The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2012

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Page 54 of 152

Publisher���s PHOTO: ERICA BARTEL 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 of���ces, the hottest new brands on the market and an occasional revisited classic. PICKS WINES Sachet 2009 Pinot Noir, Monterey ($20) Curvaceous and tempered even further with cocoacovered-blueberries, acidity offers a dainty kiss of oak. 90 THE PRICE BOOK Gary Farrell 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley ($25) Older vines contributed to a lean, ���oral and bright white. Use of 100% French oak is behind the wisp of vanilla and a unique apple tartness is mellowed by fresh hay. The midpalate peach is ethereal and dissipates to a crisp, citrus ���nish. 92 the berries become wilder with a hint of basil, the chocolate turns to slate and coffee, but this dynamic Pinot still remains tremendously juicy. 91 BENZIGER FAMILY WINERY Trapiche 2008 Gran Medalla Malbec, Medoza, Argentina ($50) Only 500 cases in the U.S. make this sought-after Argentinian beauty all the more mysterious. Espresso and bittersweet chocolate are covered by blanket of the blackest of black fruit. A layer of mint speaks of the cool ���08 vintage. Tannins are dusty, dry smacking and ready for that bite of steak. 93 THE WINE GROUP VINCRAFT GROUP Meridith May with Barbaresco���s Gaia Gaja. The photo was taken on the rooftop of the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills. Worthy of a smooch. French-style double bizou. Wildly infatuated. Seriously smitten. Bodegas Paso Robles 2004 Iberia, California ($42) A blend of 33% Tempranillo, 31% Touriga Nacional, 25% Graciano and 11% Tinto Cao ���nds itself far from the Iberian Peninsula and closer to home. But the ���ne acid structure and elegant ���oral notes lay atop the huge bottom notes of California sunshine and soil. Round, cherry-driven fruit, the majority from the Blair Vineyard in Calistoga. 94 Signaterra 2010 Pinot Noir, Bella Luna Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($50) A Demeter-certi���ed Biodynamic wine with scents of wild berry and chocolate powder. As it progresses, Head over heels in love. 54 / the tasting panel / december 2012 KaDieM 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($85) In its inaugural release, KaDiem (pronounced KDM) is a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford���s Gary Morisoli Vineyard. Aged 20 months in 90% new French oak and just released in October, this exceptional wine wafts aromas of bacon and sweet tobacco. On the palate, the bacon fat dissipates into raspberry and cherry special effects (think a Manhattan with the complexity from a Luxardo gourmet Maraschino cherry) that play into clean cedar wood tones. Acidity is Old World and tannins hold on tight. 95��

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