The Tasting Panel magazine

September 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 offices, the hottest new brands on the market and an occasional revisited classic. WINES Mettler Family Vineyards 2009 Epicenter Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi ($20) Deliriously rich-toned; the inten- sity heightens to a crescendo of black berry and summer plums and entertains with an espresso path that leads to its glamor- ously deluxe finish. 92 CREATIVE WINES INTERNATIONAL Edward Sellers Vineyards & Wines 2008 Mayhem, Paso Robles ($20) Spicy enough to cause mayhem on the palate but also on the mind as you try to guess the varietal make-up before it's revealed. Creamy licorice turns to a graceful coffee note, while chewy texture strengthens the formidable complex finish of cinnamon and white pepper. 89 Niner Wine Estates 2009 Malbec, Bootjack Ranch, Paso Robles ($28) Sunny and juicy with chocolate undertones that carry a blackberry "sauce" into a toasted oak middle; finishes dry and dusty, but the sweet floral tones continue in the mouth. 89 Las Moras 2007 Finca Pedernal Malbec, San Juan – Cuyo, Argentina ($45) Taut and dry, its stony lead speaks to the location, 4,500 feet above sea level. Eucalyptus and dry-toned red fruit match firm tannins for this big boy. Powerful, yet tamed with 18 months of aging in French oak. 90 ACME WINE MOVERS/THE WINE GROUP PICKS Worthy of a smooch. French-style double bizou. Wildly infatuated. Seriously smitten. Head over heels in love. 64 / the tasting panel / september 2012 Salvestrin 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Salvestrin Estate, St. Helena, Napa Valley ($55) A cinnamon-tipped, black cherry coated wonder: almost sweet with ripeness. A dark chocolate-maple-saddle sensuality is stroked by blackberry and vanilla. The tannins soften with each sip. 91 Grgich Hills 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($60) Licorice sets the tone and makes for a dry entry, headed up by roasted coffee beans and a meaty intensity. A power-packed real estate mogul: Estate vineyards in Yountville, Rutherford and Calistoga deliver the goods in this full-bodied expression of Napa Valley. 91 Cline Cellars 2011 Cashmere, California ($21) Lush but oh-so-lively, this sleek contender (a GSM blend) speaks a spiced cherry tongue that tickles the upper palate. Pretty and perfectly food-friendly. 91 PHOTO: LEIGH CASTELLI

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