The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2017

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Page 18 of 116

THE MESSAGE Brief Encounters Whether The Tasting Panel goes to the brand execs or the brands call us, there is an abundance of news to report, from the latest releases to behind-the-scenes experiences with some of the world's most influential importers, winemakers, distillers . . . well, you name it. We may not have enough pages in each issue to devote as much attention as we would like to each person whose path we cross, but please note that if it's in the publication, we deem it noteworthy. —Meridith May, Publisher & Editorial Director Cupcake Craze for Summer 18  /  the tasting panel  /  june 2017 J essica Tomei, Director of Winemaking, Central Coast, for The Wine Group, stopped by our offices to treat us to some new releases in the company's Cupcake Vineyards portfolio. We got a tank-sample preview of the new Cupcake 2016 Butterkissed Chardonnay (SRP $15.99). Newer sibling to the brand's Monterey County Chard, Butterkissed is a richer, more full-bodied (60% barrel/40% stainless-fermented) expression with a broad California appellation. The wine has notes of fresh butter, vanilla and citrus zest with a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Equally appealing was the Cupcake 2016 Rosé (SRP $12.99), in its debut vintage. This racy, mouthfilling blend of Grenache, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot and Zinfandel is geared to the Millennial passion for rosé wines. The non-vintage Cupcake Sparkling Rosé (SRP $15.99), made from equal parts Pinot Nero and Chardonnay grown in northeastern Italy, is also perfect for warm-weather quaffing. The Cupcake Moscato d'Asti is an effervescent DOCG charmer with unmistakable Muscat varietal character and loads of charisma. It comes in standard 750-ml. bottles (SRP $14.99) as well as in cute 187-ml. minis (SRP $4.99 per bottle/$14.99 per three-pack). At just 5.5% ABV, it's oh so drinkable! —David Gadd

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