The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2012

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Page 54 of 140

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. PICKS WINES Two Shepherds 2011 Grenache Blanc, Saarloos Vineyards, Santa Ynez Valley ($24) A mastered tightrope of acidity, balancing on subtle yet sublime notes of lemon custard tart (you can taste the pastry shell). The mid- palate creates a juicy yet puckering McIntosh apple effect but the clean, searing finish marks this white as one of the most stunningly modern of its kind. 93 Exitus 2010 Red, California ($25) The name means "departure," a nod to the idea that this blend—60% Central Coast Syrah, 20% Mendocino Petite Sirah and 20% Lake County Merlot—is unlike its competition. Dynamic and sumptu- ously blessed with syrup-factor blue fruit, a touch of mint and firm, finely grained tannins. We experience red velvet cake with a chili pepper bite that lasts a fraction of a second. From there, it shows its stand-out quality for a memorable finish. A great turkey match for the holidays. 91 CECCHETTI WINE CO. Worthy of a smooch. French-style double bizou. Wildly infatuated. Seriously smitten. Head over heels in love. 54 / the tasting panel / november 2012 Reata 2010 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast ($30) Lilacs and lace grace this aromatic red. New book leather and a jolt of creaminess play with dusty, spiced Italian herbs. She'll rope you in and tie you up with toasty oak and cherry pie. 93 Fuse Wine 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($28) Sweet berries just burst out of the glass—the 15% Syrah softens the Cab's tannic nature. White pepper hails down mid-palate, sprinkling the ripe bounty of blue fruit. Well-crafted and balanced (13.8% alc). 92 SIGNORELLO VINEYARDS Steele Wines 2009 Stymie Syrah, Lake County ($36) This racehorse has heart. Pumping red velvet tannins and a gush of strawberry plum plumpness fills the mouth. Cinnamon and oak caress and blackberry licorice coats the palate—this one's a shoe-in. Only 400 cases produced. 90 Roth 2010 Heritage Red Wine, Sonoma County ($36) A bold statement of a wine, licorice and grilled meaty notes spread across the palate, but the surprise of orange zest and raspberries makes it evolve from brood to good mood. The middle is rounded out as sweet fruit and rose petals radiate aromatically. 93 WILSON DANIELS CREDIT: LEIGH CASTELLI PHOTO: ANDY KATZ

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