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Cheers Weekly


Top Reviewed Wines from 2017  

To close out another year of our National Retailer Wine Panel reviews, we asked panelists to recollect the top wines they drank in 2017. These reviews include brief tasting notes and a rating.
(98) Sets Brunelli 2012 (Italy). If classic brunello is what you want, classic is what you get! Sesti produces their wines the rustic style, embodying the style that brunello gained its fame for. The fruit flavors are there, but they take a back seat to the aroma that bursts from the glass and welcomes you in for a brunello experience you won’t soon forget. ($98.99)
(98) Pascual Tuso Alta Malbec 2013 (Argentina). An absolutely stunning old-vine Maipú malbec from one of Argentina’s top producers. Amazingly young-looking in the glass, the nose and palate possess plenty of rich dark fruit, with hints of spice. Exceptionally mouth-filling, and satisfying to the last sip. ($49.99)
(97) Bodega Noemia de Patagonia J. Alberto 2014 (Argentina). This is a malbec making a statement. The statement is: You have to check me out! Intense in color, on the nose, and on the palate. A dense violet/ruby in the glass, the nose and palate are dominated by black fruit, mostly berry. The palate follows suite, with a hint of minerality to accent and balance this superb wine from Alto Valle del Rio Negro. ($57.99)
(96) Domaine Filliatreau “Linnea” Saumur Blanc 2016 (France). 100% chenin blanc from 25-plus-year-old vines grown on the Filliatreau Family Estate. Fermented and aged in stainless steel with a short maceration on the skins. A bouquet of melon, pear, peach and a wisp of anise leads to those flavors on the palate with crisp, lively acidity and a hint of minerality on the lengthy finish. The wine is totally dry, though really shows lovely ripe fruit. It’s a great example of Loire chenin blanc that will complement seafood, cream sauces and milder Oriental cuisine. It’s also a perfect aperitif. ($16.99)
(96) Broc Vine Starr Zinfandel 2015 (California). This urban North Coast winery boasts some of the best wines in California and is starting to get recognition all over the world. Their Vine Starr zinfandel leads the bunch and is zinfandel like you have never seen. Lighter, brighter and so much more alive than most zinfandel, if you have a chance to get your hands on this one make sure you do. The production at Broc Cellars is very little. ($32.99)
(96) Domaine Filliatreau La Grande Vignolle Saumur-Champigny Rouge 2015 (France). The Cabernet Franc for this fabulous wine is grown on the La Grande Vignolle vineyard which is composed of a unique type of limestone called tufa-stone and highly calcareous subsoils. The mineral nuances are evident in the wine from beginning to end. Along with this, there is a lush bouquet of lilac, raspberry, and cherry. There are layers of concentrated red fruit, clove, and licorice flavors with a hint of “cigar-box” leading to a long finish with firm tannins. To enjoy now, decant for at least 2 hours. For optimum enjoyment, lay this one away for 5-7 years. Your patience will be well-rewarded. ($22.99)
(96) Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Eroica Riesling 2015 (Washington). An outstanding example of riesling, from Columbia Valley in Washington State. In cooperation with one of Germany’s top riesling producers, the Eroica sets the bar extremely high for other producers in the U.S. and across the globe. Great tropical fruit, with a very long and balanced finish. ($20)
single vineyard
Five-Star Beers
For the last round this year of our national retailer beer panels, we asked panelists to recall the best beers they drank in 2017. These reviews include brief tasting notes and a rating.
(100) Brasserie Cantillon Lou Pepe Framboise 2007 (Belgium). Once popping the cork you can smell intense raspberry jam from 4 feet away. The pour is a beautiful deep red. No surprise the nose is just bursting with raspberry and slight hints of barnyard funk. Lou Pepe Framboise is an absolute perfect balance of sour funky wild fermented Lambic and big bright fruit. The raspberry just does not quit truly an amazing experience. There is a reason many consider Cantillon one of the greatest breweries in the world and this beer is the perfect example. 5% ABV.
(99) Hill Farmstead Double Nelson DIPA (Vermont). Brewed exclusively with Nelson Sauvin hops, and easily the best IPA I drank all year. The use of Nelson gives such a beautiful fruity wine character; it truly is a unique and enjoyable drinking experience. Beautiful sauvignon blanc and gooseberry with a touch of earthiness. If only Nelson hopped beers were more easily found. 8% ABV.
(99) Westbrook Brewing Co and Evil Twin Brewing Maple Bourbon Barrel-Aged Mini Growler (South Carolina). A revisit on a previous collaboration. This version was aged in maple bourbon barrels. Pours black with no head. Aroma is all bourbon. Liquid dessert, lots of chocolate, coffee and maple, slightly boozy. 10.5% ABV.
(99) Side Project Brewing Fuzzy (Blend #2) (Missouri). Blonde American wild ale aged in Chardonnay barrels with peaches. Pours light yellow with a thin white head. Aromas of funk, peach and barrel. Taste is like biting into a fresh peach. Fruit lingers on and finishes with a slight funk tartness on the end. Clean and refreshing and close to perfection.

The beer category’s high-end segment ($25 per case or more) could add 500 million more cases in the next decade,
according to Constellation Brands CMO Jim Sabia.

Assistant Controller
Wholesaler: Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
Location: Columbia, SC
Requirements: BA in Accounting or Finance and 3-5 years experience.

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