The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2015

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Page 105 of 136

december 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  105 Vina Robles 2012 Estate Petite Sirah, Paso Robles ($29) Aged for 20 months in French oak, creamy, sweet chocolate takes on blueberry scents and flavor. Its finely grained tannins speak of the region; its dry, lavender chalkiness and cherry magic speak of the variety. The sun shines through to the cocoa cranberry finish. 92 Lucas & Lewellen 2014 Pinot Noir, Goodchild High 9 Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley ($35) Rich coffee and tobacco spice are enveloped in rich choco- late and white pepper. The grapes are grown within a nine-acre block on Goodchild's steep hills on the Foxen Road Wine Trail, aged sur lie for 11 months in French oak, resulting in a sumptuous strawberry goodness in fig spice and black tea. 93 Ca'Momi 2013 Reserve Merlot, Carneros, Napa Valley ($44) This cool-climate Merlot is spicy and bright with ripe plum, blackberry and seasoned Worcestershire. Black tea tannins are tangled with dark chocolate and stay through the finish: lengthy, pleasant and delicious. 91 Foley Johnson 2012 Meritage Red Blend, Rutherford, Napa Valley ($45) The lovely scents of strawberry-rhubarb intimate that this is a feminine wine. Chewy raspberry-chocolate is dusty and an assertive beginning for this friendship. The grip is apparent, but gentle. Tannins are round and pleasing. 94 FOLEY FAMILY WINES SPIRITS Vodka Mariette, France ($30) Sweet floral tones perfume the air, a light arc of melon and candied lemon follows. On the palate, the lovely petals of lavender and night jasmine seem to melt into a round, billowy texture. Five-times-distilled, this white spirit housed in a statuesque, black opaque bottle has a feminine soul. 92 VODKA MARIETTE, LTD. Lighthouse Gin, New Zealand ($50) Double- distilled in a custom-made 200-liter copper pot still on the north Island of New Zealand, botanicals from indigenous navel oranges and Yen Ben lemons induce a well-crafted, smooth spirit with spunk and layers of flavors. The nose sings lavender, chamo- mile and green tea while blue flowers such as lilac and lavender chime in with a beat of lanolin and sweet orange. This is a marvelous gin that dissolves to a citrus-floral reverie on the finish. 95 FOLEY FAMILY WINES IMPORTED BY NEGOCIANTS USA INC, NAPA CA

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