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WS 99, WA 97, IWC 94

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.
WA 93+

The 1996 Flaccianello della Pieve is very, very tight. Hints of inner sweetness struggle to emerge from beneath an imposing wall of tannin. The 1996 still requires considerable patience, but it starts to open up in the glass and seems to have enough fruit to drink well once the tannins soften. I have to say I am intrigued by the 1996. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2021.

- Antonio Galloni (June, 2012)
Icardi Barolo "Parej" 1999 (750 ml)
Our Price: $119.99
Sale Price: $98.99
Savings: $21.00
WS 91

Big and grapey with spice, berry and cherry character. Full-bodied, chewy tannins and a smoky, berry aftertaste. Delicious and well-structured.
WA 94

The 1995 Flaccianello della Pieve wraps around the palate with layers of dark fruit deeply informed by the cold growing season and late harvest that year. The cold summer gave the wine its structure, while the fruit is clearly that of the Indian summer that followed. I especially like the way the wine continues to open up as it sits in the glass. This is a fabulous showing, not to mention a beautifully balanced wine. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2025.

- Antonio Galloni (June, 2012)
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 of the Wine Advocate (June, 2013)
WA 93

The 1998 Flaccianello della Pieve reveals an exotic, intriguing bouquet redolent of flowers, spices and mint. This is one of the more delicate Flaccianellos in this tasting. Everything simply works. Raspberries, flowers, mint and spices are all woven into the highly expressive finish. The 1998 can be enjoyed today, but it also has the pedigree to age well for a number of years. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2023.

- Antonio Galloni (June, 2012)
Eric et Joel Durand Cornas Empreintes 2011 (750 ml)
Our Price: $59.99
Sale Price: $38.99
Savings: $21.00
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)
WS 93

Sleek, rich and polished, with great depth and structure, firming from midpalate on and allowing the ripe currant, blackberry, mineral and cedar notes to fold together nicely, with a long, persistent finish. Drink now through 2022. 500 cases made
.

- James Laube, Wine Spectator (Nov, 2011)
Bright with a deep ruby core, lighter with a bit of garnet toward the rim. Rich and aromatic with dark fruit of black cherry, cassis, exotic licorice, cinnamon, and subtle vanilla spice with sweet notes of tobacco, a little cocoa, and subtle toasted cedar in the background. Full-bodied with black cherry and classic black currant fruit, complex brown spice of star anise, licorice with cocoa, and herbal notes of sweet tobacco and a hint of eucalyptus. The rest is classic Bordeaux Cabernet Sauvignon — fruit, complex spice, and mineral flavors balanced with guiding structural elements on a long, memorable finish.

Blend: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot

WA 96, WS 94

The 2009 Barolo Romirasco is an incredibly rich and powerful wine and by far the most elaborate of the bunch. Those oak-driven notes of spice and toasted nut will require many more years of bottle aging until they fully integrate, but the wine certainly shows the girth and consistency to bring it forward over time. Lingering notes of mocha, espresso, cola, dark spice, plum and dried blackberries complete the finish. Don’t even think of opening this bottle anytime soon. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2040.


- Monica Larner of the Wine Advocate (June, 2013)
WS 97, WA 95
Wine Spectator Top 100: 2004, Rank: 10


The 2001 Flaccianello della Pieve marks a turning point, as it is the first Flaccianello to be made as a selection of the estate’s best fruit across a number of parcels rather than as a single-vineyard wine. Black cherries, plums, smoke, licorice and tobacco are some of the notes that burst from the glass in this virile, massive Flaccianello. A hint of sweet toasted oak reminiscent of the 1990 lingers on the finish. This is a great showing, but readers will have to be patient. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2031.

- Antonio Galloni (June, 2012)
WA 95+

Levy and McClellan's 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, which spent 26 months in new oak (mostly Taransaud), is developing at an incredibly slow rate. Its opaque ruby/purple color is accompanied by beautiful aromas of roasted coffee, melted chocolate, creme de cassis, burning embers, camphor, and a hint of cedar. On the palate, the wine combines considerable substance, power, and extract with a sense of harmony as well as elegance. Black currant, blackberry, and gamy, meaty notes are also present in this full-bodied effort with an incredibly long finish. The wine is just beginning to shed some tannin and become accessible. It will benefit from another 4-5 years of bottle age, and will easily last for three decades or more.

Under their personal label, the brilliant husband and wife team of Martha McClellan and Bob Levy turn out 400 cases of a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, all from a mountainside vineyard planted in volcanic soils at a 500-600 foot elevation. The vineyard spacing is unusually close with 2,900 vines per acre (compared with around 600 vines per acre at many other Napa Cabernet vineyards). Bob Levy has been the winemaker at Harlan Estate since its inception, and, along with owner Bill Harlan, is in the process of making Bond as prodigious as Harlan Estate. Martha McClellan is the winemaker for two Napa Valley superstar cult wineries, Blankiet and Sloan. As I have written in the past, these efforts are produced by two quiet, somewhat reclusive individuals with extraordinary resumes, limitless talent, and a perfectionist, nearly obsessive attitude toward making world-class wines.


- Robert Parker
JS 96, WS 95, WA 95, IWC 93

The 2008 Barolo Cicala is beautifully focused and vibrant from start to finish. It boasts fabulous energy and sheer tension in its ripe red berries, spices, crushed flowers and mint. All the elements come together beautifully in this pure, delineated Barolo. Huge, powerful tannins provide the backdrop for layers of cool, mineral-infused fruit. There is a pulsating energy to the Cicala that is absolutely irresistible. This is another fabulous showing. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2028.

- Antonio Galloni (April, 2012)

IWC 92

The 2009 Licinia is a blend of 40% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 30% Tempranillo aged sur lie for 12 months in predominantly French oak with occasional batonnage. Purple-colored, it offers up a bouquet of smoke, pencil lead, Asian spices, violets, black cherry, and blackberry. Restrained and elegant on the palate, it has ample savory fruit, good depth and concentration, and enough structure to evolve for 2-3 years. Drink this classy effort from 2013 to 2023.
WA 93

The 1994 Flaccianello della Pieve is beguiling. It possesses lovely inner perfume and sweetness, but more of a medium-bodied personality than some of the truly great vintages because of rain that arrived in the days leading up to the harvest. Everything about the 1994 is immensely appealing. The wine fades just a touch on the finish, but not enough to detract from its fine overall balance. There is just a touch more sweetness and depth than in the 1993. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2017.

- Antonio Galloni (June, 2012)
WA 95, IWC 94

The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon displays beautifully sweet blue and black fruits intermixed with espresso roast, smoked meats, chocolate, and scorched earth. Dense purple in color, deep, rich, broad, with plenty of tannin and concentration as well as noticeable oak, this wine is a massive Cabernet meant for long-term cellaring. I wouldn’t touch a bottle for 6 to 8 years, then watch it unfold over the following 25-30.

Under their personal label, the brilliant husband and wife team of Martha McClellan and Bob Levy turn out 400 cases of a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, all from a mountainside vineyard planted in volcanic soils at a 500-600 foot elevation. The vineyard spacing is unusually close with 2,900 vines per acre (compared with around 600 vines per acre at many other Napa Cabernet vineyards). Bob Levy has been the winemaker at Harlan Estate since its inception, and, along with owner Bill Harlan, is in the process of making Bond as prodigious as Harlan Estate. Martha McClellan is the winemaker for two Napa Valley superstar cult wineries, Blankiet and Sloan. As I have written in the past, these efforts are produced by two quiet, somewhat reclusive individuals with extraordinary resumes, limitless talent, and a perfectionist, nearly obsessive attitude toward making world-class wines.


- Robert Parker (Dec, 2009)
Juslyn Vineyards Perry's Blend, Spring Mountain District 2003 (750 ml)
Our Price: $55.99
Sale Price: $45.99
Savings: $10.00
WA 92

A blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Merlot, the 2003 Perry’s Blend reveals a chocolaty, fleshy bouquet with hints of espresso and black fruits, soft acidity, rich, medium to full-bodied flavors, and a corpulent, heady finish. While not quite as stunning as the 2002, it is a beautiful red to consume during its first 10-12 years of life.

As I have written before, Carolyn and Perry Butler have quickly made Juslyn one of the finest sources of top quality wine on Spring Mountain. They planted their estate vineyard in 1997 and have been sourcing high quality grapes from several of Andy Beckstoffer’s top Napa Valley vineyards.

Robert Parker (Dec, 2006)

JS 96, WS 96, WA 95

The 2008 Barolo Colonnello is impressive. It shows gorgeous richness and depth in its focused, energetic fruit. Sweet red berries, flowers and spices are woven together beautifully in the 2008 Colonnello. The elegant side of Barolo comes through, but with an extra degree of muscle. The oak, sometimes noticeable in this bottling, is very well-integrated. Floral notes are woven throughout the finish. The Colonnello often gives the impression of being early to mature relative to the estate’s other Baroli, but the 2008 is surprisingly powerful and structured. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2033.

- Antonio Galloni (April, 2012)
WA 94

The 1999 Flaccianello della Pieve brings together depth, structure and considerable aromatic complexity. It is a gorgeous wine with all its elements beautifully in place. The 1999 isn’t a huge, imposing Flaccianello from a structural perspective, instead it emphasizes a more classic expression of Sangiovese in its aromas and flavors. There is more than enough freshness layered into the fruit for the 1999 to drink well for a number of years. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.

- Antonio Galloni (June, 2012)
WA 93, WS 91

The 2003 Flaccianello della Pieve has aged well considering the oppressive heat of the year. The tannins will always remain firm and the aromatics are starting to show slight elements of oxidation. I don’t see the 2003 ever developing into a great Flaccianello. Readers should consider drinking the 2003 over the next 5-7 years at most. This is a decidedly huge, opulent Flaccianello, but the wine’s extroverted qualities are as well-balanced as one could reasonably hope for. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018.

- Antonio Galloni (June, 2012)
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