WE 96-100

The wonderfully zesty aroma includes notes of margarine, lanolin, dark caramel, buttery oak and holiday fruitcake. The palate entry is rich, creamy and honeyed; at midpalate the woody/creamy flavor suggests rancio beginnings. Finishes semisweet, cocoa- and maple sugar-like, and intensely oaky. Best Buy.

- Wine Enthusiast
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.
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.
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 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 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)
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

V 97, WE 95

Much more tannic and austere than the Brunate, the Tre Tine boasts laser-like intensity, searing tannin and phenomenal overall balance. This is a classic Barolo in every sense. The Tre Tine is a blend of three sites; Cannubi/San Lorenzo, Ravera and Le Coste; all in Barolo. In many ways, the Tre Tine is the archetype of Barolo from the village of Barolo.

- Anotnio Galloni, Vinous
A limited edition Oban, part of Diageo's 2013 Special Releases. One of our favourites from this year's selection, this natural cask strength Highland single malt was matured in rejuvenated American Oak and second-fill ex-Bodega casks. Only 2,860 numbered bottles are available.
WA 96, WS 94, IWC 94, V 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, Wine Advocate (June, 2013)

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 94, IWC 94

The top wine of the estate, the 2010 Sorella (meaning “sister” in Italian and made to honor Chris’ sister) is a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc that spent the standard 21 months in barrel. Loaded with promise, it has a decidedly pure, classy and detailed bouquet of black currant, graphite, licorice, roasted meats and singed herbs. Rich and medium to full-bodied, it still holds onto the overall elegance and finesse driven style of the estate and delivers a seamless texture, chewy tannin and serious minerality on the finish. As with Chris’ other 2010s, short-term cellaring is warranted here and upwards of two decades of longevity should be expected. Drink 2015-2030.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (June, 2013)

WA 92, WE 92

La Fornacina's 2008 Brunello di Montalcino is quite pretty. Sweet floral notes meld into red berries, spices and mint in a fragrant, feminine Brunello that impresses for its balance. All the elements fall into place nicely in this mid-weight, gracious Brunello. High-toned aromatics add lift on the finessed finish. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (June, 2013)
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)
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)
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)
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

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)
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)
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 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)
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.
Black Bear Wines & Spirits
221 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06880 | 203.227.2468