The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2018

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Page 44 of 132

44  /  the tasting panel  /  august 2018 AUGUST La Nerthe 2017 Les Cassagnes Rosé, Côtes du Rhône ($15) The average person might not know a Côtes du Rhône rosé will likely consist of some sort of Rhône GSM blend, but fortunately the varietal breakdown of La Nerthe's Les Cassagnes is listed on the back: an organic blend of 50% Grenache Noir, 30% Mourvèdre, and 20% Cinsault. Interestingly, despite being half Grenache, the red fruits here balance to the white side: White raspberry, white cherry, and watermelon rind rest below floral and even vegetal top notes like rose water and celery juice. KOBRAND WINE & SPIRITS Simi 2017 Dry Rosé, Sonoma County ($13) Made employing both the press and saignée methods, this rosé is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 6% Malbec, 5% Syrah, 2% Zinfandel, and 2% Graciano. Sweet raspberry, strawberry, and other ripe red fruits dominate in a substantial, almost-medium-plus body. Thankfully, a finish of dry lemon rind counters the ripe fruit. Alta Vista 2017 Malbec Rosé, Argentina ($13) Green-tinged strawberry, white raspberry, and pithy citrus burst forth in this handpicked Malbec, made with fruit grown roughly 3,200 feet above sea level. KOBRAND WINE & SPIRITS Draxton 2017 Pinot Meunier Rosé, Napa Valley ($18) Watermelon rind, blood orange, and a slight sweet-and- nutty Jordan almond character fold themselves into this medium-body wine. You don't find too many Pinot Meunier domestic rosés, so this one is certainly worth a try. Ferrari-Carano 2017 Dry Sangiovese Rosé, Sonoma County ($14) This is a rare domestic Sangiovese-based rosé made purposefully to be just that— rosé. Just-ripe strawberry and a mélange of other racy red berries play against a bit of fresh basil and tomato leaf. The wine is made via the press method with certified-sustainable grapes. As summer winds down and temperatures continue to climb at our Southern California offices, we're looking forward to fall, yet are still in need of beverages falling decidedly on the cooler side. Rosé is the perfect solution, as it can be fresh and light or richer and more sub- stantial in body. Fortunately, it typically comes chilled on either side of the spectrum. Here are some rosés to guzzle down before the dog days of summer meet their end. In Down the Aisle, the editors at The Tasting Panel have set out to rate retail beverages based on a combina- tion of elements that can increase or reduce off-premise potential, including packaging, branding/credibility, value, user-friendliness, and, of course, taste! In retail establishments, "talkies" are the little cards affixed to shelves that educate the con- sumer and sometimes even include ratings. They're an invaluable tool when there isn't a knowledgeable employee available and/or when the cus- tomer feels too shy or intimidated to ask for help. For this reason, we're nixing the tra- ditional rating system and simply employing the "talkie" system to assess retail wines, spirits, and beers across all categories.

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