The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2018

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Page 59 of 100

june 2018  /  the tasting panel  /  59 Anaba 2015 Turbine Red, Sonoma Valley ($35) The grapes are sourced from the Landa Vineyard in the eastern foothills of the Mayacamas: a blend of 44% Grenache, 28% Syrah, 24% Mourvèdre, and 4% Petite Sirah. Earthy strawberry and Worcestershire serve as the initial aromas and are followed by an herbal/floral scent. On the palate, it's a mixed bag of flavors, almost as if each variety is chiming in with its own song. Black olive and anise are savory while black cherry and plum are ripe and sweet. This is deep and inky with good tannin structure and fine acidity. 94 Smith-Madrone Vineyards & Winery 2015 Riesling, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley ($32) Stuar t Smith planted the original Riesling vines in 1971 on the steep, dry-farmed slopes that surround the winery on Spring Mountain. With a low 12.6% ABV, this impressive white has the typicity of the variety with an Old World style. Cutting-edge, racy, tight-wire acidity leaves its mark. After star ting with a perfume of petrol and honeyed apricot, it takes on a palate that owns up to a paradigm both lush and lean. The stone fruit is surrounded by a minerality that's fierce but will probably prove incredibly agewor thy. 94 Francis Ford Coppola Winery 2016 Francis Coppola Reserve Pinot Noir, Dutton Ranch, Russian River Valley ($45) This is a fragrant Pinot Noir with notes of spiced cherry and pomegranate. The round tannins and velvety mouthfeel all add up to a juicy red that's blessed with tart raspberry and rhubarb and seasoned with cinnamon and clove. The fruit stays uplifted with its fine acidity. 92 Lloyd by Robert Lloyd 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills ($50) This Pinot Noir has so many expressions: earthy, rustic, gritty, and savory. It's a complete package that shows terroir from one of our favorite spots on Earth. Tobacco, shiitake mushroom, soy sauce, and plum help create the palette for the palate. 94 Tenshen 2016 White, Central Coast ($20) This collabora- tion between Winemaker Joey Tensley and wine entrepreneur Alex Guarachi is a multi-layered blend of white Rhône varieties Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc, Viognier—and OK, a hint of Chardonnay. You can imagine the weight just from the heady nose of lemon curd. The flavors include candied apple, Italian herbs, chamomile, and lemon oil. The underlying minerality and a perfectly balanced influence of acidity make this both food- worthy and a great solo sipper. 92 GUARACHI WINE PARTNERS SPIRITS Rossville Union Master Crafted Barrel Proof Straight Rye Whiskey, USA ($70) Drawn from 83 barrel reserves, this 112.6 proofer is made in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, at one of the country's oldest distilleries. In fact, when it opened in 1847, Lawrenceburg was on its way to becoming known for its rye and has since developed a reputation for cultivating some of the finest Master Distillers in the U.S. The cask-strength experi- ence here is amazingly serene on the nose with hints of honeyed apricot, orange zest, and chamomile. But once you get beyond that first sip, you'll feel some heat backed by caramel- laden apples and orange pekoe tea followed by a bold delivery of smoky cedar. 96 High West Distillery 2018 Bourye, USA ($80) This super- premium spirit, which features a jackalope on its label, blends 11- and 12-year-old straight bourbon with 13- and 14-year-old rye. At 92 proof, the gorgeous, generous nose is more bourbon-oriented with sweet peach and black tea. Black pepper comes into play on the palate with caraway, baking spices, and jellied apricot preced- ing charred coffee bean, sage, and tobacco. 94 Rabbit Hole Distilling Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey, USA ($49) This offers one of the most sophisticated noses I have come across: Stone fruit and sweet oak/ sandalwood are honeyed and developed. The liquid stays steady and firm with each sip. On the palate, caraway enhances the fruit in a way that's reminiscent of a Speyside single malt in its complexity, character, and elegance. Orange rind and dark chocolate keep the bouquet as busy as the texture and flavor profile. 96 Value Pick of the Month Dark Horse 2017 Rosé, California ($10) This is a light- colored dark horse that takes off at a fine gait. Earthy and raspberry- scented, its nose hits the ground running with a crisp pace. Strawberry and melon go neck and neck with acacia and jasmine. The finish line is complete with a steely, fruity length; it wins not only by a nose, but by a palate, too. This rosé is also available in 375-mL cans at $6 SRP. 90

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