The Tasting Panel magazine

JUNE 2011

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Page 76 of 132

Publisher’s WINES Meridith May 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. Wild Horse 2010 Viognier, Central Coast ($16) The honeyed white flowers are enticing enough, but this light hearted summer sipper is sweet on the front, with peaches and soft citrus following. 89 CONSTELLATION WINES U.S. Simi Winery 2009 Chardonnay, Reserve, Russian River Valley ($26) Clarity of fruit and a stoney pureness match with melon drizzled with butterscotch, green apple on a floral background. 94 CONSTELLATION WINES U.S. Worthy of a smooch. French-style double bizou. Wildly infatuated. Seriously smitten. Head over heels in love. 76 / the tasting panel / june 201 1 Toasted Head 2008 Untamed Red, California ($13) A blend of Syrah, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. Untamed indeed, with muscle backing up spiced mulberry and a dense lavender nose and palate. Creamy and brambly. CONSTELLATION WINES U.S. Leirana 2009 Albariño, Rías Baixas, Spain ($30) Citrus and honey-blossom nose. A three-part story: Tightrope acidity with a squirt of freshly squeezed lemon combine with a saltiness that ends with a creaminess that smacks of toasty vanilla. 92 PENINSULA IMPORT PICKS Estancia 2007 Pinot Noir, Reserve, Santa Lucia Highlands ($25) Silky and sexy, with nutmeg and baking spices adding to the nose and palate therapy. Gorgeous. 93 CONSTELLATION WINES U.S. Presqu’ile 2009 Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley ($35) A clean and pure entry of fresh melon lead a path to baked apple and a wash of butterscotch. What a tremen- dously refined texture: glistening acidity and a lithesome body. 95 SPIRITS Wódka Vodka, Poland ($9) Soft, mellow and sweet entry. Unassuming and shy at first; deliciously interlaced with mocha, licorice and white pepper. 90 PANACHE IMPORTS Rouge Vodka, USA ($24) Spring flowers indicate a rather sensuous nose, and although you’re looking at a white spirit through rose-col- ored glass, the uplifting jasmine and spiced tea proves a positive point: This is an exotic charmer. 90

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