The Tasting Panel magazine

Nov 09

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Page 56 of 92

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 offi ces, the hottest new brands on the market and an occasional revisited classic. wines 89 Shannon Ridge 2008 Sauvignon Blanc, Ranch Collection, Lake County ($16) Honeysuckle petals harmonize with orange blossom and apricots; subtle hints of hazelnut cream melt and meld with lemon curd. Complex and fun! 88 Firestone Vineyard 2008 Discoveries Chardon- nay, California ($10) A new tier from Firestone that's priced to move. Lemon-honey and stoni- ness don't compete for the caramel oak notes, but play on the merging of the bright fruit and creamy texture. FOLEY FAMILY WINES 90 Thomas Henry 2006 Merlot, Napa Valley ($11) What a deal! Overfl owing with dark berries and a mocha-rich density, this is value; mar- velous food wine with structure and acidity to boot. MEADOWCROFT FAMILY OF WINES 90 Meadowcroft 2007 Zinfandel, Napa Valley ($21) A luxuriously textured blue- berry cake and vanilla cream style; no bramble, no edges; a slight hint of cedar and white pepper. MEADOWCROFT FAMILY OF WINES 91 William Hill Estate 2007 Chardonnay, Napa Valley ($22) I have "palate memory" of the nuances of former vintages of this full-bodied white, and the '07 re- mains faithful: it is rich and heady— vanilla cream—with peaches, pears and honeyed fl oral notes. E. & J. GALLO 94 Willenborg 2006 Pi- not Noir, Sta. Rita Hills ($50) Earthy tones set the stage for bright yet understat- ed notes of ripe rhubarb and cherry; creamy cocoa and an interesting surprise: Mango, coffee beans and ginger linger.. BRAD GEORGE (805-588-1853) Picks 92 Square One Botanical, USA ($40) This 100% organic, 90-proof rye spirit was created with mixology in mind: The scent of rose petals and the touch of summer pear are notions of the bevy of bal- anced fl avors in a creatively concoct- ed blend of herbs and citrus. Bravo. SQUARE ONE ORGANIC SPIRITS 91 Absinthe Ordinaire, France ($26) The anise beckons, all sugared and inviting, and then quickly gets you with a burst of sage and green tea on the tongue until it mellows out to a most easygo- ing fi nish. CRILLON IMPORTERS Publisher's spirits 56 / the tasting panel / november 2009 C M Y CM MY CY CMY K

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