The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2017

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Page 74 of 124

74  /  the tasting panel  /  october 2017 WINES Castlepoint 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Martinborough, New Zealand ($16) Lively fruit, with aromas of citrus and melon and a hint of Italian herbs. The acidity surges forward, brightening the floral honeysuckle, chamomile, and salty lemon-lime notes. Mid-palate goes deeper, with a toffee-meets- stone texture. The finish expands with tarragon-seasoned pineapple. 93 WINE DOGS IMPORTS Valley of the Moon 2015 Pinot Blanc/Viognier, Sonoma County ($19) Stainless steel fermented, this blend (85% Pinot Blanc and 15% Viognier) under- stands its natural abilities: the vibrant tropical notes of the Pinot Blanc and the creamy, floral perfume of the Viognier. Hints of key lime, lemon blossoms, and chamomile dot the palate, with secondary flavors of salted Delicious apple, ginger, and honeydew. Quite layered and special. 91 Murrieta's Well 2015 The Whip Estate White Wine Blend, Livermore Valley ($24) Only 165 barrels are made to produce one of our fave white wine blends—this vintage proves itself exotic, crisp, and floral with notes of pineapple, Asian pear, and orange blossom. Mid-palate savory herbs flow in: basil and tar- ragon, with toasty oak, nutmeg, and creamy vanilla. The mineral-driven textural mouthfeel is a bright finish. The 30% Sauvignon Blanc offers a wonderful acidity with 30% Semillon and 30% Chardonnay for texture. Viognier (7%) and Muscat Canelli (3%) add aromatics. The fruit is sourced from the winery's estate vineyards. 93 Wente Vineyards 2016 Eric's Chardonnay, Livermore Valley ($30) Small-lot, estate-grown fruit creates pizzazz in the glass. An energetic, creamy white that offers fragrances of magnolia blossom, lilac, McIntosh apple, and vanilla bean. Mirroring the aroma, the taste profile is extroverted and gregarious with a range of food. Love the weightiness with a finish of white tea and flower petal tannins. Aged sur lie for four months in stainless steel tanks. 93 WENTE FAMILY ESTATES 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 PICKS

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