The Tasting Panel magazine

January / February 2018

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Page 61 of 124

january/february 2018  /  the tasting panel  /  61 91 Gamba Vineyards and Winery 2015 Old Vine Estate Zinfandel, Russian River Valley ($49) Bright and lush with a creamy texture and lively blackberry fruit; tangy and long from one of the best producers of this variety. 93 Hickinbotham 2014 Clarendon The Revivalist Merlot, McLaren Vale, Australia ($75) Toasty nose with lush plum and berry fruit; crisp and deep with a lovely style and long finish; made by Aussie master Charlie Seppelt and California superstar Chris Carpenter. JACKSON FAMILY WINES 92 Ilaria 2014 Malbec, Napa Valley ($40) Vibrant ruby color ; rich and dense with ripe plum and blackberry; lush and balanced with a long spicy finish; from husband- and-wife winemakers Anna and Mario Monticelli. 93 Mira Winery 2014 Hyde Vineyard Merlot, Napa Valley ($65) Deep cardinal hue with a smooth nose of plum and earth; flavorful and concentrated with blackberry and notes of chocolate, mocha, and spice; from a famous Carneros vineyard. 94 Sergio 2014 Dr. Reid Vineyard Malbec, Napa Valley ($75) A very limited, single-vineyard release from the same producers as Ilaria; lush and rich with intensity and depth; complex and toasty; balanced and long. A stunning example of this great variety. 91 Valerie's Vineyard 2016 Pinot Noir, Carneros ($40) Smooth cherry nose; juicy and bright with tangy fruit and crisp acidity; clean, fresh, balanced, and exuberant. The 14th vintage to hail from this Biodynamic, one-acre Carneros vineyard. 91 Ruffino 2014 Modus Sangiovese Blend, Toscana IGT, Italy ($25) Clean, smooth, and juicy with notes of spice, plum, and ripe berries; fresh and showing hints of violets; a seamless blend of equal parts Sangiovese, Cabernet, and Merlot. CONSTELLATION BRANDS 93 Shafer Vineyards 2014 Relentless, Napa Valley ($92) Dark ruby color with a smoky nose; dense and full-flavored with ripe blackberry fruit; spicy with a long finish. 89% Syrah and 11% Petite Sirah from a vineyard site located in the foothills of the Vaca Mountains south of the Stags Leap District. 90 Viña Maquis 2011 Viola, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($55) Deep scarlet hue; silky and edgy with tangy plum and notes of earth; from a South American winemaking family producing elegant wines indicative of the region's diverse terroir ; 85% Carménère and 15% Cabernet Franc. GLOBAL VINEYARD IMPORTERS 92 Dr. Loosen 2016 Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese, Mosel, Germany ($34) Silky with a lively tension between sugar and acid; polished with a lengthy finish; another Ernst Loosen masterpiece from a dramatically-steep vineyard. LOOSEN BROS. USA 93 Carl von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser 2016 Abtsberg Riesling Superior, Mosel, Germany ($64) Plush peach nose; lush, elegant, and dry yet ripe and deep; tangy, rich, and complex; a stunner from one of my favorite Mosel wineries. LOOSEN BROS. USA 96 Taylor Fladgate 1968 Very Old Single Harvest Port, Douro, Portugal ($300) Tawny, brickish color ; lovely, toasty rancio nose; silky and sweet with creamy, rich, and complex flavors; layered, mature, and very long; the fifth in a limited-release series. KOBRAND CORP. VALUE WINES 90 Avalon Winery 2015 Red Blend, California ($12) A blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet, Tannat, and Petite Sirah from a sustainably-minded winery. Deep ruby color ; clean nose of berries and spice; smooth with round blackberry and plum fruit; fresh, rich, and juicy with ripe style and excellent balance; an incredible value. 89 Firriato 2014 Chiaramonte Nero d'Avola, Terre Sicilane IGT, Italy ($16) Earthy and clean with juicy cassis and plum; bright and racy with minerality and spice; tangy with a lengthy finish. RIBOLI FAMILY VINEYARD 88 Bonterra Vineyards 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($16) Smooth plum nose; clean and luxurious with tangy, fresh berry fruit and racy, crisp style; well-balanced with a lasting finish from a Certified Organic winery. 88 Villa Wolf 2015 Pinot Noir, Pfalz, Germany ($15) Refreshing and polished with dry flavors; spicy and savory; a silky and balanced lighter-style Pinot. LOOSEN BROS. USA blackberry; lush and balanced with a long

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