The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2018

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june 2018  /  the tasting panel  /  65 90 Scotto Cellars 2015 Masthead Sangiovese, Mohr-Fry Ranch, Lodi ($30) Soft chocolate nose; smooth and succulent with a nice earthy component; fresh, balanced, and crisp with a lasting finish. 94 Flora Springs 2015 Hillside Reserve Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford ($150) Deep ruby color ; silky, rich, and crisp with great structure; complex and elegant. Keep it in the cellar for a while. 91 Eighty Four 2017 Albariño, Carneros ($28) A fresh and smooth effort from friends Elias Fernandez and Doug Shafer, who have been collaborating since 1984. Bright and firm; aromatic and racy with a long, balanced finish. 91 Steele Wines 2014 Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara ($30) Rich cherry nose; lush and elegant; graceful, juicy, and balanced; long and generous from this Santa Maria Valley vineyard overlooking the Sisquoc River. IMPORTED 90 Robert Weil 2015 Brut Riesling, Rheingau, Germany ($46) Dry and crisp with good texture and balance; toasty, fresh, and refined; tangy, long, and charming with notes of apricot. LOOSEN BROS. USA 96 Yangarra 2014 High Sands Grenache, McLaren Vale, Australia ($140) Plush and juicy with a floral nose; pure and rich; balanced and mellow with depth and concentrated fruit; a spectacular rendition of an underappreciated variety. JACKSON FAMILY WINES 95 Château La Nerthe 2015 Clos de Beauvenir, AOP Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($140) Golden color with a spicy nose; creamy with rich, nutty flavors; succulent and dense with tangy, intense, ageworthy fruit; complex and loaded with finesse and style. 70% Roussanne, 20% Grenache Blanc, and 10% Clairette. KOBRAND CORP. 90 Karmei Yosef Winery 2012 Bravdo Landmark 2B, Samson, Israel ($50) Smooth and rich with plum and spice; a toasty, balanced, medium-weight blend of Cabernet and Merlot; fresh with a lengthy finish. Kosher. RIVER WINES 90 Psâgot 2013 M Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Jerusalem ($70) A nose reminiscent of earth and petrol; rich, dense, polished, and satisfying with flavorful notes of plum; balanced and lush. Kosher. ROYAL WINE CORP. 93 Bodega Chacra 2017 Lunita Pinot Noir, Patagonia ($45) Smooth and zesty with notes of ripe cherry; silky and bright with length and finesse; made in Argentina by the scion of the Sassacaia family. KOBRAND CORP. 92 Domaine J.A. Ferret 2016 Pouilly-Fuissé, France ($51) Crisp yet luscious with racy acidity and a rich mineral component; fresh, balanced, long, and lively in classic Chardonnay style. KOBRAND CORP. 92 Agricola Punica 2016 Montessu, Isola dei Nuraghi IGT, Italy ($35) This property, owned by Sassicaia, is located in Sardinia. This blend is mostly Carignan with bits of Syrah and Cabernet; lush and juicy with deep berry fruit, it has a velvety texture and a long, rich style. KOBRAND CORP. 94 Pamplin Family Winery 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley ($50) Yet another luscious and lovely effort from this tiny family-run winery; deep and juicy without losing focus; made from fruit grown in some of the best vineyards in the state.

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