Cheers - November 2015

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Page 46 of 51 47 November/December 2015 • bright gold in the glass, with plenty of notes of citrus, white peach and fl oral hints. Good weight and texture contribute to the attractive grassiness and minerality. ($50) (94) Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Aveta Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (California). Pale gold in the glass, the nose is a beautiful mix for tropical and citrus fruits, with a touch of the variety's signature grassiness. A long, balanced fi nish confi rms its quality. ($26) (93) Achaval Ferrer Malbec 2012 (Argentina). Full, bright ruby red. Porty, yet high-pitched aromas of blackberry, kirsch, blueberry and violet are complicated by balsamic and black olive nuances. Dense, thick and super ripe, but still with noteworthy clarity to its dark fruit and fresh fi g fl avors. A nutty oak element is leavened by insinuating acidity. The wine ultimately displays a very attractive sugar/acid balance and fi nishes with good lift. ($31) (93) Altamira de los Andes, Reserve Malbec 2009 (Argentina). High-altitude malbec sourced from three of the best growing areas in the Uco valley. Aged 18 months in oak, this wine has beautiful violet color, with intense aromas of cherry and vanilla and just a hint of dark chocolate. A formidable, classic malbec. ($45) (93) Amavi Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (Washington). 100% estate grown, the nose is bursting with blueberry and baking spices. The palate is layered with cassis, currants and black licorice. Everything is brought together by racy minerality and soft dusty tannins on the fi nish. A delicious glass of wine—perfect for summer grilling. ($46) (93) B.R. Cohn Gold Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (California). A blend of 67% Napa County, 33% Sonoma County. Rich, lush, generous cabernet showing nuances of both Napa and Sonoma. Classic currant notes, dark fruits, mocha, plum and well-integrated acidity and tannins for a full-bodied, smooth fi nish. ($42) (93) Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (California). Elegant and noteworthy. This wine shines with hints of nectarine and stone. Well balanced, pleasing long fi nish. A must with food. ($35) (93) Chappellet Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (California). Complex and satisfying, with plush fruits of black cherry and nuances of espresso and bittersweet chocolate. A great match with short ribs, veal dishes and hard cheeses. ($45) (93) Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Merlot 2012 (Washington). Black fruit with spicy notes dominate the nose of this bright, yet full-bodied wine. Dark ruby in the glass, the palate is elegant, with excellent weight and fruit characteristics. Ready to accompany a wide range of dishes, this is a "go-to" meal wine. ($20) (93) Chelsea Goldschmidt Merlot 2013 (California). Winemaker Nick Goldschmidt fi nds that terraced fruit ripens considerably later and brings more complexity and nu- ance to the fi nished wine. Stylistically, this is a cabernet drinker's merlot. Goldschmidt strives for full body and power in the mouth, with wood behind the fruit. The wine has fresh black raspberry, cedar and toasty vanilla aromas, with cherry, black currant and spice fl avors. ($19) (93) Clos Pegase Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (California). From the central Napa Valley region, this cabernet demonstrates balance and elegance. A dense ruby in the glass, the notes of dark fruit and toast are echoed on the powerful yet balanced palate. Lots of delicious fruit, from start to long fi nish. ($50) (93) Columbia Crest H-3 Merlot (Washington). Outstanding wine and value. Rich with ripe red raspberry and dark chocolate. Long intense fi nish. An elegant mouthfeel full of luscious fl avors that keep on evolving. ($15) (93) Domaine Le Pive Gris Vin Rosé 2014 (France). Don't be fooled by the tropical fruit in the nose. This pale-pink wine, featuring four grapes (merlot, grenache noir, grenache gris, cabernet franc), is actually a dry, light blend. Perfect for enjoying outdoors on a summer's eve. ($15) (93) Duckhorn Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (California). The 31st vintage continues to pay homage to the classic white Bordeaux, sauvignon blanc/semillion blend and oak aging. Rich and full-bodied, strong citrus notes with an underlying thread of minerality. A classic Napa Valley sauvignon with a perfect marriage of subtle grapefruit and lingering melon fl avors. The balance of acidity and fruit make for a beautiful experience. ($30) (93) Gruet Sparkling Brut Rosé NV (New Mexico). Always a favorite; fresh, dry and rich with hints of strawberries, raspberries and cherry; consistent quality. Great with ham, Indian food and appetizers. ($17) (93) Hall Merlot 2012 (California). Deep and rich in color, this wine has aromas of cherry, violets and cocoa, leading to an elegant mid-palate with fl avors of dark cherry, blackberries and some toasted oak. This is just a lovely, supple, soft merlot from one of Napa's best "new" vineyards. ($37) (93) Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013 (New Zealand). This new effort from Kim Crawford's hilltop vineyards has a welcoming appeal. It is not the one-note, citrus/grapefruit style that pervades New Zealand sauvignon blancs, but rather a lush, aromatic quaff with notes of passion fruit, peach and mandarin orange. A perfect accompaniment to Thai dishes, sushi and soft-shell crabs. ($24) (93) Markham Vineyards Merlot 2013 (California). Dark ruby in the glass, the nose is dominated by dark berry fruit, with a touch of plum. Hints of spice and chocolate contribute complexity. The wine is lush and full-bodied, with a balanced fi nish. ($25) (93) Neyers Merlot, Neyers Ranch-Conn Valley 2012 (California). This fabulous merlot is farmed organically and fl aunts pure notes of boysenberry, cocoa and dusty minerality with great fl oral lift. Seamless and long on the palate, a real pleasure to drink. ($31) (93) Northstar Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (Washington). From one of the Columbia

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