Published by the Wine Institute in response to the recent arsenic testing of wine

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FACT SHEET
Wine Institute is the association of 1,000 California wineries. In recent days, unfounded
litigation has raised questions about the safety of California wine. We want to assure
you that the health and safety of consumers is of the greatest importance to our wineries
and that the wine produced by our members is perfectly safe.
 The lawsuit claims that certain wines contain unsafe levels of arsenic based on the limit
set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for drinking water – 10 parts per
billion (ppb). However there is no scientific basis for applying the EPA drinking water
standard to wine.
 The U.S. government has not published a limit for arsenic in wine but several countries
including Canada, the EU, and Japan have set limits ranging from 100ppb up to
1000ppb – 10 to 100 times the level the EPA determined to be safe for drinking water.
 When the U.S. government considers limits for arsenic in food and beverages, they take
into account how much of that food or beverage an average person may consume in a
day and the age of people who likely consume that food/beverage. Daily intake levels
for water are significantly higher than for wine.
 The risks from potential exposure to arsenic in wine are lower than the risks the EPA
considers safe for drinking water. For perspective, eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day
is the recommended daily amount, whereas one to two 5-ounce glasses of wine a day is
defined as moderate wine consumption according to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines,
and most people consume much more water per day than wine.
 Arsenic is prevalent in the natural environment in air, soil and water, and food. As an
agricultural product, wines from throughout the world contain trace amounts of arsenic
as do juices, vegetables, grains and other alcohol beverages and this is nothing new.
 The U.S. government regularly tests wines for harmful compounds including arsenic as
does Canada and the European Union to ensure that wine is safe to consume.

Weekly Wine Sale & Tasting: March 25 – April 1, 2015: Spring into Great Wines from Liberty!

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“These wines are deeply discounted for one week. We feature a wide variety of wines in a wide price range
so have a look there is something for everyone. They have all been fully taste tested as well.” -Rich

Byron Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley 2012 Red California Wine

Byron Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley 2012–$19.99 SAVE 20%! (on sale through 04.01.15)
93 Points – Wine Enthusiast, Dec. 2014
“Berry fruit leather, raspberry iced tea and dark spices weave together on the intriguing nose of this wine, which is as good if not better than similar wines from the appellation charging twice the price. Roasted figs and black cardamom rise on the palate, yet the wine remains light on its feet.” -Matt Kettmann
91 Points – Wine Advocate, August 2014
“Kicking off the Pinot Noirs and coming all from sandy soils, the 2012 Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley is another rocking value from this estate. Exhibiting classy cassis, toasted bread, creamy licorice and loads of spice, this medium to full-bodied, concentrated and ripe Pinot Noir has solid mid-palate depth and a great texture. Spending 15 months in 20% new French oak, enjoy it over the coming 3-4 years.” -Jeb Dunnuck

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Gordon Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2010 Washington Red Wine

Gordon Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2010–$19.99 SAVE 20%! (on sale through 04.01.15)
91 Points – Wine Enthusiast, Sept. 2013
“This is the finest Cabernet from Gordon Estate in some time; forward and pretty, with a juicy mix of red fruits. The raspberry and cherry and currant flavors are nicely defined and deep, underscored with crisp acidity, and showing the sort of youthful concentration that suggests further cellaring is in order. Nonetheless, it’s a wine to enjoy right away simply for its luscious, exuberant fruit.” -Paul Gregutt

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Cuvelier Los Andes Coleccion 2010

Cuvelier Los Andes Coleccion 2010–$16.79 SAVE 20%! (on sale through 04.01.15)
91 Points – Wine Spectator, October 2013
“Polished and well-structured, this red offers fine tannins and fresh acidity supporting notes of pure cassis and black cherry puree. Spice, mineral and dark tobacco hints add range to the finish. Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2016.” -Nathan Wesley
90+ Points – Stephen Tanzer’s IWC, March 2013
“Medium red-ruby. Aromatic, expressive nose offers blackberry, licorice, bitter chocolate and a touch of violet. Juicy and tightly wound but still pliant, with lovely energy and shape to the flavors of dark berries, dark chocolate and licorice. Finishes fresh and ripely tannic, with a youthfully medicinal quality to the lingering black fruit and licorice flavors. This very promising wine needs a few years in bottle to soften.” – Stephen Tanzer

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Clos de Tafall DOC Priorat 2012 Red Spanish Wine

Clos de Tafall DOC Priorat 2012–$15.99 SAVE 20%! (on sale through 04.01.15)
89 Points – Wine Spectator, June 2014
“This supple red has an alluring purity, with focused flavors of tart cherry, mountain herb and mineral. Fresh acidity reinforces the light tannins. Juicy and clean. Drink now through 2017. 1,500 cases made.” –TM
88 Points – Stephen Tanzer’s IWC, Sept. 2014
“(a blend of garnacha, samso, cabernet sauvignon and syrah): Ruby-red. Spicy cherry and red berry aromas are complemented by notes of black pepper and fresh rose. Straightforward red fruit flavors are braced by zesty acidity, picking up a smoky quality with air. Finishes on a sweet strawberry note, with good persistence and even tannins.” -Josh Raynolds

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Carmel Road Chardonnay Monterey 2013 White California Wine

Carmel Road Chardonnay Monterey 2013–$14.44 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 04.01.15)
100% Chardonnay
“The 2013 Unoaked Chardonnay is vibrant and refreshing, featuring a fruit forward profile that bursts with flavors of Asian pear, elderberry and acacia blossom. Balanced and complex, crisp acidity and pronounced minerality shine throughout the palate.” -Kris Kato, Winemaker

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Bocelli Prosecco Valdobiaddene DOC

Bocelli Prosecco Valdobiaddene DOC–$12.74 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 04.01.15)
100% Prosecco
“Made from the Prosecco grape that is indigenous to the Veneto region, this sparkling wine has subtle flower and fruit aromas that make the palate deliciously light and playful. Unlike many Champagnes, it is not harsh, rather, it tickles the throat with a peachy softness, and is flecked with minerality that remains simple in the best of ways. Perfect perlage make it the ideal choice for any occasion.” -The Winery

Weekly Wine Sale & Tasting: March 18-25, 2015: Wines with Vision

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“These wines are deeply discounted for one week. We feature a wide variety of wines in a wide price range
so have a look there is something for everyone. They have all been fully taste tested as well.” -Rich

Altamont Pinot Noir Single Vineyard 2012

Altamont Pinot Noir Single Vineyard 2012–$21.24 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 03.25.15)
“Layered soulful vocals crunched with blues guitar enter into sweet and sour cherry, exotic spice and mysterious forest undergrowth. Seductive aromas dramatize the opening of this rock show: Listen further and the purity is heart tingling with bright crushed berries; charred cinnamon and just a background beat of savory, meaty mushroom. Catch the main tone of silk with a seamless structure leading to a Pinot song that plays long and a little complicated.” -The Winery

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Katherine Goldschmidt Cabernet Sauvignon Crazy Creek Alexander Valley 2012 Red California Wine

Katherine Goldschmidt Cabernet Sauvignon 2012–$17.84 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 03.25.15)
“The thirty acre Crazy Creek Vineyard lies just east of the town of Geyserville in the renowned Alexander Valley wine region. Its old, low vigor vines consistently produce Cabernet Sauvignon with more power and depth than typically found in the appellation. Stylistically, Nick strives for full body and power in the mouth with wood behind the fruit. Few single vineyard Cabernets are offered at such a reasonable price. Blackberry, black pepper, and plum flavors enveloped in sweet oak. Round and fleshy middle palate, with nice concentration and good structure. Finishes with silky tannins and a hint of spice.” -The Winery

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Ellena Guiseppe Langhe Nascetta 2013 Italian White Wine

Ellena Guiseppe Langhe Nascetta 2013–$16.14 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 03.25.15)
“There is a muted green honeydew melon nose with hints of petrol. Gripping yet the acidity makes this chewy and fun. Lemon and key lime flavors in the mouth with notes of lemongrass co-mingling with fleshier pit fruits like peaches.” -Winery Notes, general

Apaltagua Envero Carmenere 2012

Apaltagua Envero Carmenere 2012–$14.44 SAVE 15%! (on sales through 03.25.15)
93 Points – JamesSuckling,com, Aug. 2014
“This is a top carmenere with blueberries, minerals, slate and hints of sandalwood aromas and flavors. Full body, integrated tannins and a long finish. A beautiful wine.” -James Suckling
90 Points – Wine Advocate, June 2014
“The 2012 Envero Carmenere is a fruit-driven, bright, fresh and straightforward version of Carmenere, with ripe aromas but a peppery twist and some notes of black pepper and cayenne that make it savory and attractive. A very pleasant Carmenere. Drink now.” -Luis Gutierrez

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Raw Power Shiraz 2013 Australian Red Wine

Raw Power Shiraz 2013–$11.04 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 03.25.15)
Winery Tasting Notes: “Lifted aromatics with spice, plums and dark chocolate. Medium bodied flavours follow through from the aromatics with plenty of “raw power”. e wine opens-up over time in the glass, displaying ripe tannins and long savoury finish.”

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Quinta da Raza Dom Diogo Arinto Vinho Verde 2013

Quinta da Raza Dom Diogo Arinto Vinho Verde 2013–$10.19 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 03.25.15)
“100% Arinto. It is a wine-colored citrine, a fruity aroma and complex flavor with engaging and persistent. It is an excellent wine to accompany a meal of fish or seafood, white meats, pastas and risottos. Should be served well chilled.” -The Winery

Weekly Wine Sale & Tasting: March 11-18, 2015: Italian Selections with Donato

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“These wines are deeply discounted for one week. We feature a wide variety of wines in a wide price range
so have a look there is something for everyone. They have all been fully taste tested as well.” -Rich

Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco 2010 Italian Red Wine

Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco 2010–$27.19 SAVE 20%! (on sale through 03.18.15)
91 Points – Vinous/International Wine Cellar
“(as the Produttori has declassified its crus in 2010, there will be 28,000 cases of this blend): Tangy cherry and raspberry aromas are lifted by flowers and mint on the cool, inviting nose. Silky-sweet and floral, with lovely inner-mouth juiciness to its red berry flavors. Owing to the wine’s moderate body and flesh, the tannins show a slightly dryness but the long, juicy finish offers enticing floral perfume. A lovely, sharply delineated Barbaresco at a very reasonable price.” — Stephen Tanzer
90 Points – Wine Spectator, October 2014
“The sweet cherry, tar and menthol flavors quickly concede to stiff tannins in this beefy red, which is lively, with a mouthwatering finish of savory, minerally accents. Best from 2017 through 2027. 23,000 cases made.” –BS

Fattoria del Cerro Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2011 Italian Red Wine

Fattoria del Cerro Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2011–$17.84 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 03.18.15)
93 Points – James Suckling, October 2014
“Perfumed with ripe rose, cream and sweet plums on the nose. Lots of fresh berries with savory, minty character, a layer of silky tannins and hazelnut on the palate. Better in 2016.” -James Suckling

Rocca di Frassinello Le Sughere di Frassinelo 2011 Italian Red Wine

Rocca di Frassinello Le Sughere di Frassinelo 2011–$16.99 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 03.18.15)
90 Points – Wine Advocate, August 2013
“The 2011 Le Sughere di Frassinello is immediately more balanced. There’s beauty here with full density and thick texture. A rich wall of blackberry and spice is backed by bitter chocolate and tobacco. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2019.” -Monica Larner
90 Points – Wine Spectator, October 2013
“Elegant and subtle, featuring black cherry, raspberry and spice flavors. The tannins sneak in, leaving a tactile sensation on the long finish. Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2016 through 2030. 13,300 cases made.” -Bruce Sanderson

Terredora di Paolo Greco di Tufo Loggia Della Serra 2013 Italian White Wine

Terredora di Paolo Greco di Tufo Loggia Della Serra 2013–$15.99 SAVE 20%! (on sale through 03.18.15)
95 points James Suckling, Nov. 2014
“This is very ripe and layered with lots of honey, oil, dried lemon and apple character. It’s full bodied, very deep and intense and a long, long finish. Super finish. Late styled white with great depth and flavor. Drink Now.” – James Suckling

Argillae Grechetto 2013 Italian White Wine

Argillae Grechetto 2013–$12.74 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 03.18.15)
88 Points – Wine Enthusiast, February 2014
“Made from Grechetto, a grape widely planted in parts of Umbria, this opens with aromas of apricot, tropical fruit and citrus. The delicious palate offers crisp acidity and flavors of ripe peach, cantaloupe, lemon zest, almond and thyme.” — K.O.

Bisol Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Jeio Rose

Bisol Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Jeio Rose–$11.89 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 03.18.15)
87 Points – Vinous/Int. Wine Cellar, August 2010
“The NV Prosecco Brut Rosé Jeio is made from equal parts Merlot and Pinot Noir. It is a fairly restrained wine with excellent balance and a refined mousse. I am not generally a fan of rosé Prosecco, a category that has been created to exploit the growing popularity of both rosés and sparkling wines, yet everything here works beautifully, and this is one if the very few examples that merit attention. This is Lot 10027A.” – Antonio Galloni
87 Points – Wine Enthusiast, Dec. 2007
Clean, fresh and tonic, here is a lively Italian sparkler with very good intensity and fresh notes of peach and citrus. It has a touch of sweetness in the mouth and perfect Prosecco crispness on the close.” – M.L.

Weekly Wine Sale & Tasting: March 4-11, 2015: Paul’s Picks

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“These wines are deeply discounted for one week. We feature a wide variety of wines in a wide price range
so have a look there is something for everyone. They have all been fully taste tested as well.” -Rich

Burgess Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2007

Burgess Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2007–$47.99 SAVE 20%! (on sale through 03.11.15)
90 Points – Wine Enthusiast, May 2011
“Here’s a good Cabernet for drinking now and over the next five years. It shows classically ripe, smooth Napa tannins that frame exuberant flavors of blackberries, black cherries and cassis. Give it a good long decant before serving.” -S.H.
87 Points – Wine Spectator, May 2010
“A savory style, with complex cedar, dried berry and currant, mineral, tobacco and sage flavors. Medium- to full-bodied, ending with firm, minerally tannins. Drink now through 2019. 6,200 cases made.” -James Laube “Our Cabernet is grown on the western side of Howell Mountain in Napa Valley. The hillside terroir nurtures very consistent and low yield vines that produce a signature Burgess wine each vintage. Our Cabernet has multiple layers of varietal character and a richness that only mountain fruit can supply. Because of low yields, a spicy aroma infused with berry tones predominates over a generous body and a lasting finish.” -The Winery

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Collet Champagne Brut NV French Sparkling Wine

Collet Champagne Brut NV–$25.49 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 03.11.15)
88 Points – Wine Spectator, December 2012
“Firm, with open-knit notes of Gala apple, white peach, ginger and grapefruit zest, complimented by a baseline of minerality. Modest finish. Drink now. 29,000 cases made.” -Alison Napjus

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Waterbrook Malbec Reserve Columbia Valley 2012 Washington Red Wine

Waterbrook Malbec Reserve Columbia Valley 2012–$16.99 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 03.11.15)
Waterbrook Malbec Reserve 2011 Review:
92 Points – Wine Spectator, December 2014
“Sleek and expressive, light-footed but brimming with plum, spice and savory herb flavors, coming together with polish on the long, open-weave finish. Drink now through 2018. 1,497 cases made.” –HS

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Damiani Wine Cellars Riesling Dry Davis Vineyard 2012 White New York State Wine

Damiani Dry Riesling Davis Vineyard 2012–$16.99 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 03.11.15)
89 Points – Wine Spectator, April 2014
“A dry, nervy style, with fennel, pippin apple and lime notes that bounce through a mouthwatering finish. Pure and lengthy. Drink now through 2015. 300 cases made.” –JM

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Clos de Los Siete Mendoza 2012 Argentina Red Wine

Clos de Los Siete Mendoza 2012–$16.14 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 03.11.15)
89 Points! – Wine Advocate, April 2014
“The 2012 Clos de los Siete, a blend of 50% Malbec, and the rest Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, is a complex blend of wines contributed by all wineries in 2012, except for Flechas de los Andes. It has some restrained notes with plenty of spices and ripe black fruit a little blurry. The palate is medium-bodied, with sleek tannins, moderate acidity and length. The different vintages are quite similar, maintaining a very high level, but today I’d give the edge to the 2011. 960,000 bottles were produced. Drink 2014-2020.” -Luis Gutierrez

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Edgebaston The Pepper Pot Stellenbosch 2013

Edgebaston The Pepper Pot Stellenbosch 2013–$11.89 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 03.11.15)
88 Points – Wine Advocate, Oct. 2014
“The 2013 The Pepper Pot is a blend of 62% Syrah, 6% Mourvedre, 19% Cinsault, 1% Grenache, 8% Tannat and 4% Viognier matured in French and American oak. It needs a little aeration to dispense with the reduction, although it opens nicely with cassis, Christmas cake and iodine scents. The palate is well-balanced with dark plum, strawberry and citrus notes on the entry. The grapes are assiduously blended and combine well here, with very fine definition on the finish.” -Neal Martin

Mora’s March Bourbon of the Month Club Selection From Black Dirt, Bourbon Whiskey

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Black Dirt Bourbon Whiskey, 90 Proof, Warwick, New York

The Distillery: “Nineteen years ago, up in the Hudson Valley’s famous orchard country, Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery was born when a fruit-growing family found themselves with a bumper crop of apples. In an effort to capture the perishable abundance, they experimented with hard cider and fruit Eaux-de-vie. New Yorkers drank it up, and soon the family was as focused on fermentation as on farming. Now the brand’s latest bottles—arguably their best yet—are named not for the trees but for the soil in which they grow.”

“The new label is called Black Dirt Distillery, a terroir reference to the dark, famously fertile soil left behind by receding glaciers 12,000 years ago. Today the ‘Black Dirt’ region covers 22 square miles in Orange County and the soil—picture chocolate cake—is prized for the produce it yields. But while black dirt is famed for growing onions, any Greenmarket shopper can tell you it’s also particularly kind to corn. Which got the folks at Warwick Winery and Distillery thinking about a whole new spirit: bourbon.”

“Warwick had received a license to distill fruit in 2002, but each winter, after the frenzy of the post-season distillation of fruit Eaux-de-vie and apple brandy, its stills tended to lie idle. When their license changed to permit a broader range of products, whiskey was suddenly a possibility. They christened their new spirit Black Dirt Bourbon and the first run was a runaway hit. Three hundred cases, or about 1,800 bottles, sold out in a scant five weeks, mostly to Manhattan bars and retailers. It’s easy to see why the stuff sold out so quickly!” -Kara Newman, Edible Manhattan (January 2013)

“Black Dirt Distillery’s co-founders and managing partners, Jason Grizzanti and Jeremy Kidde, are not new to the distilling business. Both Grizzanti and Kidde have been making and selling distilled spirits since 2002, with the Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery. Over the last decade they have produced and distributed a number of award winning brandies and liqueurs under the American Fruits brand, in addition to their critically acclaimed Warwick gin, and recently introduced the Black Dirt line of bourbon and applejack.” —The Distillery

The Bourbon:  Black Dirt Bourbon has a mashbill of 80% corn, 12% malted barley, and 8% rye.  It is aged for at least three years in charred American oak barrels.  It is bottled and labeled by hand.

Review by Drink Distiller.com
“For those searching for a less sweet bourbon, this is for you. Very toasty up front with robust cereal notes, malted chocolate and espresso. The touch of rye in the mash bill adds a tickle of spice rack on the back palate without making it too hot. Finishes with a subtle charcoal smoke.” -Amanda Schuster

 

Mora’s March Single Malt Scotch of the Month Club: Gordon & MacPhail’s Ardmore 15 Year

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Gordon & MacPhail
Ardmore 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch, 86 Proof
Speyside, Scotland

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Gordon & MacPhail: “In partnership with each respective distillery, all whiskies in Gordon & MacPhail’s Distillery Labels range are uniquely labeled. In years gone by, many of these unique designs were used ‘officially’ to bottle the whisky under license from the distillery. Today these trusted relationships with distillers enables Gordon & MacPhail to bottle whiskies at various ages, strengths and vintages—all with their unique distillery label.” –Gordon & MacPhail, independent bottlers

The History: “Built in 1898, Adam Teacher established the distillery to ensure a good supply of whisky for Teachers blended whisky. The build followed a surge of demand for Teachers products and was part of an extensive expansion of the company, including an international marketing campaign. Lying just below Knockandy Hill, alongside the railway line between Inverness and Aberdeen, Ardmore was one of the last remaining distilleries to rely on coal powered fires to heat its stills and did not convert to steam ’til 2003… In 2005, Beam Global became the new owners after buying twenty wine and spirit companies from Allied Domecq, for five billion dollars. Shortly after the acquisition, Ardmore’s capacity was increased from 3 to 5.1 million litres and in 2007 its own bottling was, at last, released, namely Ardmore Traditional… One of the largest distilleries in Scotland, Ardmore is also the site for large scientific research laboratories. The whisky is mostly quite peated, but a small amount of un-peated whisky is released during a few weeks yearly in the shape of Ardmore Ardlair, though this is used exclusively in various blends.” —Master of Malt

Tasting Notes from Gordon & MacPhail
Color: Dark straw.
Body: Light.
Finish: Long, sweet and a hint of peat smoke.
Cask Type: First fill Bourbon barrels.
Style: Light, yet easy drinking.

Without Water: Aroma— Light and fresh – some freshly cut grass. A delicate peat note emerges and a pronounced hint of menthol. Taste— Some spice – mouth warming. A delicate sweet cured edge develops. A subtle ashy edge becomes apparent.

With Water: Aroma— Light estery notes – fresh and fruity. With some Sherry influences and hints of lemon zest. Taste— Subtle spices – ground pepper. Creamy with a subtle sweetness. Defined malty influences and a very subtle hint of ash.
–Gordon & MacPhail

 

Mora’s March Tequila of the Month Club: Maestro Dobel Diamante Tequila

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Maestro Tequilero
Maestro Dobel Tequila
Jalisco, Mexico

 

maestrodobeldiamanteteq

 

The Story: Maestro Tequilero is part of the Jose Cuervo family of brands. Cuervo is the oldest family-owed Tequila brand in the world. It began when Francisco de Cuervo y Valdés y Suárez came to “New Spain” in 1678. Through the centuries it continued to grown until the 1960s.

 

“After Guillermo y Gallardo ran the business, Guadalupe Gallardo’s nephew Juan Beckmann y Gallardo inherited it, who in turn, increased Tequila production and sales by popularising the famous Cuervo margarita in Hollywood movies during the 1960s. His son, Juan Beckmann Vidal, and his grandson, Juan Domingo Beckmann Legorreta, continue the family saga today at the forefront of Cuervo.” —The Distillery

 

The Tequila: “Named after its founder (Dobel is his abbreviated name – Juan Domingo Beckmann Legoretta) the tequila is sourced from single estates and is distilled from 100% blue agave and bottled in Jalisco, Mexico. Each bottle of Dobel™ Tequila is double-distilled, matured in Hungarian White Oak barrels, and filtered for exceptional smoothness and clarity. Dobel™ Tequila is recognized for its superior smoothness and iconic packaging which includes a stopper and a modern twist on a vintage apothecary-style bottle, a heavily embossed bottle whose design is inspired by the laboratory sample bottles used by the distillery’s Maestro Tequileros (Master Distillers).” –maestrodobel.com

 

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93 Points Wine Enthusiast Magazine May 2011
“This crystal-clear blend of reposado, añejo, and extra añejo Tequilas offers a luscious butterscotch flavor and a potent alcohol wallop. Pair with a caramel-rich dessert.”—Kara Newman

 

“Reserva del Maestro Dobel Diamond Reposado Tequila, a 100% Agave blend of Reposado, Anejo, and Extra Anejo Tequilas which have been gently filtered giving the Tequila an incredible Diamond Clarity and crispness… Juan Dobel, working with Maestros Marco Anguiano and Luis Yerenas, wanted to create his own brand and offer Tequila Aficionados something truly unique. Each Agave used is grown for 8 to 10 years, and hand selected at one of a small number of our family’s best quality producing ranches. This hand-crafted product is produced in small batches and aged in new oak casks from Southern Europe.” —Tequila.net

 

 

 

Mora’s March Vodka of the Month Club: Crystal Head Vodka

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Crystal Head Vodka
Vodka, 80 Proof
Newfoundland, Canada

crystalheadvodka
Why a Skull? “A controversial archaeological mystery, thirteen crystal heads have been found in regions around the world, from the American southwest to Tibet. They’re dated between 5,000 and 35,000 years old, and were supposedly polished into shape from solid quartz chunks over a period of several hundred years. Although according to Hewlett Packard engineers, they bear no tool marks to tell us exactly how they were made. The heads are thought to offer spiritual power and enlightenment to those who possess them, and as such stand not as symbols of death, but of life.”

“Dan Aykroyd is a well-known actor, musician, entrepreneur and spiritualist; a believer in what he calls the ‘invisible world’ where otherworldly presences are a ‘form of reality as valid as our normal reality.’ Partner and veteran fine artist John Alexander has exhibited extensively in the United States and around the world. Together, they were avid researchers of the legend of the 13 crystal heads. And from this inspiration, an idea was born.” – The Distillery

The Process: “A quadruple-distillation process made Crystal Head as pure as vodka can be, but the quest for an almost mystical purity continued. As a final stage, the liquid was filtered through 500-million year-old crystals known as Herkimer diamonds. These quartz crystals are found in very few places in the world, including Herkimer, New York and regions in Tibet and Afghanistan. Perhaps because they share the raw material from which the original crystal heads were carved, they are thought to have similar spiritual qualities.”

“The result was perfect vodka, with absolutely no additives. No glycol (an ingredient for engine anti-freeze); no citrus oil (used in its raw form as an insect pesticide); and no raw sugar. Nothing was needed, because it was abundantly clear that finely produced vodka came by its smoothness and flavor naturally. So in the end, the only things required were a glass and a pure spirit of one’s own.” – The Distillery

alcoholmedal

 

#1 on Top 10 Best Vodka List!
Alcohol Aficionado unveiled this year’s best vodkas and Crystal Head topped the list!

The Vodka: “Made with glacier water from Newfoundland Canada, quadruple distilled and filtered through Herkimer diamonds, Crystal Head is a grain based vodka with zero additives. We’re not sure where the genius is in how they make the vodka, but it’s certainly in there. Most people are looking for a smooth vodka, and that’s perfectly fine. We on the other hand are looking for a complex vodka and a little bite. Crystal Head Vodka has all of those elements in one.” –Whiskey Goldmine, online

Drinks Enthusiast Tasting Notes: “Smooth and light on the nose with hints of vanilla gently making its way around. A slight kick when it first hits the palate, but it mellows quickly into a smooth offering. A slight peppery kick at the end, but a long mouth-watering sensation dominates it. A great vodka with a long flavour does well for the sipping drinker, but it also creates some fantastic cocktails.”