FrontRunners July 2014: Cellar Notes

Red Bull 
The harshest climates often give rise to the greatest splendors—at least in the realm of winemaking. This is the case with the Toro appellation in northwestern Spain’s Castile-León region. During summer, this arid terrain of sun-blanched hills sometimes experiences 24-hour temperature shifts in excess of 70 degrees. Yet these unforgiving conditions help shape one of Spain’s most powerfully articulated wines. The Numanthia 2010 Termanthia Toro ($206, www.numanthia.com), which comes from Tinta de Toro vines planted in the 19th century, hides its muscle beneath a glossy coat of black currant, vanilla, and Chambord liqueur; yet beneath this opulence looms a staggering structure and a long, piquant finish that progresses from black tar, tobacco, and piñon to a delicate flourish of chamomile and cinnamon.  

Labor of Love
Romantic impulses sometimes have unforeseen consequences. When a pair of childhood sweethearts who grew up in Morton, Ill., parted ways to attend college, they never imagined that some years later, after completing their educations, they would accidentally run into one another while visiting their hometown and marry shortly afterward. Still less did Jackie and Tim Reuling expect that this personal development would also alter their career paths. After Jackie traveled to Provence, the Reulings decided to move to the countryside and grow their own produce. The couple settled on Sonoma County as the ideal place to realize this plan and, in 1998, purchased the 16-acre parcel that is now home to their vineyard. The Reuling Vineyard 2012 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast ($70, www.reulingvineyard.com) is as charming as the couple’s tale, revealing scents of jasmine, honeydew melon, lychee, and minerals, as well as bountiful fruit flavors, including white peach, ripe pear, plantain, and pineapple.  

The limited-edition distillation pays tribute to the Norse god Odin…
The spirit distinguishes itself by employing Japanese ingredients and techniques…
Photo by Jeff Elkins
The cigar combines an Ecuadoran wrapper with Honduran and Dominican filler tobaccos…
Worldwide talents are leaving their marks at a Provençal winery.
A special barrel of Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon stunned the wine world when it sold for $260,000...
Only 250 cases of the Montecristo Grupo de Maestros Private Batch will be released…
FREE PREVIEW: The Masseto 2011 Toscana is among Robb Report’s 2015 Best of the Best selections…
FREE PREVIEW: The Mortlach 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky​ is among Robb Report’s 2015 Best...
The special release contains a blend of Cognacs aged for up to 35 years…
The 23-year-old scotch won a Best in Show award at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition…