The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2016

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Page 62 of 124

62  /  the tasting panel  /  december 2016 WINES Barbed Wire 2014 Red Wine Blend, Lot No. 7, North Coast ($13) More than 20 years of winemaking experience explains the startling over-deliverance of value on this delicious wine, made up of 73% Cabernet and 27% Merlot grapes sourced from Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake County and Napa. An expressive nose of espresso and cedar lead to vanilla wafers and blueberry- lavender. Spicy graphite and black tea tannins play the serious role while its juicy nature keeps the quaffing so pleasurable. 92 TRINCHERO FAMILY ESTATES Gehricke 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Knights Valley, Sonoma County ($35) Blackberry syrup liqueur is prominent on the aromatics, gearing you up for an intense mountain red. But once it hits the palate, the wine maintains structure, leaning towards an earthy, raspberry-licorice latte middle. Concentrated notes of cedar, bittersweet dark chocolate add to the dusty tannins. The wine continues to open up and will prove age worthy. Aged 18 months in French oak, blended in with 6% Petit Verdot, 5% Petite Sirah and 4% Malbec. 93 3 BADGE BEVERAGE2014 Tenuta Bichi Borghesi 2009 Bonico, Toscana IGT, Italy ($36) From a 400-year-old family-owned and -operated estate, this Super Tuscan is a blend of 60% Sangiovese and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in a combination of French oak and cement vats for 12–20 months (depending on vintage). Raspberries and black olive play off of a hint of cheese on the nose. The flavors of baking spice (clove and cinnamon) and black cherry call to the wine's inner power and delicate nature. 90 THE ORGANIC CELLAR LLC Ciù Ciù 2015 Merlettaie Pecorino, Offida DOCG, Italy ($19) Custard, caramel and a nutty creaminess enhance this light-bodied, delicate white. Salinity and lime meringue top flavors of apple pie filling. A grassy nature and gorgeous acidity keeps it lively while a clay undertone keeps the summer pear notes from being oversweet. Amazing example of this indigenous grape of Italy's Le Marche region. 93 VILLA ITALIA PICKS In each issue, The Tasting Panel's Publisher and Editorial Director 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. Publisher's Worthy of a smooch. French-style double bizou. Wildly infatuated. Seriously smitten. Head over heels in love. PHOTO: DAVID GADD

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