StateWays Nov/Dec 2015

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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StateWays n n November/December 2015 44 (94) Achavel Ferrer Finca Bella Vista 2010. Move over Bordeaux: This is a keeper! Brooding, dark and powerful, with ripe tannins, elegant minerality and dark chocolate. A fine example of a collectible cellar wine. ($100) (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 in the glass, with intense aromas of cherry and vanilla and just a hint of dark chocolate. A formidable, classic malbec. ($45) (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 fig flavors. A nutty oak element is leavened by insinuating acidity. The wine ultimately displays a very attractive sugar/acid balance and finishes with good lift. ($31) (93) Vina Cobos Felino Malbec 2012 (Argentina). This Felino malbec carries a deep magenta hue and aromas of dark berries and anise. On the palate, intense, pure flavors of just-picked raspberries, black plum and graphite unfold in velvety layers. Exotic notes of ginger and white pepper carry through the mid-palate to intermingle with firm tannins and notes of cedar on the finish. ($21) (92) Vina Solaya Malbec 2013 (Argentina). Dark ruby red, this elegant malbec has aromas of red currants, blackberries and plums, with notes of pepper and clove. Flavors of black cherries and juicy plums fill the mouth with hints of cedar and vanilla on the finish. ($15) (92) Salentein Numina 2012 (Argentina). A Bordeaux blend from Argentina's Uco Valley that is 62% malbec, this wine is smooth and elegant, with fine tannins, complex black fruit notes and a long finish that would indicate ageability. ($43) (94) Markham Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2013 (California). Crisp, bright acidity balances the surprisingly lush and welcoming full mid-palate in this straw-pale gem. Melon and apricot offset the citrus notes, making this a fine accompaniment to steamed bivalves or delicate seafood dishes. ($13) (94) Robert Mondavi Reserve Fumé Blanc 2012 (California). This barrel- fermented, single-vineyard wine is a brilliant, bright gold in the glass, with plenty of notes of citrus, white peach and floral hints. Good weight and texture contribute to the attractive grassiness and minerality. ($50) (94) Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Aveta Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (California). Bright 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 finish confirms the wine's quality. ($26) (93) Loveblock Sauvignon 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) Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (California). Elegant and noteworthy. This wine shines with hints of nectarine and stone. Well balanced, pleasing long finish. A must with food. ($35) (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 flavors. The balance of acidity and fruit make for a beautiful experience. ($30) THE BEST OF H 2015 SAUVIGNON BLANC (97) Fiddlehead Cellars Goosebury Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (California). A "New World" style, fermented in stainless steel and unoaked to display the beautiful aromas and flavors characteristic of sauvignon blanc grown in the unique micro-climate of Happy Canyon. Fresh hints of peach, mango, and zest of mandarin mingle with a mineral nuance on the nose. Those tropical flavors gently take over the palate and carry through to the finish where the "terroir" and crisp, lively acidity make you smack your lips. New World, yes, but reminiscent of pouilly-fumé or sancerre. This is a must try for the connoisseur of sauvignon blanc. ($35) (95) Heron Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (California). Whole-cluster pressing and a three-week cold fermentation in stainless steel results in a refreshing, fruit-forward style with no oak aging. A lush bouquet of peach and pear with a whiff of lemongrass gets your attention. On the palate, you'll taste melon, apricot, and citrus with a hint of sweet anise. The finish is long and not-quite dry. A simply lovely style. ($15) (95) J. Lohr Sauvignon Blanc, Carol's Vineyard 2013 (California). Named for Mr. Lohr's wife Carol, with a portion of proceeds going to breast cancer research. Classic Napa fruit, with a creamy texture and a perfume nose that offers up robust citrus hints. Rich and powerful with a ingering finish. ($28) (95) La Chapiniere Touraine Sauvignon 2013 (France). Lush aromas and flavors of honeydew, pineapple and grapefruit abound with lively, refreshing acidity on the lengthy finish. On the very end, a note of flint shows up in a most delightful way. This wine has many characteristics of good sancerre, and is more affordable. ($20) (95) Yvon Mau Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (France). A 100% varietal wine with aromas and flavors of tropical fruits and citrus. Racy, crisp, and dry on the finish with a hint of minerality. Also an excellent value. ($12)

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