The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2015

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Page 62 of 140

62  /  the tasting panel  /  october 2015 WHAT WE'RE DRINKING W ith blinders on, a horse loses peripheral vision. Blinders keep the equine athlete focused during a race, to see straight ahead and avoid distractions. Blind tasting is not dissimilar. We focus on the nose, the palate and pass our judgement without prejudice. But it's not always easy to taste this way, especially when wine buyers meet with sales reps or winemakers on a regular basis. We'd like to think of ourselves as impartial, but when we taste and have the foreknowledge of price, appellation or other details, it's a challenge to master a reality check on our resulting opinions. My case in point is Dark Horse, a $10 SRP label that, not surprisingly, is clearing hurdles to get space on shelves and on wine lists because of its great value and wow-inspiring flavor profiles. The name itself refers to a little-known competitor who emerges to distinction. Winemaker Beth Liston creates these blends from grapes sourced in Lodi and the California Delta. She has the talent to utilize age-old techniques in the cellar but also the resources to extend the wines' trailblazing value-to-over-delivery style. DARK HORSE WINES WIN OUR HEARTS BY MORE THAN A NOSE by Meridith May Dark Horse 2013 Merlot jockeys for top position in our book. Runaway Success

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