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The Winning Set: Casa Noble Añejo Tequila & Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2013

These two highly decorated bottles' awards speak for themselves. Crawford's last 5 Sauvignon Blanc vintages have won a combined 5 gold medals and scored 4 — 5 stars in four separate competitions. Casa Noble earned the Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and a score of 94 points from the Beverage Testing Institute.

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Casa Noble Añejo TequilaEach bottle of Casa Noble Tequila is made from blue weber agave plants, which are matured exclusively on the 3000-acre Casa Noble estate. The estate, which is situated in the Jalisco region of Mexico, enjoys rolling hills and steep valleys. "We have our own microclimate in the agave fields,"explains Jose Hermosillo, the owner of Casa Noble. "We grow our plants at a high altitude, and the fields are on an incline, which makes for more fibrous agaves, which yield a tequila with lots of character and spice and herbal notes. That's why we have our own agave fields, so we can control that profile and have very unique taste factors."

Once the agave, which are certified as organic, have matured for up to fourteen years, they are harvested by Casa Noble's legendary jimadors. "We hire our jimadors full time,"Hermosillo says, "so they're living on the land all their lives, for two or three generations, in some cases. So they know when the agaves are ready. Some people call them "˜agave whisperers.'" After the agave have been harvested, the hearts of the plant, or piñas are removed using a small, flat knife called a coa. "It's amazing how a jimador can touch that dark spot and say, "˜Oh, the sugar content of this is such and such,' "Hermosillo says of the piñas. "We'll take it to the lab, and the sugar content will be exactly what he said."

The piñas are then brought back to the distillery, where they are cooked in stone ovens for 36 hours at approximately 212° Fahrenheit (larger commercial distilleries cook piñas in stainless steel autoclaves for just six to eight hours). "Anyone can tell you the slow-cook method imparts a deeper, slightly smoky and sweet flavor that you can't achieve in fast cooking," says Hermosillo. Then, the piñas are crushed and fermented using local, airborne yeasts. As a result of using local yeasts, the tequila is influenced by the estate's surrounding orange, mango and lemon trees. Once fermentation is complete, Casa Noble Tequila is distilled three times through a copper-pot still.

Casa Noble Anejo Tequila is matured in French oak casks for two years. It has notes of milk chocolate, coffee and butterscotch, along with touches of pepper, oaky spices and citrus. The tequila earned the Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and a score of 94 points from the Beverage Testing Institute.

"I immediately felt symbolically connected with Casa Noble," says Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Carlos Santana, who was born near the estate. "You go there and it looks like a sanctuary. It's not like other distilleries."

Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2013Erica Crawford, who founded Loveblock Wines in 2004, says that Loveblock is, in essence, “a love story.” That love is for the land on which the winery is built, the view offered by the land and the challenge of making wine that truly represents such a wild, special place.

Perched on top of the hill overlooking Marlborough, New Zealand’s Awetere Valley, far removed from the agricultural bustle below, Lockblock Winery is special for many reasons, not least of which the people who run it. While Erica founded and manages the winery, she hired her husband, Kim, to be the head winemaker. Says Kim, "I am Erica's husband and the winemaker here at Loveblock. Making wine is really the only thing I have ever done; I've been doing it for almost 30 years now.”

Loveblock’s deeply held belief in ethical farming helps it display its unique and naked terrior through its wines, the most celebrated of which is its Sauvignon Blanc. Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc is made from grapes sourced from estate vineyards in Marlborough, where the soil is predominantly aged alluvial loams containing some clay over stone. Once harvested, the grapes are tank-pressed and allowed to set for four hours before fermentation.

As a result, Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc is texture-focused, with peach, passion fruit and mint aromas leading an explosive palate containing white peach, fig and tomatoes. The finish is memorable with a phenomenal linear acidity.

Pick up these award winning bottles today for Mother's Day!

Casa Noble Anejo Tequila is matured in French oak casks for two years. It has notes of milk chocolate, coffee and butterscotch, along with touches of pepper, oaky spices and citrus. The tequila earned the Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and a score of 94 points from the Beverage Testing Institute. Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc is texture-focused, with peach, passion fruit and mint aromas leading an explosive palate containing white peach, fig and tomatoes. The finish is memorable with a phenomenal linear acidity.

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