The Tasting Panel magazine

January / February 2018

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64  /  the tasting panel  /  january/february 2018 WINES Hanna Winery 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County ($38) Lush and lively with currant and cherry overlays in deep mocha territory. This is truly an ode to Alexander Valley's ability to showcase round tannins (although they are also cocoa-dusted with this wine). Plum and blackberry brood while coffee notes brew. Fruit is grown on Red Ranch's hillside vineyards for this blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Malbec, and 5% Merlot. 93 TERLATO WINE GROUP Silverado Vineyards 2014 Estate-Grown Mt. George Merlot, Coombsville, Napa Valley ($40) Broad, easygoing tan- nins and a nose of mocha and plum lead into a well-structured and ripe Merlot. Expansive notes of sage and orange bitters are beautifully balanced with coffee bean–kissed purple fruit and a weaving of graph- ite. As a note, Mt. George Vineyard is located on the eastern edge of Coombsville and was the site of one of the first grape plantings in Napa Valley in the 19th century. The soils are deep and gravelly from volcanic rock and ash. 94 The Four Graces 2016 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon ($20) Aged in 100% stain- less steel, the aromatics are defining: Pineapple and white flowers are charming. On the palate, a rich pear nectar sidles with a lean, crisp mineral tone. The duality of texture and mouthfeel is sensational. The acidity is anxious, marking a line of delineation for grapefruit and wild flowers. 92 FOLEY FAMILY WINES Brassfield Estate Winery 2015 High Serenity Ranch Pinot Gris, High Valley AVA, Lake County ($22) This wine's lean, edgy texture is an altered state from the rich aromas of apple pie and pear tart. As it opens up, the "clean slate" on the palate anchors flavors of anise and lemon blossom. 92 Sobon Estate 2015 Rocky Top Zinfandel, Amador County ($18) Ridge-top cobbly loam grown on a vineyard site that predates Prohibition is sustainably dry-farmed. A nose of sweet cherry, caramel oak, and cinnamon toast gives way to a largesse on the palate. Orange peel, plum, lilac, anise, and forest bramble meld for a complex, sophisticated, and deli- cious red. A hint of white pepper dries the tongue on the finish. 93 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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