The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2013

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SAN FRAN INSIDER The American Evolution story and photos by Deborah Parker Wong C Elise Losfelt became a winemaker and spokesperson for Moët in 2012. Yao Family Wines' Tom Hinde discovered that tea distributors in China are well suited to selling wine. hanges, albeit subtle, are signaling the released 350 cases of '09 Cabernet Sauvignonwine industry's growing awareness of dominate Bordeaux-styles blends, including the artful wine consumer. As treasure- an '09 Family Reserve with 40 percent of the hunting enthusiasts learn to appreciate an allocation going to tea distributors in China. array of wine styles and to buy with confiHinde crafted "regionally appropriate" dence, their choices are driven by quality and wines from fruit sourced in sites in eastern value. Only time will tell whether the current Napa Valley, and the '09 Yao Cabernet offers popularity of sweeter red wines will lead to a aromatic, lifted red and black fruit, star renewed interest in the world's undervalued anise and varietal aromas with well-knit oak fortified wines or possibly a renaissance for lending weight to dark pomegranate and German wine styles. What's fairly certain: graphite lavors. The Yao Reserve has an Consumer taste is guaranteed to be fickle and ampliied structure, savory mocha fruit with value will continue to be in vogue. toasted black tea notes and silky tannins. "We're witnessing the evolution of the American palate," said Moët & Chandon winemaker Elise Losfelt during a tasting that included the Grand Vintage Collection current '04 release accompanied by a re-release of '93 and rare '83 and '73 library wines at Wayfare Tavern. As the result of a global market study that validated the change, Moët has decreased the dosage from 13 to nine grams of residual sugar in the Moët Impérial destined for the U.S. market. The move to a drier style was made Kimpton's Emily Wines, MS, Linda Noel Kawabata, U.S. within the last year and the current Brand Manager for Akita Saké, and San Francisco Wine Impérial release is now consistent School's David Glancy, MS. with the house style. Known for its large library of vintage Saké and food pairing reached new heights wines that allows the Moët winemakers during a Winter Sommelier Saké Challenge to look forward, Losfelt describes the '04 at Fifth Floor restaurant that had Kimpton's Moët as "ethereal with precise aromas." The Emily Wines, MS, and San Francisco Wine product of a large yield, the wine showed School's David Glancy, MS, matching a powdery, loral nose with rich, mineral sakés from Yamaguchi, Nigata and Akita undertones, lemon-infused lavors and a slick Prefectures with ive umami-driven dishes. inish. Being from a similar vintage, the '93 Glancy paired a Mersault-like Manabito re-release was chosen to illustrate potential Kimoto Junmai Ginjo with trufle lan and in the '04 with candied citrus and delicate, yellow foot mushrooms and a pungent earthy mushroom notes concluding with a Osagekko Junmai Nama Genshu with conit wave of brightness. lamb belly and spiced eggplant purée. Wines Celebrity-owned brands continue to cause scored by pairing Kikisui Hiyaoroshi Junmai a stir with consumers eager for a taste of the Ginjo with lobster salad on brioche and cache associated with their favorite music, Chokaisan Junmai Ginjo Nigori with shrimp ilm or sports star-turned-vintner. While ceviche, chilis, avocado and radish. The retired basketball player Yao Ming's family extent of their mad skills became even more name is on the label, the man behind his Napa apparent when it was revealed that both Valley brand Yao Family Wines is Director sommeliers had selected the pairings without tasting the inished dishes. of Winemaking Tom Hinde. Yao Family 30 / the tasting panel / may 2013

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