The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2017

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Page 75 of 124

october 2017  /  the tasting panel  /  75 Luna Nuda Rosé, Vino d'Italia IGT ($13) This zippy, pale rosé is a blend of 85% Montepulciano/15% Merlot. With notes of white peach and lemon and a floral bouquet nose, this medium-bodied wine is very drinkable and a great option on a hot summer day. 90 Leese-Fitch 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($12) Complex aromas of beet root, sandalwood, and cassis. The mouthfeel is soothed with silky tannins and the flavor profile is a virtual spice cabinet of tarragon, clove, basil, dill, and cardamom with a cherry-oaked, marshmal- low finish. 90 3 BADGE BEVERAGE Bodegas Paniza 2012 Viñas Viejas de Paniza Garnacha, DOP Cariñena, Spain ($13) Produced from vines up to 100 years old in high-altitude, mostly slate soils. Steel-fermented, followed by six months aging in oak. The nose speaks of cherry, cranberry, and slate, but is quite bright. There's a spiced lushness on the palate, and a freshness despite the five years in bottle. Juiced cranberries are tart and slightly salty. Roses and savory herbs match with a slate finish. 93 VINAIO IMPORTS Plungerhead 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lodi ($14) Aromas of ripe plum, figs, and jellied raspberry are ushered in to this delicious red. A dry entry offers up immediate chalky tannins, which subdues any overripe qualities. The result is a balance of black fruit with savory notes of cinnamon, tobacco, and black olive. 91 3 BADGE BEVERAGE CORP. Mood Wine 2015 Sweet on You Red, Italy ($15) This Sangiovese offers pleasant aromas of ripe cherry, black raspberry, and earthy mocha. Its tart, dry entry is a good example of the variety and its Old World acidity is further proof of its origins. Tangy nectarine and sour cherry notes are food- friendly and pleasurable. 90 MOOD WINE, LLC Famiglia Castellani 2012 Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva, Italy ($19) Iconic flavors arise from this 100% Sangiovese, aged in Slavonian oak casks for 24 months. Sour cherry, high acidity, a fine earthy quality, and savory spices combine for a satisfying effect. The finish is accented with some white pepper and the wine begs for food. 89 MONSIEUR TOUTON SELECTION, LTD. VDR 2014 Very Dark Red, Hames Valley, Monterey County ($28) At the foot of the Santa Lucia Mountain range just north of San Luis Obispo County, Hames Valley has a wide diurnal temperature swing from day to night. With long, warm days it fully ripens the Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot fruit in this lushly-perfumed and dense wine. Violets can be tasted on pronounced tannins, with a core of black raspberry. Satin-textured and mouthwatering, the wine delivers notes of espresso, anise, and grilled meat. Wow! 94 SCHEID FAMILY WINES San Antonio Winery 2012 Opaque Petit Verdot, Paso Robles ($35) From Winemaker Anthony Riboli, this deep well of dark chocolate and violets leads to an intense yet sensually-elegant red. Perfumed and flavored with notes of mocha and toffee oak, grainy, round tannins melt across the mouth. The finish is creamy black plum: a beautiful example of this variety and how far Paso Robles has come. 94 Ruffino 2012 Riserva Ducale Oro, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG, Italy ($41) A blend of 85% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, grown on hilly, galestro-rich land on the Ruffino estate with a mix of clay and sand up to elevations of 1,300 feet. Aged for 36 months, and made in only the best vintages, the 2012 showcased elegance and finesse. Dark boysenberries in tilled soil with a pledge of violets open up on the nose. The palate showcases opulent, lush notes of black cherry with an herbal sidebar of eucalyptus and fennel. Spiced fig, balsamic, and dark chocolate wind around juicy plum on the finish. 95 CONSTELLATION WINE U.S. Westwood Estate Wines 2015 Legend, Annadel Gap Vineyard, Sonoma County ($44) This proprietary red blend (25% Syrah, 25% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre, 15% Zinfandel, and 10% Tannat) is sourced on the estate vineyard, situated between Mt. Hood and the Sonoma Mountains. The perfume is primarily floral: gardenia and red rose petals, with accents on red plum and an echo of black pepper. The palate is a silk road with gritty chocolate tannins. But the ruby slippers that carry you down the path burst with red plum, dark chocolate cherries, exotic jasmine, and grilled meat with soy sauce. The finish is pleasurable with a creamy cedar note. The Annadel Gap Vineyard that serves as the heart of Westwood Estate Wines has been certified Biodynamic by the Demeter Association following an extensive revitalization of the site led by consultant Philippe Coderey, winemaker Ben Cane, and proprietor Carl Stanton. 95

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