of the Santa Barbara Highlands, this blend is primarily Grenache (70%) with 26% Syrah and 4% Mourvèdre. And with that small percentage of Mourvèdre, the earthy dark chocolate shows itself with tenacity. This is a rustic, adven- turous wine—great value too—equipped with enough savory notes, ripe blueberry and cherry to keep it focused. The bramble and spice of the Grenache lifts it further, with well-toned acidity to prove itself worthy for a variety of food pairing options. 90 3 BADGE BEVERAGE Franciscan Estate 2015 Equilibrium, Napa Valley ($23) A sumptuous blend of Chardonnay, Muscat and Sauvignon Blanc, with a nose that is akin to an expensive perfume: green grass, mint tea and white pear. The flavors settle on the palate with a frisky acidity. White geranium and a touch of magnolia make for a floral gem. There is an abundance of flavors that are impeccably balanced with a crisp, salty-savory finish of candied, spiced honeydew melon. 94 Lake Sonoma Winery 2013 Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley ($20) Mulberry and earth, slate and tobacco—and that's just the nose. This Bordeaux-like red (yes, we know it's a Zin) is contained and elegant—no bramble. The fruit is generous, but it's far beyond that on the secondary flavors and aromas, which are pristine and straightforward. Iron, blueberry and soil components come through on the end. 93 BACAS FAMILY ESTATES SPIRITS The Revivalist Botanical Gin "Summertide" Expression, USA ($49) This is one of four innovative and handcrafted expres- sions—Equinox, Summertide, Harvest and Solstice —of this grain-to-bottle gin brand hailing from rural Chester County, Pennsylvania. Created by Riannon Walsh, noted whisky expert and spirits industry veteran, these gins make up the inaugural portfolio of small batch spirits from her new micro- distillery enterprise, Brandywine Branch Distillers. Exotic on the nose, Summertide opens up with spicy incense, patchouli and rose petal. The palate claims a peppered and sweetened lemon peel, jasmine, peppermint and marshmallow. 84 proof. 95 BRANDYWINE BRANCH DISTILLERS 100% Irish From grain to glass Produced, Distilled and Bottled in Ireland by West Cork Distillers, LLC. Imported by M.S. Walker, Inc. Somerville, MA. 40% Alc/Vol. WESTCORKIRISH.COM PLEASE ENJOY RESPONSIBLY. 90 POINTS 92 POINTS Only distillery to malt its own Irish-grown Barley Prepared with fresh spring water sourced from the Ilen River 100% Irish owned & crafted Artisanal Irish Whiskey imported from Ireland 2014 Un-Oaked Sunchase Sonoma Coast OMG wine Petaluma Grown in to 1,400 voluptuous palate. Lemon palate. Lemon palate. fresh peaches are Towards the vanilla-white tea white floral 96 Lake Sonoma Zinfandel, ($20) Mulberry and tobacco—and the nose. red (yes, we (yes, we (yes, is contained bramble. The bramble. The bramble. but it's but it's but far the secondary aromas, which aromas, which aromas, straightforward. and soil components through on finish that dazzles. Moobuzz Syrah Mourvèdre, Coast ($22) vineyards Robles Santa blend (70%) 4% Mourvèdre. that Mourvèdre, chocolate tenacity. turous too—equipped SPIRITS SPIRITS The Gin Expression, This and sions—Equinox, Harvest this hailing County, by Riannon by Riannon by whisky industry

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