The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2010

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Malibu wines have also been awarded praise in shows and competi- tions outside the region. The 2007 Cabernet Franc from Malibu Vineyards (, the label owned by Jim Palmer, won a Double Gold in THE TASTING PANEL’s 2009 San Francisco International Wine Competition; the Cielo 2006 Syrah won a Double Gold in its category in the 2008 competition. Beyond growers, retailers and res- taurants have also set up to highlight Malibu wines. After working his way up in the wine industry at Coppola, eventually becoming National Sales Manager, Tim Skogstrom opened the tasting Notes I’ve been tasting Malibu wines for well over a decade, and as proved by my notes on the best wines from our recent outing, this exciting area has made incredible progress. —Anthony Dias Blue Casa Dumetz 2009 Pinot Noir, California Aromatic, juicy and creamy; long; smooth, lush and ripe. 89 points Church Estate 2007 Pinot Noir, California ($37 wholesale) Silky with juicy, ripe cherry, sweet berries, fresh acidity and lovely texture; long, elegant and gorgeous. 93 Cielo 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Saddle Rock–Malibu ($75) Rich and dense, smooth and lush with ripe plum and berry fruit; long and deep, balanced. 90 Cielo 2007 Syrah, Saddle Rock–Malibu ($75) Smooth and ripe with vanilla, toasty oak, and rich blackberry; long and intense. 91 Hoyt Family Vineyards 2008 Chardonnay, California ($26) Big, ripe, and buttery with toasty oak; racy and dense with creamy texture; deep but showing a core of good acid. 89 Malibu Sanity 2008 Pinot Noir, California ($42) Bright and juicy with tangy and lively acidity; smooth and balanced, long and charming. 89 Malibu Solstice 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Private Reserve, California ($28) Smooth and spicy with ripe peppermint; nice plum and spice; fruity, long and rich. 91 Malibu Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Franc, California ($30) Silky and smooth with plum, spice and some green herbs; long and balanced. 90 Republic of Malibu 2008 Cuvée Quebrada, California ($28) Smooth and medium-weight; ripe and plummy with very sweet oak. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 10% Cab Franc, 5% Syrah. 89 Rosenthal - The Malibu Estate 2008 Chardonnay, Malibu–Newton Canyon ($25) Silky and smooth; lush and juicy with bright acidity and nice, ripe fruit; long and racy. 90 Bill Hirsch of Cielo Farms studies the color of his Malibu Syrah. Cornell Winery (www.cornellwinery. com). At the winery’s tasting room on Mulholland Highway, Skogstrom spot- lights the wines of the 50 independent growers in the Malibu/Santa Monica Mountains region and pours the wines in a neighboring restaurant called The Old Place ( Other Malibu labels to be on the look- out for include Hoyt Family Vineyards, Malibu Solstice and Sanity Wines, as well as Topanga Stillpoint Vineyard from nearby Topanga Canyon. If you look beyond the celebrity estates that dot the Malibu hillsides, you’ll be surprised to find a close- knit family, more than ready to welcome you to their community of winemakers. Rosenthal - The Malibu Estate 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Block M, Malibu–Newton Canyon ($70) Lush, rich and concentrated with plum and cassis, cherry and spice; rich texture, long and ripe. 90 Rosenthal - The Malibu Estate 2005 Meritage, Malibu–Newton Canyon ($49) Ripe, dense and juicy with blackberry, black plum, and sweet oak; rich, fruit, long and generous. 92 Semler Vineyards 2008 Sauvignon Blanc, Saddle Rock–Malibu ($22) Smooth texture and keen citrus with persistent acidity and lively flavors; long, pure and balanced. 90 Semler Vineyards 2005 Merlot, Saddle Rock–Malibu ($24) Velvety and bright with lively plum and racy acidity; great structure and classic balance with notes of soft herbs, spice, chocolate and dried cherry. 90 Semler Vineyards 2008 King of the Mountains Cuvée, Saddle Rock— Malibu ($32) Deep, dense and rich with plum, blackberry and spice; long, velvety and supple; complex and quite lovely. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah, 10% Grenache, 5% Mourvèdre. 93 Topanga Stillpoint Vineyard 2008 Malbec, California ($48 wholesale) Lovely ripe plum, good balance and some nice dusty flavors; Stellar-certified organic and Demeter-certified biodynamic. 90 august 2010 / the tasting panel / 91

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