The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2012

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Page 55 of 152

Biltmore Estate 2010 ���Passport��� Reserve, Sonoma County ($25) A blend of 35% Merlot, 32.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 32.5% Cabernet Franc that affords its dry, chewy tannins due to a generous wave of plums and black fruit that surge in from the middle. Cinnamon and nutmeg spice up ripe boysenberry . . . and then the dry, dusty ���nish tilts with a bit of tar, mocha and blackberry. 91 SPIRITS Sammy���s Beach Bar Rum, USA��($22) Brand owner and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Sammy Hagar has created a unique silver rum hand-crafted in Hawaii from the ���rst pressing of virgin Maui Gold sugarcane. Although no oak is in the picture, aromas of age and rancio somehow exist, with vanilla wafer and pastry sweetness on the nose. Peppered cr��me br��l��e, nougat and a mineral earthiness warm the palate, while tropical notes of coconut and banana meld well with the baked plant effect (think cooked agave notes in many tequilas). 94 GUEST EXPERT REVIEW PURE EXPRESSION Few wine regions can claim pure expression ��� Alsace is an exception. Alsace is a complete mosaic of terroirs, each yielding their own expression of noble grapes such as Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer. Every swirl of the glass releases aromatic layers of ���oral or mineral character, and every sip reveals fresh and vibrant fruit. That���s the pure expression of Alsace. Rory Snipes, Manager/ Mixologist at Boneyard Bistro, Sherman Oaks, CA Paris George Dickel 90-Proof Rye Whiskey, USA ($25) Just released this month, this Tennessee whiskey rises above the rye notes with caramel apple, oak and maple cooking spices. Pink and green peppercorn dot the juicy texture. It's sweet but also a cowboy rye: saddle leather and barnyard notes. A palatable br��l��e accent with burnt sugar tones and peach and apricot ���nishes this viscous beauty. DIAGEO NORTH AMERICA FRANCE Campaign financed with aid from the European Union

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