The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2010

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Page 47 of 96

Publisher’s Wine 90 Meridith May with Lancaster Estate winemaker Jesse Katz. 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 offices, the hottest new brands on the market and an occasional revisited classic. Willamette Valley ($20) The winery’s debut of its Dijon Clone Chardonnay is its first to carry the Oregon Certified Sustainable Wine seal. There’s a bright light that shines from within this creamy, acid-forward white. Understated, elegant notes from hazelnut to crème brûlée make for some charmed highlights. Mineral and salty zing end with a tropical-peachy combo. 91 Sonoma Cuvée, Sonoma County ($20) Milk chocolate and a deep plum are inviting on the nose. The lightness-of- being factor takes a high acid, cherry-toned red and tempers 93 90 Simple Math Cellars 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($47) No hard angles here: The surface is smooth; the pepper bisects a deep core of coffee, black beans and the blackest of berries. I like this wine—it’s solution is easy to figure out and the sum is drinkability. won’t find a more pungent aroma than this: not so much rich and fat as lean and spicy—just fantasize biting into an agave plant. Creamy- textured, with sage, mint, clove and pepper. On the fruit side, an abundance of apricot and mango. Butterscotch dissects it all. 94 ARTÁ HOLDINGS july 2010 / the tasting panel / 47 with cinnamon and spice. Soft, but ripe and alert. Rutz Cellars 2008 Pinot Noir, Mercer Estates 2008 Riesling, Yakima Valley ($14) Varietal typicity reigns, from slight beeswax to honeyed melon and apricot. An acid and fruit high. Willamette Valley Vineyards 2008 Chardonnay, Dijon Clone, PICKS Valley ($70) The fruit is defined and ripe, leading to a pleasant sweetness on the front of the tongue. Creamy vanilla is pretty, but the wine is impressively bold. 93 TGIC IMPORTERS INC. Spirits 92 Guarachi Family Wines 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Smirnoff Dark Roasted Espresso Vodka, USA ($17) Deep morning mocha roast on the nose leads to an enticement of caramel that does not disappear but instead is enhanced by spreading over the palate like a melted butter candy. The espresso notes are true and clean. DIAGEO NORTH AMERICA 94 Abyss Absinthe, France ($60) From a 200-year old recipe, Abyss is the world’s second- oldest absinthe, made in France. Ripe peaches and apricot lend a sweetness to the anise-threaded nose. On the palate a richness spreads luxuriously and lazily across the tongue, leaving an impressive finish of rye bread, black licorice and black tea. Gorgeous. ALL SPIRITS INC. Artá Silver Tequila, Mexico ($40) You PHOTO: ANDY KATZ

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