The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2015

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102  /  the tasting panel  /  december 2015 Historic Absinthes Reborn 97 Beringer Vineyards 2012 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($165) Ripe and concentrated with velvety plum, blackberry and sweet vanilla oak; intense, seamless and elegant with power, structure and finesse; exceptional. TREASURY WINE ESTATES BLUE REVIEWS BLUE REVIEWS 93 C.F. Berger Absinthe Supérieure, France ($100) Clear green color ; smooth mint nose; mellow spice and anise; long and silky, deep; with water : smooth anise, mint and spice; balanced, fresh and long. 65% ABV. 92 Jade 1901 Absinthe Supérieure, France ($100) Yellow/green color ; spice, earth and light anise nose; smooth, silky and richly spicy with lots of heat; with water : cloudier ; smooth, spicy and balanced; long and lush. 68% ABV. 91 Nouvelle-Orleans Absinthe Supérieure, France ($100) Light green color ; soft, mint nose; silky, smooth, hot and spicy; with water : soft anise nose, floral and soft with modest spice; long and mellow. 68% ABV. 95 Esprit Edouard Absinthe Supérieure, France ($100) Bright, clear yellow color ; soft vanilla, spice nose; silky, rich and rounded flavors of anise, spice, mint and licorice; with water : smooth, balanced lush and deep with lovely flavors and length. 72% ABV. THE JADE LIQUEURS PORTFOLIO OF ABSINTHES is painstakingly recreated in France from historic pre-ban absinthes in the collection of distiller and historian T. A. Breaux, who created the Lucid brand, the first genuine absinthe to gain approval for legal distribution in the U.S. since 1912. Breaux is largely responsible for the resurrection of this fascinating and misunderstood category. I tasted these powerful and impressive spirits with Ted himself, both neat and with water. A remarkable collection of products and an engaging study in the recreation of historic spirits. JADE LIQUEURS/MARKETED BY HOOD RIVER DISTILLERS IMPORTS 90 Chamonix 2014 Reserve Chardonnay, Franschhoek, South Africa ($58) Rich and round with polished style and ripe fruit; tangy acidity and dense flavors with toasty oak notes; stylish and long. VINEYARD BRANDS 90 Concha y Toro 2012 Terrunyo Entre Cordilleras Carmenère, Peumo Vineyard, Cachapoal Valley, Chile ($40) Dark, silky and smooth with lush blackberry and cassis; juicy, rich and dense; long and elegant. EXCELSIOR WINES 90 Tenuta Sant' Antonio 2012 Selezione Antonio Castagnedi, Amarone della Valpolicella, Italy ($45) Dense and sweet with concentrated flavors of black cherry and cassis; smooth, intense and long. 70% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, 5% Croatina, 5% Oseleta. DALLA TERRA 90 Altamana 2014 Single Vineyard Malbec, Constanza Vineyard, Maule, Chile ($46) A promising contender from Argentina; dusky and spicy with notes of coffee, chocolate and blackberry; rich, complex and long. KOBRAND 92 Georges Vigouroux 2011 Château de Mercuès Cuvée Malbec 6666, Cahors, France ($49) A show-stopping Cahors from vines planted at 6,666 vines per hectare; dark, ripe blackberry and hints of chocolate; rich, complex and deep. SPEC'S (TX)/IDEAL WINE (MA) 95 Grgich Hills Estate 2011 Yountville Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($185) From some of the oldest Cabernet vines in Napa Valley, planted in 1959; elegant sweet plum, cassis and lovely notes of vanilla and mocha; refined and exquisite.

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