The Tasting Panel magazine

March 2013

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Page 68 of 148

Publisher���s PHOTO: JEREMY BALL 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 of���ces, the hottest new brands on the market and an occasional revisited classic. PICKS WINES Protea 2012 White Wine, Coastal Region, South Africa ($19) This 100% Chenin Blanc, named after South Africa���s national ���ower, is packaged in a unique paisley-covered bottle, painted with heavy metal���free ink.The liquid is delightful���a splash of lemon curd and peach blossom are cheerful palate greeters. Jasmine and lanolin come into play towards the middle and to the ���nish, lifted by its pretty, natural acidity. 90 Ferrari-Carano 2009 Tr��sor, Sonoma County ($52) A most impressive vintage of this Bordeaux blend of all ���ve grapes (76% Cabernet Sauvignon) from mountain vineyards in the Alexander and Dry Creek Valleys is highlighted by its blackberry cream texture, positioned in an earth-tocedar-to-black tea core. Although it starts with a tight ���st, it continues to develop a juicier demeanor with each sip, keeping itself bright and re���ned. 93 TERLATO WINES INTERNATIONAL Meridith May visits winemakers Kris Curran and Bruno D���Alfonso in the Sta. Rita Hills. See the story on page 46. Finca Constancia 2010 Altos de la Finca, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla, Spain ($35) A rush of violets and brandied-soaked cherries meet black pepper head on in this intensely licorice-based red.The silk of the tannins ���oats just above the raring-to-go cooking spice notes of cinnamon and clove. 60% Petit Verdot, 40% Syrah. 92 The Grande Dalles 2009 Gampo, Columbia Valley ($60) This Brunello-clone Sangiovese (with 8% Cabernet Sauvignon) comes from the winery���s vineyard, Rock Flour Hill, located six miles east of The Dalles, Oregon, in the Columbia Valley AVA. Aged 19 months in new, very tight-grained French oak puncheons, the extracted red is cherry-tinged and mineral-rich with turned earth and leather notes from nose to its mellow, sour-cherry, almost brassy palate. Acidity is high���mirroring that Brunello-style Old Worldiness. 91 SAN FRANCISCO WINE EXCHANGE Worthy of a smooch. French-style double bizou. Wildly infatuated. Seriously smitten. Head over heels in love. 64 / the tasting panel / march 2013 Cadaretta 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley ($40) For those blackberry pie���loving enophiles, this deep and delicious red brings it all in. Ripe fruit, juicy salivating sweetness, fruit preserves and pastry crust. It gorgeously evolves into a cross section of earth, bitter orange peel and spearmint with a subtle dash of pepper. Blueberry, a dollop of mocha and lavender are the end game for this luscious ���nd. 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot. 95 MIDDLETON FAMILY WINES Shafer 2008 Hillside Select, Napa Valley ��� Stags Leap District ($230) This iconic Stags Leap District Cabernet is proof of the soft side of Napa Valley; its approachability and beauty are apparent. Flowering and ���owing with waves of dusted rose and cranberry, lushly mocha���d. The intermediate cast of pretty, rich fruit gilds the red velvet cake creaminess and dots it with a touch of spice.

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