The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2015

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Page 73 of 136

june 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  73 Herencia 2013 Zinfandel, Napa Valley ($32) An easy drinker and a friend to food, from its boysenberry compote nose to its brush, bramble, rhubarb flavor profile. White pepper emerges shyly through a raspberry sheath. A mark of cranberry-cocoa keeps the tartness in check and fine acidity finishes the score with a citrus zest. 90 The Counselor 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, River Pass Vineyard, Alexander Valley ($35) Nick Goldschmidt started working with this seven-acre vineyard site 15 years ago. He ferments three blocks of hillside and benchland fruit separately and then blends to make this 100% Cab. Supple and luxe, you can tell the sunshine was generous for this vintage. A blackberry syrup is creamy and splashes on the tongue. Sage, lavender, black cherry, currant and nutmeg are among its attributes. The finish shows a coffee-bittersweet chocolate for a toasty quality that's balanced and delicious. 94 DISTINGUISHED VINEYARDS Asuncion Ridge Vineyards 2012 Nefarious, Paso Robles ($44) With its over-ripe black- berry nose and devil's food/cherry cake profile, big sips are an easy pleaser from this blend of 88% Syrah and 12% Grenache. Chewy texture and round coffee latte tannins exude an Amarone effect with dried figs, raisins and plum. Subdued black and white pepper integrate into the "sweet spot" and the color : black purple inkiness, may be what gives this bad boy its name. 90 Altvs 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($75) Chewy maximvs! Ripe, with pronounced, integrated tannins that grip the teeth but soon let go to a gentle, juicy, concentrated array of blue flowers and toffee. A dusting of Italian herbs is but an echo that leads to what tastes like freshly picked raspberries and blueberries. 95 FOLEY FAMILY WINES The Four Graces 2012 Pinot Noir, Doe Ridge Estate, Yamhill-Carlton District, Oregon ($75) Seamless, earthy-chocolate and subtle cedar-caramel are charming. It's a surprise that a Pinot with 14.7% alcohol is so streamlined and bal- anced. It actually glides, a sheen surface on the palate. Spiced fig and basil leaves surge up in a cherry-clove whirlpool. Finishes with a perfect acidity for a "pop" on the finish. 95 FOLEY FAMILY WINES Campo alla Sughera 2009 "Arnione," Bolgheri Superiore, Italy ($75) Iron soil and bitter- sweet chocolate with plush yet sassy tannins that strike a chord with wild cherries, vanilla and a depth of blackberry compote. Intelligent and bright with regal acidity that lines up perfectly with texture and juicy fluidity. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (40%), Merlot (20%),and Petit Verdot (20%) all from the Campo alla Sughera estate, aged 24 months in French barriques. 96 CURIOUS CORK IMPORTS Paolo e Noemia d'Amico 2011 "Alante" Cabernet Franc, Umbria, Italy ($76) Woodsy cherry orchards on chalky hallowed ground. Mature wild berries are mates with espresso beans that seem to emerge from chocolate-flavored soils. Sour cherry and lavender greet the palate on the finish. 94 CURIOUS CORK IMPORTS SPIRITS Wansas Añejo Tequila, Mexico ($42) Honeysuckle, lanolin and white roses are perfumed beauties on the olfactory. Sweet tea and sugar beans, jasmine and lime mingle with a soft cherrywood center. Aged in charred white oak bar- rels for 18 months. 95 312 SPIRITS Brockmans Gin, U.K. ($35) Blueberry comes to the fore on the nose of this newly imported U.K.-based gin, followed by spearmint and mango. The parade of deliciousness follows on the palate, with a fruity component one would not expect from this spirit. But the backbone of juniper, lavender and a palate-coating licorice, conjures up Technicolor images of botanicals. See the story on page 50 to find out more. 93 PARK STREET IMPORTS Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, USA ($20) Fresh squeezed oranges and a hint of honey-vanilla sandalwood and cinnamon stick . . . a nd that's just the aromatics. On the palate, the freshness still impacts with a sassafras twinge and a pretzel dough base. There's an athletic lean- ness to this 80-proofer and a smoked wood character on the finish. Give a shout out: 90 LUXCO Colors: CMYK Shape: SPEC Corner Radius: 0.025 Label Size: 3.75 in. x 7.125 in. Job Number: 51070 Finishing: Rolls - 1000 per unit Roll Direction: Left Off Additional: $ Protection: Matte UV Material: 70# Bright White Felt WS /PK44 Revise and Reproof Signature: DIE LINE DOES NOT PRINT Approved Ok As Is Report Date: 14-FEB-15 Time: 12:12:16 Date: Qty: 715 P/N: 1748 Desc: 2012 Nefarious F&B Set PROOF Reyka Small Batch Vodka, Iceland ($30) This arctic spring water, grain-based vodka is tradition- ally distilled and filtered through ancient lava rocks. On the nose, there's a distinct minerality that is unique for vodka—a wet stone qual- ity that melds with a vanilla must. The palate is round and smooth, flowing from back to the front of the mouth in a textural tide. The hint of brine, the touch of anise and spearmint adds to the mouthfeel and taste. 94 WILLIAM GRANT & SONS

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