All posts filed under: The Tasting Panel

THE TASTING PANEL magazine is the most widely circulated trade publication in the beverage industry focused on beverages, the beverage trade and the people who make the industry tick. Print and digital editions published monthly with a combined January/February issue.

Blind Wine Review: That Rutherford Dust

For this inaugural Blind Tasting, I delved into my notebook for highlights of ten wines that came out on top during an August 2012 presentation of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons from Napa Valley’s Rutherford AVA. The Rutherford Dust Society tasting presented 27 wines from the 2009 vintage—in reverse order from tastings held in prior years. Three flights of nine wines began with those from Rutherford’s most southwesterly sites and moved north and across the AVA, concluding with wines from the most southeasterly sites.   1. Savory roasted nuts, cinnamon and black plum notes with dark berry flavors and silky, medium-weight tannins. $100 2. Earth and charred oak notes with bright, focused red fruit that deepens towards the finish. $65 3. Ripe, jammy blackberry complemented by toast and sweet vanilla with a generous structure that closes softly. $185 4. Floral, high-toned notes of lavender and blue fruit with bright plum and a savory, granular texture. $65 5. Anise and complex umami aromas; lean, intense dark fruit and leather finishing with notes of toasty caramel. $45 6. Bright, …

Eyes on the prize

Once you’ve made the decision to pursue a professional certification, there’s more to making the grade than meets the eye. For anyone considering, or already pursuing,one of the beverage industry’s most rigorous professional certifications — the Wine & Spirit Education Trust(WSET) Diploma—aligning your expectations and adopting strategies will make navigating the program easier and significantly more rewarding. With only 36 Diplomas awarded in the U.S. by the London-based WSET in 2008 (WSET now lists awards by year and Approved Program Provider), the benefits of sticking out this program, which can be completed in as little as two years or self-paced over a longer period, are many. WSET certification is a proven way to differentiate yourself in any job market. Diploma candidate William Emile Bond III recently accepted a position as a Northern Wildman and Sons, where his WSET status helped him connect. “As far as credentials go, it’s a valuable thing to have on your resume,” Bond says. “The hiring manager at Wildman earned his Diploma in New York, and it definitely caught his eye …

The Undiscovered Burgundy

Visually, Burgundy isn’t a particularly mysterious place; the low-growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines hunker over the earth in their search for heat. From a vantage point to the east of Chablis, you can survey the gentle landscape and precious grand cru sites in a sweeping glance but, the wines themselves continue to remain a mystery—one that we ponder with each passing vintage. During the week-long parade of trade tastings known fittingly as Les Grands Jours, it seemed as if no stone has been left unturned by importers in their efforts to demystify the  wines. Tastings that began in Chablis and stretched to the far reaches of the Mâconnais revealed that, while importers have been astute in seeking out quality, there are new discoveries to be made in Burgundy. Primarily in the form of young producers who have branched out, after years of mentoring, to start their own labels and less-visible sub-regions whose wine quality is pushing forward by leaps and bounds.  At this bi-annual celebration, Burgundy’s grand cru vineyards sustain the most scrutiny, and …

It Takes A Village

Large or small, via négociant or sold direct, Right Bank producers continue to make quality a priority. With the purchase and renovation of Château Belair-Monnage in 2008, Ets Jean-Pierre Moueix’s holdings now stand at 11 estates concentrated in northern Pomerol and the southeastern corner of Saint-Émilion. A 2010 barrel sample showed complex, spicy tannins and more concentrated black fruit than in previous vintages.  Read full article at…St_Emilion

Journey up the river: The Loire Valley from Nantes to Sancerre

It can be said that each wine region of France has a personality, one dictated as much by the winegrowers themselves as it is by geography, history and grape varieties. To the southwest of Paris lies the Loire Valley, comprising four distinct regions running westward with the fl ow of the Loire River; most of the winegrowing here occurs within sight of its banks or those of its many tributaries. The Loire is by nature a languid river; it meanders through countryside dotted with Renaissance palaces and châteaux as it makes its way towards the Atlantic Ocean. From this terminus, the river’s estuary in the Nantais region, a journey up the river begins. Complete article here…Loire_Valley

The language of the Languedoc

The AOC winegrowers of the Languedoc are an eclectic group: genteel local families, pioneers from France’s most prestigious wine regions and European ex-pats, all of whom express a similar goal: to make wines that convey the spirit of their distinct growing regions from the varieties best suited to them. More than ever before, quality is now the factor that distinguishes Languedoc’s AOC-level wines. Though each Languedoc sub-appellation has unique terroir, the region overall benefits from maritime influence, hot summers, drying winds and mild winters that create some of the most consistent vintages in all of France. AOC producers emphasize lower yields, sustainable practices and hygienic winemaking as means to showcase the quality of their fruit and finished wines. Complete article here…The Language of the Languedoc