The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 78 of 162

Publisher's PHOTO: JOHN CURLEY 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. PICKS WINES Bellingham 2011 The Bernard Series Small Barrel S.M.V., Paarl, South Africa ($35) Lavender creaminess reveals the mystery behind this curtain of satin. A bright light of acidity, savory herbs like basil and oregano—and a dot of spice— nab the tongue with a deft jab. The intense blackberry and the tart violet are ever-present but not center stage. This blend of 75% Syrah, 22% Mourvèdre and 3% Viognier from maverick winemaker Bernard Podlashuk is a modern, edgy red. 92 Amapola Creek 2010 Zinfandel, Monte Rosso Vineyards, Viñas Antiguas, Sonoma Valley ($42) Chococherry-blueberry jams only so far: Enter a searing acidity and a fresh aaah. Spiced with cracked pepper and nutmeg to pique the taste buds but softens with grilled meats and fatty foods, red sauce or a hunk of cheese. This dry-farmed Zin from 118-year-old vines is from legendary winemaker Dick Arrowood. 92 PACIFIC HIGHWAY WINES & SPIRITS Meridith May and Donny Sebastiani hosted a dinner party in Sonoma. Read about it on page 98. Larner 2009 Estate Grown Grenache, Santa Ynez Valley ($40) The ink-stained juice in the glass is grapey and satin-lined. A fine acidity lends its stride to a generous delivery of blueberries and creamy chocolate raspberry; 18 months of barrel aging in 20% new French oak and another six months in the same oak after blending. 93 Worthy of a smooch. French-style double bizou. Wildly infatuated. Seriously smitten. Head over heels in love. Trapiche 2010 Terroir Series Malbec, Finca Suarez Lastra, Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina ($55) This single-vineyard red offers up fine, silky ribbons: acidity and tannins envelop the tongue and tie a knot around it. Chalky cocoa links up mid-way at the gateway of tart cherries, pomegranate and dusty lilac. 93 THE WINE GROUP Spelletich Cellars 2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($65) Inky black fruit and brambly spice are the preamble to an evolving gush of generous fruit and lush texture. Nutmeg and clove are distant nuances as is the licorice middle—but don't dig too deep in finding this wine's complexity; it's in every sip. 90 Chateau Montelena 2009 The Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Calistoga, Napa Valley ($150) Black cherries steeped in black tea are the first impression on the nose. Cherry oak and a high acidity make this legend reminiscent of its origins as the age-worthy wine it is. However, the '09 is earthy and rustic, a tart stream of consciousness that zeroes in on a modern refinement. Notes of dried fruit, rosemary and plum spice add more dimension. 91 now . . . 96 later 78  /  the tasting panel  /  september 2013 TP0913_063-103.indd 78 8/22/13 9:23 PM

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - September 2013