The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2012

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Page 55 of 140

Planeta 2007 "Santa Cecilia" Nero d'Avola, Sicilia IGT, Italy ($44) This 100% Nero d'Avola undergoes 12 days of maceration in stainless steel tanks followed by 12 months of aging in second- and third-use Allier oak casks. Immediately, you sense its superb nature: Bittersweet chocolate-cov- ered raspberries take over the mouth—a delicious, juicy, knock-out of a wine, beefy yet rounded out and silk-textured. The more you sip, the more layers are uncovered: violets, roasted mocha, plum, out-of- the-ground earthiness and blueberry licorice. PALM BAY INTERNATIONAL SPIRITS Dos Armadillos Extra Añejo Tequila, Mexico ($750) Aged 4½ years in American oak, you would expect a spicy, woody tonality—but no. Instead, the agave is the assertive voice here, bursting forward like an Olympian at the fi nish line—zinging into place with lime and brandied pears. The palate continues on in an exquisite display of creamy stone fruit (peach melba), honeyed ice cream, basil and peppered Asian pear. 98 TESSENDIER USA/FOURCADE & HECHT Luna Malvada Plata Tequila, Mexico ($45) From the arid forests of southern Jalisco, the hypnotic nose emotes whispers of lilacs, roses and vanilla musk— aromatics so unique, it took me fi ve minutes to actually take my fi rst sip. And once I did, the sweet sensation of ripe pineapple tethered to agave and lilac was as heady as a romantically scented boudoir. The salty white-pepper ashes clean the palate with an underline of dry clay. 95 EVIL MOON SPIRITS BOSSA Cachaça, Brazil ($25) Here's an exquisite, sweet-toned cachaça that is so tropical, you can smell the air laden with white, perfumed fl owers, while banana and mango linger on the tongue. Smooth and earthy—cake batter, lanolin and key lime stretch out the satisfyingly smooth fi nish. 91 BOSSA INTERNATIONAL Ventura Orangecello Blood Orange Liqueur, USA ($20/375 ml.) A three- generation-old family recipe from Italy stays true-to-form for this Ventura, CA–made orangecello. As with its sister, the original Ventura Limoncello (see our write-up on page 110), local growers on California's Central Coast select tree-ripened fruit, and you can tell from fi rst sip. If we didn't know better, we would swear it was fresh-squeezed. 93 VENTURA LIMONCELLO COMPANY FAIR. Café Liqueur, France ($23) Slow-roasted, Fair Trade–certifi ed Arabica coffee beans extract an iced coffee sense—authentic and freshly- ground fl avor with no bitter edges. With its tiramisu pleasure principle, the texture is more delicate (i.e., thinner) than other coffee liqueurs on the market. 91 FAIR SPIRITS COMPANY november 2012 / the tasting panel / 55 Imported by Vineyard Brands, Inc. Birmingham, AL.

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