WS 99, WA 97

The 2006 Flaccianello della Pieve is monumental, as it has been since the very beginning. Smoke, black cherries, plums, incense, licorice and tar are some of the many notes that burst from the glass in this powerful wine. The 2006 has fruit and structure to burn. It is going to be an absolutely fabulous wine to follow over the coming years, but patience is key. A huge, explosive finish rounds things out in style. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2036.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (June, 2012)
WA 92, WS 91

Moving to the 2011s (which is compared to 2000 or 2004 by the Durand brothers), both of which were in bottle at the time of this tasting, the 2011 Cornas Empreintes offers up smoky, earthy notes of truffle, black currants, creme de cassis and damp soil to go with a medium to full-bodied, pure and lively profile on the palate. Gaining in richness and depth in the glass, it’s a beautifully done Cornas to drink over the coming decade.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2013)
WA 93

The 2010 Gloria is an ass-kicking, fabulous value once again from this estate, which would probably be classified if the 1855 hierarchy of the wines of the Medoc were ever done again. Abundant notes of cedar wood, fruitcake, flowers, creme de cassis and kirsch are all present in this full-bodied, opulent, dense, dark ruby/purple wine. It is slightly more restrained than the flamboyant 2009, but equal in quality. This is a juicy, well-proportioned, sensationally concentrated, super-ripe Gloria to drink over the next decades. Of course, it is a sleeper of the vintage, given the reasonable price it normally sells for.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2013)
IWC 92

Bright green-tinged yellow. Reduced nose offers peach, brown spices and smoky soil tones. Suppler and sweeter than the 2010, showing an intriguing stony character and nicely integrated oak. Fresh acidity extends the flavor of lemon cream through the long, subtle finish. Nicely silky and refined, and firmer on the back end than the 2010.

- Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar (May/June, 2013)
WA 92, WS 92

An outstanding effort that needs another year or three to come together, the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon offers classic Cabernet aromas and flavors of creme de cassis, black currant, toasted spice, hints of dried flowers and lead pencil shavings to go with a seamless, medium to full-bodied and juicy feel on the palate. It doesn’t have the back-end depth or concentration of the 2010 (or 2012), yet is nicely balanced, with good mid-palate depth, and plenty of sweet tannin that emerge on the finish. It should be at its best from 2017-2028.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (June, 2014)
Complex and rounded, with great personality. Wonderful concert of different sensations in which come out of the ripe fruit, cherry, tobacco, cacao and vanilla. Rich, wrapping, confirm the charming sensation smelled. Extremely rich, the grappa at its highest level.
WA 93+

The 2009 Barolo Parej is a slow to evolve wine that grows in careful increments and measured intensity with each swirl of the glass. The aromas veer over to the dark side with licorice, tar, asphalt, plum, dark berry and wet earth. It’s well worth waiting to see where it will go. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2030.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (June, 2013)
This new product from The Macallan is 100% matured in sherry oak casks, hand-selected to create a whisky that is exceptionally dark and rich. This new product brings together two of the most important pillars of The Macallan: the natural color and the sherry-seasoned oak casks. This single malt whisky Showcases the full spectrum of natural color, giving the whisky its classic Macallan character.
WS 91

Flavors of dark chocolate and spice coat the black cherry core in this rich, oaky red. Dense and muscular, coating the mouth with a dusty feel. Best from 2016 through 2023.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2014)
WA 91

The estate's Cabernet-dominated release, the 2012 Isosceles checks in as 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc, all of which spent 21 months in new French oak. It's a medium to full-bodied, supple, pure and balanced effort that offers lots of toasted spice, cedar, tobacco leaf and cassis-like aromas and flavors. Showing hints of chalky minerality and plenty of tannin on the finish, it will have 10-12+ years of longevity.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Aug, 2015)
Complex, rounded, with great personality. Wonderful concert of different sensations in wich come out the "sclarea sage", grapefruit and vanilla. Rich, wrapping taste. All over the palate, very silky, affordable even by beginner. In Italy is called the Lady's Grappa for his fragrance and roundness, very much seductive when drunk in special occasions
WE 93, WS 91

Blackberry, mint and blueberry, with hints of cassis. Full-bodied, with refined yet chewy tannins. Pretty and balanced. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot.

- James Suckling, Wine Spectator (Dec, 2009)
WE 91

This is a soft wine, with dominating fruit. It has flavors of black currant and spice, firm tannins and an attractive ripe center.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (May, 2012)

JS 97, V 96

Rich, powerful and seductive, the 2012 Opus One blossoms in the glass with superb textural richness and volume. Dark red and black fruit, smoke, cedar, new leather and tobacco all meld together as the 2012 shows off its personality. Fine, silky tannins support the huge, creamy finish. I expect the 2012 will offer a long and broad drinking window of pure pleasure.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Sept, 2014)
IWC 91, V 91

Good deep ruby-red. Offers much more clarity and lift on the nose than the 2011 cabernet bottling, showing a floral topnote to the aromas of cassis and rocky minerality. Juicy and tight in the mouth, with good detail and underlying structure to the expressive dark raspberry and soil flavors. Finishes vinous and persistent. Showing very well considering that it was bottled just before I tasted it.

- Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar (May/June, 2014)
WA 94+, IWC 94, WS 93-96

The 2009 has the highest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (90%) ever included in a Calon-Segur (the rest is Merlot and Petit Verdot). Completely different from its St.-Estephe brethren, it is more backward and structured with a dense purple color, lots of black cherry, black currant, loamy earth, forest floor and spice notes, excruciatingly high levels of tannin, and a wonderful inner core of sweetness and concentration. It could behave like the 1982, which, at age 30, is just becoming mature. The 2009 is an uncompromising, masculine, massive style of wine that needs 15-20 years of cellaring even in this luscious, flashy, flamboyant vintage. It is super-tight and needs lots of coaxing and aeration. Anticipated maturity: 2025-2050+.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2012)
WS 99, WA 97

Shows excellent color and richness for a Sangiovese, with aromas of sultana, coffee, toasty oak and vanilla bean. Full-bodied, with masses of fruit and chewy tannins. The concentration and depth of fruit and layers of tannins are breathtaking. A blockbuster. Best after 2014.
A deep red that is almost blackish in the center with beautiful ruby edges. A complex nose with spicy notes of nutmeg and dried fruits like fig and nutty overtones. Good structure and volume in the mouth with a finish of dried fruits and notes of vanilla and cinnamon that evidence its passage in oak.
100% Barbera D'Asti, aged 10 years, stored in wooden box.

Amber color. Complex, delicate, with sensation of marasca cherry, wood fruits, cacao and vanilla on the nose. Rich, harmonious and persistent taste. Powerful and in the same time very delicate. Real masculine grappa. Very classic though. Highly appreciated by connoisseurs around the world for his intense fruity smell.
WA 95, WE 94

The 2011 Sorella (68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot) is in the same ballpark, with plenty of blackberry, mineral, toast and earthiness, as well as full-bodied richness and depth on the palate. More backwards and structured than the Champoux Vineyard, give it a handful of years in the cellar and plan on drinking bottles through 2028.

Winemaker Anna Shafer continues to produce elegant, classically styled wines from her 13-acre estate vineyard located on the eastern edge – which is slightly higher in elevation and gets additional moisture – of Walla Walla.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (June, 2014)

JS 95, WA 93

Simone Bilorsi's 2010 Brunello di Montalcino exhibits a dark garnet color and little light penetration. Fornacina has been using organic farming methods since 2004 and the pureness of the fruit does come through in this classic vintage. Ash, smoke and dried fruit lift from the glass to reveal softer tones of spice, licorice and grilled herb at the back. This wine already shows signs of tar and black tar that hint at the beginnings of bottle evolution. Otherwise, the delivers is very smooth and silky and the wine boasts fresh acidity to keep it lively. The finish is long and rich.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2015)
Black Bear Wines & Spirits
221 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06880 | 203.227.2468