Weekly Wine Sale & Tasting Aug 26 – Sept 2: A “Walk”-ing Tour of Wines

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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

Cedrick Bardin Sancerre 2013 Loire White Wine

Cedrick Bardin Sancerre 2013 Loire White Wine–$22.94 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 09.02.15)
87 Points – Wine Spectator, September 2014
“Light but focused, with lime pulp, fennel and flint notes that have a good tangy edge through the finish. Drink now. 2,500 cases made.” –James Molesworth

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NV Sean Thackrey Pleiades XXIII Old Vines California Red Wine

NV Sean Thackrey Pleiades XXIII Old Vines–$22.09 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 09.02.15)
92 Points – International Wine Cellar, June 2014
“(13.9% alcohol; Sangiovese, Viognier, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel, to name but a few varieties in this blend): Bright, pale red. Almost pinot-like perfume to the aromas of red berries, minerals, gingerbread cookie and rose petal. Sweet and round but exhilaratingly tangy too, offering enticing perfume to the flavors of cranberry, raspberry, blood orange and spicecake. Lovely balance and finesse here; complex in a subtle way.” –Stephen Tanzer

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BUITENVERWACHTING Bayten Sauvignon Blanc 2014 South African White Wine

Bayten Sauvignon Blanc 2014–$13.59 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 09.02.15)
90 Points – Wine Enthusiast, May 2015
“A bracing, steely style, with lemon zest, gooseberry and wet straw notes that have a rapier feel through the finish. Pure and chiseled now, but should mellow nicely with brief cellaring for those who want a broader feel. Drink now through 2016. 4,000 cases imported.” –James Molesworth

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Chateau de Manissy Cotes du Rhone 2013 Red Rhone Wine

Chateau de Manissy Cotes du Rhone 2013–$10.19 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 09.02.15)
86 Points – Wine Enthusiast, February 2015
“Located in Tavel, Manissy is an organic producer whose red Côtes du Rhône is a blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Carignan and 15% Counoise. Whiffs of thyme and bay leaf accent slightly confected cherry fruit in this reasonably crisp, easy-to-drink wine. There’s not much tannin, so you might even try it slightly chilled.” — J.C.

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Udaca Irreverente Tinto 2010/2011 Red Portuguese Wine

Udaca Irreverente Tinto 2010/2011–$8.49 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 09.02.15)
“Full ripened plums, blackberries and cherries matching with a cocoa and spicy fragrance. The taste is complex and full-bodied, giving the wine distinctive and refined characteristics.” -The Winery

Mora’s August Single Malt Scotch of the Month Club: Highland Park Dark Origins

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Highland Park Dark Origins
Single Malt Scotch, 93.6 Proof
Highlands, Scotland

HP-Dark-Origins-bottle-pack-70cl-1000

The Distillery: “Since being named The Best Spirit in the World (three times), we have also received World’s Best Single Malt for Highland Park 21 years old and the Ultimate Spirit in 2013 for Highland Park 25 years old. This is the first time a spirit has been awarded a full 100 point score in the Ultimate Spirits Challenge. The rich, succulent, complexity of this exceptional single malt inspires passion in single malt enthusiasts everywhere. It has balance, character and provenance and, in that, epitomises all that is great about single malt Scotch whisky.” —Highland Park

The Whiskey: “Highland Park Dark Origins is a new core bottling that celebrates the early days of Magnus Eunson’s illicit distilling on Orkney, back before the distillery was even founded in 1798. Magnus worked as a butcher and church official by day, but by night he was a legendary whisky smuggler and distiller outwitting the excisemen.

“To honour their hero (the Batman of the Orkney Islands, if you will), Highland Park have created a whisky with a suitably ‘dark’ character. Using 80% first-fill Sherry casks (20% refill) – 60% are first-fill European oak, with 20% being first-fill American oak – an exciting, spicy, chocolatey whisky has been produced.” —Master of Malt

Tasting Notes from The Chaps at Master of Malt:
Nose: Dusty baking spices and cocoa at first, cinnamon, vanilla, dates. Coffee cream Revels (possibly a couple of the orange ones too), a touch of blackcurrant/liquorice, plus butterscotch and an interplay between milk and dark chocolate.
Palate: Sweet, fragrant peat emerges with nutty melted milk chocolate and a little orange alongside some pastries.
Finish: Long and sweet, a little dry chocolate, just a hint of that heather smoke, then salivating.
Overall: Rounded first-fill Sherry notes come from both the European and American oak casks. This is a great, chocolate-y addition of a (teenage) no age statement release.

August 2015: Bourbon Club Selection From Craft Midwest Distillery, Koval Bourbon

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 Koval SIngle Barrel Bourbon Whiskey

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Koval Distillery  Single Barrel Bourbon, 94 Proof,  Chicago, Illinois

The Distillery: “Established in 2008, Koval is the first craft distillery within Chicago’s city limits since Prohibition. We source all of our grains, fruits, herbs, and flowers from the surrounding Midwest region, and we make all of our spirits in house, entirely from scratch – from mashing to distilling, bottling to boxing. Our founders, Robert and Sonat Birnecker, gave up academic careers to bring the distilling traditions of Robert’s Austrian grandfather to America. They vowed to create a sustainable family business with high quality and organic products. Koval features small batch spirits distilled from 100% organic grain. Everything we make is certified organic and kosher, and we are darn proud of it.”

 

“Robert is one of America’s top distilling experts, an internationally-renowned consultant, and the creator of the most unique spirits in America. An Austrian native, Robert grew up helping his grandparents at their award-winning distillery and winery and later received a certificate from Austria’s leading university program for distilling technology, Höhere Bundeslehranstalt und Bundesamt für Wein- und Obstbau Klosterneuburg. He also honed his skills working with Europe’s foremost spirits expert, Dr. Klaus Hagmann, developing fermentation techniques for craft distilleries. Robert is a key lecturer at Siebel Institutes’ distilling courses and teaches over 150 prospective distillers a year in his own workshops. Robert’s technical expertise and creativity have garnered Koval national and international spirits awards. His decision to distill was born out of his love of traditional crafts and the pride of a small family business, both of which exemplify the real American dream.”

“We started with five single-grain white whiskeys: Rye, Oat, Wheat, Millet, and Spelt. In 2010, we debuted our aged whiskey, Lion’s Pride, aged in two distinct styles. No artificial coloring, no chill filtering – only the pure heart cut of the distillate with beautiful amber hues from nothing but the barrel and time. Our lineup also includes several brandies and six liqueurs: Chrysanthemum Honey, Coffee, Ginger, Jasmine, Orange Blossom, and Rose Hip.”

“The name Koval is Yiddish for ‘blacksmith,’ but the word also refers to a ‘black sheep’ or someone who does something unexpected or out of the ordinary. Sonat’s great-grandfather earned Koval as his nickname when, at the ripe old age of 17, he surprised his family and emigrated from Vienna to Chicago in the early 1900s. Coincidentally, the surname of Robert’s grandfather (at whose side Robert learned the art of distilling) is Schmid – German for ‘smith.’ Sonat and Robert chose the name Koval to honor both men – and to reflect their own extraordinary decision to give up comfortable jobs in DC, relocate to Chicago, and build a family business from the ground up.” -The Distillery

 

The Still: “Koval distills with a custom-built potstill handcrafted in Germany by Kothe Destillationstechnik. Kothe specially engineers each still with solid quality and energy-saving components that meet the particular needs of each distiller. Our potstill, specifically made for the production of whiskey and brandy, has an elongated whiskey helmet, a special distillation column and a unique bubblecap construction that provides greater surface area for the spirits to develop aroma and flavor. The smooth, unhammered copper potstill – combined with the dedication and savoir faire of our distillers – guarantees high quality and aromatic distillates.” -The Distillery

The Whiskey: “KOVAL Distillery’s organic, single barrel bourbon has the requisite mash bill of at least 51% corn, but instead of the usual rye or wheat supplement, they have included one of the main cereals of Asia and Africa. Millet is a gluten-free ancient sustenance grain, and like corn, has a history of working in the spirits industry, albeit in Nepal, where it has long been celebrated as a libation of choice.”

“Tucked away in a charred new American oak barrel to age, millet and corn learn to complement each other, neither taking the lead. Out of the bottle, this duet opens with notes of mango chutney, while the millet renders a soft whisper of vanilla throughout. Then harmonizing, the grains sing with the sweetness of apricot custard. This pair finishes with peppery caramel, a diminuendo into a wisp of clove-spiked tobacco lingering on the tongue.” – The Distillery

Weekly Wine Sale & Tasting August 12-19, 2015: All California Wine!

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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 Nielson Vineyard Santa Maria Valley 2009 Red California Wine

Byron Pinot Noir Nielson Vineyard Santa Maria Valley 2009–$26.39 SAVE 20% (on sale through 08.19.15)
“The 2009 Nielson Pinot Noir displays aromas of dark plum, blueberry, cinnamon, clove, and hints of floral and smoke. The flavor profile has a core of dark cherry and dark plum, with hints of brown sugar and allspice. With big, rich tannins, structure and velvety texture, this wine is backed by a long, lingering finish. The fruit for this Pinot Noir came from selected high-density blocks planted to Dijon clones. After harvest, the clusters were hand-sorted and cold-soaked for three to five days to intensify fruit character, color and body. Small batches were processed in 2 -6 ton tanks of which 5% incorporated stem inclusion during the fermentation process. Lots were kept separate until blending to maximize the quality of the blend.” -The Winery

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Byron Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County 2013 Red California Wine

Byron Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County 2013–$16.99 SAVE 15% (on sale through 08.19.15)
90 Points – Wine Enthusiast, June 2015
“It’s hard to find a tastier Pinot Noir for this price. Aromas of rose petals, pungent violets and raspberry juice show just a touch of chai tea, and the palate proves juicy and fun, with cranberry, pomegranate and raspberry elements. Black tea and mocha flavors add just enough seriousness.” —Matt Kettmann

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Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel Sonoma County 2011 Red California Wine

Murphy-Goode Liar’s Dice Zinfandel Sonoma County 2011–$16.14 SAVE 15% (on sale through 08.19.15)
“Our 2011 vintage is a combination of both Dry Creek and Valley fruit. The Alexander Valley fruit imparts rich flavors of black cherry and blackberry jam. The Dry Creek grapes contribute black raspberry and currants. Soft, round tannins perfectly balance the sweetness of the fruit.” -Winemaker’s Notes
Double Gold: 2012 San Francisco International Wine Competition

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Cambria Chardonnay Katherine's Vineyard 2013 White California Wine

Cambria Chardonnay Katherine’s Vineyard 2013–$14.44 SAVE 15% (on sale through 08.19.15)
“The 2013 Katherine’s Vineyard Chardonnay features lively fruit and oak spice aromas supported by citrus, white peach and apple flavors on the palate. Nicely weighted through the mid-palate, the finish is bright and crisp.” -Denise Shurtleff, Winemaker

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La Crema Pinot Gris Monterey 2013 California White Wine

La Crema Pinot Gris Monterey 2013–$13.59 SAVE 15% (on sale through 08.19.15)
“The 2013 vintage opens with bright aromas of lemon zest, complemented by more subtle notes of honeysuckle, Asian pear and spice. The balanced, broad palate is layered with flavors of ripe apricot, lemon drop and cantaloupe, with Monterey’s classic mineral undertones of wet riverstone.” -Elizabeth Grant-Douglas, Winemaker

Mora’s Platinum Wine of the Month Club: August 2015

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Domaine du Vieux Lazaret
Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2010
Rhône Valley, France

The Winery: “The vineyards of Domaine du Vieux Lazaret are spread over 90 hectares, split into 35 different parcels of vines throughout Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It is today amongst the largest domains in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, with 80 hectares planted in red grape varieties and 10 planted with white grapes. The number of parcels enables the Domaine du Vieux Lazaret to give greater complexity to its wines due to the diversity of soils, grape types and differing ages of vines. The red grapes varieties consists of 10 different grapes permitted in A.O.C. Châteauneuf-du-Pape with the dominant varieties being Grenache (70%), Syrah (15%), Mourvèdre and Cinsault. Domaine du Vieux Lazaret owns a parcel where all the grapes allowed are present. The white varieties used for Domaine du Vieux Lazaret are Grenache Blanc (50%), Clairette (25%), Bourboulenc (20%) and Roussanne (5%). Vines are planted with a maximum of 4 000 per hectare.”—The Importer

The Wine:  “This wine is made of Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Syrah.  It is grown in three different soils types consisting of soil with pebbles, stony terraces with sand and gravel, clay like soils formed from limestone mother rock.

Winery Tasting Notes:  “Deep crimson. Ripe dark berries, turning to spices. Smooth and persistent with aromatic fullness.”

Ratings:  91 Points – Wine Spectator, October 2013″

Lush and gorgeously ripe, with a beam of linzer torte and cassis coursing along, lined with blood orange, singed apple wood and bergamot notes. The bright, juicy finish relies on acidity, revealing the solid grip of the vintage. Best from 2014 through 2024. 4,000 cases imported.” -James Molesworth

 

 

Bodegas Vina Nora
Nora de Neve Abarino, 2009
Rias Baixas Spain

The Winery:  “The winery is located in the town of As Neves, in the sub-region of Condado Do Tea on the banks of the Mino River.
The philosophy of the winery is to allow the Albarino grape to achieve maximum expression of its maturity.  Although Albarino is an Atlantic varietal, it loves the sun.  The grape only reaches its maximum potential when it is harvested fully ripe.  This is achieved in this part of the appellation by careful vineyard and vine management, leaf control, and very detailed selection of grapes.  It is a great gamble to keep the grapes on the vine as long as possible to maximize maturity because of the constant threat of the inevitable autumn rains. “ The Importer

The Wine:  “Josephine Perry, an eonologist from Australia, makes Nora da Neve from the native Albarino grape using the most modern wine making technology to coax the greatest expression of the varietal and terroir.

Nora da Neve grapes come from a single vineyard of 2 hectares that was severely green harvested to reduce the yields to 2.2 T/Ha.  This wine is fermented and aged for 7 months in French oak barrels.”  The Importer

Winery Tasting Notes:  “Without losing an ounce of its classic varietal expression, this wine benefits hugely from the complexity of its aromatic range. Refined, elegant and honest, with clean fruit, Nora da Neve also presents hints of fennel, laurel and toasted notes. Lively, refreshing and long, this wine is ready for drinking over the next few years.”

Rated 92 Points–International Wine Cellar, Sept 2011

“High pitched and more citrus driven than the 2008, offering vibrant lemon, lime, green apple and spice scents, with the oak far in the background. Spicy and pure, with incisive orchard and citrus fruit flavors that stain the palate. Becomes spicier with air and finishes with suave floral and mineral qualities and outstanding persistence.”

 

 

Mora’s Gold Wine of the Month Club Red Selections: August 2015

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Chakana Wines
Estate Selection Red Blend 2013
Mendoza, Argentina

The Wine: This wine is produced from grapes that originate 80% Altamira, Uco Valley and 20% Agrelo, Lujan de Cuyo. “The Chakana Estate Selection Red Blend complements the silky tannins of (60%) Malbec with (20%) Cabernet’s elegance and (20%) Syrah’s finesse.  (This 14.5% blend) has been matured in French oak barrels for 10 months, to add intensity and complexity.”—The Winery

93 Points  Argentina Special Report 2015
“Chakana’s red blend combines Malbec with Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah to good effect, showing a freshness that runs through all their recent reds. Fresh, complex and subtle with filigree tannins, this is a very harmonious red. Drink: 2015-19” -Tim Atkin

Chateau Haut-Bergey
Bordeaux Blend, 2006
Pessac-Leognan, France

The Winery:  The origins of Château Haut-Bergey, date back to the 15thCentury.  Today, the vineyard is comprised of 40 hectares, located in the heart of Léognan, center of the Graves and Pessac Léognan Appellations.  In 1991, Sylviane Garcin-Cathiard and her husband Gaston took over the domain to modernize it and develop the business.   20 years later, it’s their son, Paul Garcin’s turn, helped by his team (Anne-Laurence de Gramont, Director of Culture and François Prouteau, the winemaker) to create a wine that exactly matches his artistic sensibility. —The Winery

94 Points The Wine Advocate April 2008
“Consistently one of the top, under-the-radar wines of Pessac-Leognan, Haut-Bergey’s beautiful 2006 boasts a deep ruby/purple hue as well as a classic bouquet of hot rocks intermixed with graphite, cassis, incense, and charcoal. Medium to full-bodied with noticeable but sweet tannin, impressive purity, and an alluring texture, it is relatively evolved for a 2006, so consumption over the next 15 years is recommended.” –Robert Parker

Weekly Wine Sale & Tasting August 5-12, 2015: Australia, New Zealand, and Germany!

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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

Some Young Punks Passion Has Red Lips Cabernet Shiraz 2012 Red Austrailian Wine

Some Young Punks Passion Has Red Lips Cabernet Shiraz 2012–$21.24 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 08.12.15)
90 Points – International Wine Cellar, July/August 2013
“(made from a 50/50 blend of cabernet sauvignon and shiraz): Bright ruby. Deep, powerful aromas of cassis and blueberry, with a smoky topnote. Round, supple and sweet, with plush black and blue fruit flavors brightened by a peppery component. Finishes with velvety tannins and good breadth, on a sweet berry note.” -Josh Raynolds

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Shinas Estate Cabernet Sauvignon The Verdict 2010 Red Austrailian Wine

Shinas Estate Cabernet Sauvignon The Verdict 2010–$17.84 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 08.12.15)
“The results are in and the ‘Verdict’ (Cabernet Sauvignon) has been delivered. Like the Guilty and the Innocent, only a lucky few will ever get to taste it. Deep crimson in colour with lovely ripe plummy characters, this fruit driven Cabernet Sauvignon certainly matches well with the Guilty and the Innocent. With the typical quality shown by this winery, we can once again enjoy crafted wines that exhibit the warm, sunny climates of Mildura, a region fast gaining a reputation for fine wines. So the jury is no longer out ” the Verdict is in.” -The Winery

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Dandelion Vineyards Lion's Tooth of the McLaren Vale Shiraz Riesling 2009 Red Austrailian Wine

Dandelion Vineyards Lion’s Tooth Shiraz Riesling 2009–$17.84 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 08.12.15)
91 Points – International Wine Cellar, July 2012
“(97% shiraz and 3% riesling): Inky purple. Sexy, oak-spiced aromas of blueberry, cherry-cola and floral oils. Lush and broad on the palate, offering hefty black and blue fruit preserve flavors that are lifted by gentle acidity. Notes of vanilla and mocha linger on the impressively long, spicy finish.” – Josh Raynolds
91 Points – Wine Spectator, February, 2013
“Fresh and vibrant, this is tight with tannins around juicy blackberry and sage flavors, lingering on the expressive finish. Best from 2015 through 2019. 6,000 cases made.” –HS

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Walnut Block Collectibles Sauvignon Blanc 2013 New Zealand White Wine

Walnut Block Collectibles Sauvignon Blanc 2013–$12.74 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 08.12.15)
“Fresh and pure, the nose displays floral, lime zest and subtle herbaceous characters. The palate is lively and well fruited with a juicy mouthfeel and a crisp dry finish. Classically flavoured and easy drinking.” – Sam Kim (Wine Orbit)

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Hugl Gruner Veltliner 2014 Austrian White Wine

Hugl Gruner Veltliner 2014–$11.04 SAVE 15%! (on sale through 08.12.15)
“This is an intense and concentrated wine offering pleasant citrus and grapefruit aromas, exotic tropical fruits with a hint of freshly ground white pepper. Full-bodied dry wine with a firm mineral backbone.” -Winemaker
Review for the 2013 vintage:
89 Points – Wine Enthusiast, August 2014
“A fresh scent of green pears greets the nose. What follows comes in a light, crisp citrus vein, supported by a rounded mouthfeel. A refreshing wine for immediate drinking.” —Anne Krebiehl

Mora’s August Tequila of the Month Club: Dulce Vida Tequila Anejo

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Dulce Vida Tequila Añejo
Tequilero de los Altos de Jalisco, NOM #1443
Highlands, Los Altos, Jalisco

The Story: “Dulce Vida produces the only 100° proof, 100% organic tequila in the world and has been nationally recognized as a brand rich in tequila heritage, earning top awards in numerous competitions. 100° Proof provides Dulce Vida the purity, authenticity, and full agave taste that is the cornerstone of our brand. We make our tequila at 100° proof to fashion our spirit in an old-world means, cask-strength, the way spirits were enjoyed years ago.

One day, Ehecatl, the serpent god of the wind, went to explore the universe and spotted Mayahuel. He fell in love with her and curled his body around her. Mayahuel was enchanted—she loved being lifted up in the air amongst the clouds, and she fell in love with Ehecatl.

 “The concept of sustainability was very strategic in the selection of our facility for tequila production. The facility not only had to be capable of making a great product, with care and diligence meeting our specifications, but also had to meet requirements for organic production and overall measures of sustainability – being a kind partner to the environment and local community. A complete recapture of all production waste is performed that yields a nutrient-rich soil supplement to the local farming community. Furthermore, as a by-product of the waste collection & processing, methane gas is captured, creating an energy source utilized to power the facility.

“Dulce Vida produces our tequila in the village of San Ignacio Cerro Gordo at Campanario utilizing a Maquila approach to our operations, whereby our team is actively engaged in every detail, from harvest through distillation & aging. This vertically integrated approach is very different from an arms-length transaction of importing product, or buying liquid from a distillery.” -The Distillery

Mora’s August Vodka of the Month Club: Ultimat Vodka

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Ultimat Vodka
Vodka, 80 Proof
Poland

ultimatvod

The Process: Ultimat has been distilled four times. Generally repeated distillation will produce a purer spirit that is smoother on the palate. Repeated distillation has improved the quality of this spirit as is represented by its high critic rating.

The Vodka: “The nose is pretty solid, slightly sweet, with clear grain notes and no harshness or strong esters. The entry starts out fairly soft and sweet and then builds quickly on the mid palate to a mix of wheat and black pepper. The pepper ramps up strongly in the mid palate and then finishes with a real crescendo. The finish is one of the spicier finishes we’ve tasted on a vodka. It’s no surprise that the makers of Patron fell in love with this vodka – it reminds us of the strong pepper kick of Patron silver tequila. ” –Drink Spirits, online

89 Points Wine Enthusiast February 2015
“Made from a blend of wheat, rye and potato, this vodka has a mild citrus peel note on the bright, zippy finish and a silky, slightly oily texture that coats the palate. Ideal for mixing into cocktails.” —Kara Newman