Melanie Hoffman

In the interest of having more opinions than my own here, Melanie is our Diaz Communications tasting coordinator. Melanie has been in the wine business since the mid 1990s, and also served on the Windsor Vineyards’ tasting panel, while working there. Windsor Vineyards discovered that Melanie’s got a great grasp of adjectives to describe what she’s tasting. I second that opinion, and will occasionally ask Melanie to add to my thoughts… because I can’t say these things in quite the same way, but am quick to back it all up… — jo

La Playa 2003 Primero – Plentiful blackberry and cassis fill the nose in this fruit forward quaffer that give way to white pepper, sweet spice and vanilla bean. Medium bodied jammy palate displays soft tannins and a velvety black fruit finish. Enjoy tonight with herb rubbed lamb chops on a bed of couscous. ($30) mh

La Playa 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon – Rich plumy nose with smoky oak and leather, leads to blueberry jam and a soft whisper of whipping cream. Ripe raspberries and earthy red currants stand out in the palate, cocoa powder and a hint of mint in the finish. The firm dusty tannins give this wine a good structure. One to two years in the bottle will prove positive results ($20). mh