The Tasting Panel magazine

January/February 2015

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90  /  the tasting panel  /  january/february 2015 WINES Ron Rubin 2013 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley ($20) Startling lemon pie freshness with a creamy, buoyant texture. Luscious toasty oak and but- terscotched apples and pineapple upside-down cake. Vibrant acidity—wonderful food wine. Stelvin twist-off cap. 90 Plungerhead 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lodi ($12) Violets grow wild on the nose and palate—and are augmented by chocolate-coated blueberry. But go back a step: Plunge into the rich, soft, ripeness and take in the lingering fragrance. OK—ready to go back to taste profile: Raspberry and toasty cinnamon chocolate swath the subtle tannins. Amazing value and over-delivery of goods. 90 THE OTHER GUYS Hey Mambo 2012 Sultry Red, California ($12) Juicy plum and medium tannins sidestep with panache, creating this deep crimson wine's outgoing personality. A melding of cinnamon crois- sant, nutmeg and blueberry swerves its way to a rhythmic beat across the pal- ate. New leather and Swiss chocolate also make for showy dance partners and a fine performance at the peppery, lingering finish. The troupe consists of 58% Merlot, 14% Petite Sirah, 10% Zinfandel, 9% Syrah, 7% Cab Sauvignon, 1% Tannat and 1% Petit Verdot—from Clarksburg, Paso Robles and Lodi. 90 THE OTHER GUYS Sauvion 2013 Chinon, Loire Valley ($13) Taste its sleek, purple heart embedded on spiced leather—this 100% Cabernet Franc is light-bodied and elegant. Cocoa is muted by blueberry and quince, and engaged with lean, high acidity. 91 DEUTSCH FAMILY WINE & SPIRITS Scotto Family Cellars 2012 Malbec, Lodi ($15) Five generations of Scottos have been making wine, dating back to their Southern Italian roots. Malbec from 20-year-old vineyards of Lodi as well as from the Clements Hills AVA in the Sierra Foothills produce that dive-in quality that I love so much about big, lush reds. The wine goes deep: from impressive soil-to-sun splattered dark choco- late plums and black fruit to seductively textured tannins. What an over-deliverable deal. 90 Angove 2013 Dr. Angove "Recipe" Red Blend, South Australia ($15) From a recipe passed down genera- tions, this blend of 50% Shiraz, 30% Grenache and 20% Petite Verdot is all at once spicy, juicy and rich. Meaty oxtail on the palate melds with dark cherry notes. Earthy sweet baking spices and rich, ripened black-fruited tobacco get all sinewy and sensuous to the finish. 92 TRINCHERO FAMILY ESTATES PICKS 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. Worthy of a smooch. French-style double bizou. Wildly infatuated. Seriously smitten. Head over heels in love. Publisher's Violets grow

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