The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2012

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Publisher's 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 Alysian 2008 Pinot Noir, Rochioli River Block, Russian River Valley ($65) A nose of rich earth striped with plums, violets and black tea. Bright plum persists against a coffee mocha curtain. White pepper laces semi-sweet dark chocolate. Bouyant and alive with summer cher- ries and plumshine, with a spicy fi nish. 95 Meridith May visits with Sondra Bernstein of the girl and the fi g, a Sonoma restaurant that solely features Rhône varietals on its wine list. Sondra catered an all-rosé lunch for the attendees at Hospice du Rhône event in Paso Robles, CA. Nasiakos 2011 Moschofi lero, Mantania, Greece ($14) Sweet white fl owers are tipped with lemon meringue. Minerality threads through peaches in a most refresh- ing, dry, fl owery sip. 90 STELLAR IMPORTING COMPANY Worthy of a smooch. French-style double bizou. Wildly infatuated. Seriously smitten. Head over heels in love. 64 / the tasting panel / june 2012 Zuccardi 2010 [Serie A] Chardonnay-Viognier, Mendoza, Argentina ($15) The apple and melon notes are a nod to the Chardonnay but the body and unctuous quality, amid a sea of white blossoms, speaks Viognier. Honey, pineapple and chamomile follow. What a summer sipper. 90 WINESELLERS LTD Vine Cliff 2010 Chardonnay, Los Carneros ($39) A love story of caramel and lemon oil, a rendezvous of crisp and creamy. 91 Shafer Vineyards 2009 Merlot, Napa Valley ($48) Meaty, chewy and truffl e-earthy with a gritty power that expresses black tea and espresso. Sounds big, huh? It's a battle of chalky will and restraint; milk chocolate and lavendar are the referees. 92 PICKS Raymond 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Reserve Selection, Napa Valley ($18) Gardenia and grapefruit spice from nose to palate; white tea adds depth to a weighty, up front texture. Citrus tones clear the air and form a more linear edge mid-palate but the fl oral infl uence lingers with Asian pear. Exotic and pretty. 92 BOISSET USA L'Objet Noir 2008 Pinot Noir, Bacigalupi Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($42) Chocolate up front and a rhubarb back are part of a velvety crew. Raspberries and cherries are laced with and mushrooms. A nice acidity follows. Mushrooms and acid— what a concept! 90 Smith-Madrone 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley ($45) A big man on campus: broad shouldered (smoky), athletic (structure), rich (eucalyptus and earth) and pleasantly sweet and magnanimous (black fruit and lush plums). 95 PHOTO: MIKE MAGDA

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