Cork Report: Memorial Weekend Tasting: Italian Wines for Chillin and Grillin

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A Great Italian Line-Up El Exigente Judges the Wine All Carefully Chosen… …And Well Received


We had a great tasting for the Memorial Day Weekend. Four Italian
wines from Sardinia, Trento, Tuscuany and Campania.  The interesting
thing is that of the four grape varieties represented by the four wines only
Sangiovese is indigenous to Italy. the other three grapes originated in
France or Greece but are now widely cultivated and a part
of the Italian wine culture. The whites were light enough to be
good aperitif wines or “deck wine” as one customer put it and also
have the acidity and intensity to stand up to typical white wine dishes.
The reds of course complement a variety of grilled foods.
Here’s the lineup and my impressions of the wines:

Sella & Mosca La Cala Vermentino di Sardegna 2009
Sale Price: $12.74     Regular Price: $14.99
Nose and palate are light and crisp very refreshing with citrus and flinty qualities
definitely a good “deck wine” but can go with salads and lighter shellfish dishes.

Bottega Vinaia Estate Pinot Grigio 2009
Sale Price: $15.29     Regular Price: $17.99
Excellent 100% Pinot Grigio sourced from better sites near Lake Garda with a 400m-500m elevation and from older vines. It has some body and intensity with bright apple flavors and a nice balanced, round mouthfeel.

Feudi di San Gregorio Rubrato Aglianico 2007
Sale Price: $14.44     Regular Price: $16.99

The Rubrato was dark and a little spicy with a solid core of dark fruits with a touch of mineral and a noticeable degree of oak from the eight months spent in French oak. Give it a few more points if you like oak in reds like I did, definitely the more popular red.

Col d’Orcia Rosso di Montalcino 2008
Sale Price: $17.84     Regular Price: $20.99
The Col d’Orcia is not what I expected from Sangiovese grosso. This wine was very light, soft and easy to drink but it was a little one dimensional with straightforward cherry flavors and a little low in acidity, enjoyable  but not intriguing. My least favorite of the day.

Rich Mora

Cork Report for “The End of the World” Tasting Saturday May 21: Aussie Gewurtz, Chianti, Cali Pinot, Cab Blend & Dessert Semillon

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Academics discuss The Rapture

Enjoying The Scott Family

Pinot Noir

Would you buy a case of wine from this man?

Well the rapture has come and gone and I haven’t noticed anyone missing. The wines at our tasting
were excellent and in retrospect if they were the last wines I tasted in my short life
I’d not have been disappointed. It was a great line up from top to bottom.
Here’s my impression of today’s selections:


Sale Price: $13.59     Regular Price: $15.99

Nose lots of floral (honeysuckle?), lychee and peach aromas and flavors with maybe like 1% R.S. overall dry but with lots of ripeness and fruit. definitely a good bottle to take to Thai Gourmet and not just because it has a screwtop.


Sale Price: $19.54     Regular Price: $22.99

Lots of ripe dark cherry aromas with cherry pie spice and bread notes. The palate is plush and seductive with ripe cherry flavors, spice and a little autumnal quality in the finish hinting of dry leaves and bark and a plush, expansive palate. It has a little of that autumnal quality of dry leaves and bark. Really a lot of Pinot with a lot of layers of flavors for about twenty dollars.


Sale Price: $18.69     Regular Price: $21.99

I wish I could say something other than it tastes like good Sangiovese which means nothing to someone that doesn’t know what Sangiovese is. This wine has great varietal character and tastes like very well made Sangiovese, lots of berry flavors with notes of leather and meat and a hint of mineral and spice notes. It has good grip and finish and really begs for a veal chop, beef steak or some lamb.

Chalk-Hill-Proprietary-Red-Estate-2007 Sale Price: $51.99 (20% off!)    Regular Price: $64.99

This is the first vintage of this wonderful Bordeaux style red made of mainly Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. At first whiff it reminds me of a really good Napa Cabernet Sauvignon with strong scents of concentrated cherry drops and cassis with eucalyptus notes. On the palate the  dense berry and cherry drop flavors continue with a mineral background and very nice hints of anise and licorice in the finish. This one Really benifited from decanting and airing. It started off at 3pm tasting very good and by 6pm, from decanter it was amazing, so do yourself a favor and open it well in advance of drinking.

Chalk-Hill-Botrytised-Semillon-Estate-Vineyard-Selection-2006 Sale Price: $23.99 (20% off!)    Regular Price: $29.99

Decadence at its best. This one has a honey golden color with precise aromas of honey, overripe orange a little apricot jam and slight tea notes. On the palate it is unctuous with a lengthy finish.  Really good.

Cork Report: Tasting With Christopher Howell Cain Five Winemaker and GM

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2006 Cain Five 2006 Cain Concept NV7 Cain Cuvee


I had a great tasting session this past Wednesday with Chris Howell winemaker at Cain Vineyard and Winery and our wine consultant Donna
Perrin who arranged the visit. After a little virtual tour of the Valley on Chris’s IPad we talked about his wines, the terroir, vineyard
management and winemaking. It was really interesting to understand the geology, geography and microclimates behind the wines. The three wines
were all Bordeaux style blends from three distinct vineyard sources throughout the mountains and valley floor of Napa.

The big one, Cain Five 2006 about $100, named for the five grape in the blend is all estate grown from  vineyards in the Spring Mountain
District about 2000 feet up, above the fogline from terraced vineyards with very thin rocky soil. It is mostly Cab Sauv and Merlot:
Nose: First whiff gives high notes of eucalyptus and notes of herb and evergreen. Then heavier scents of black fruit kick in with aromas of
toasted bread and hints of crushed stone
Palate: Cain Five 2006 is medium to full bodied with red fruit flavors, hints of herb, some anise and cocoa in the finish and
very integrated fine but persistent tannins.

The Cain Concept 2006 about $60 is from the famous Napa benchlands and is sourced from Rutherford, St. Helena and Oakville, you really get the taste of “Rutherford dust” this one is mostly Cab Sauv. This one had the most Cabernet Sauvignon character with lots of cassis and anise with a little herb  flavor. very  gutsy with a gentle but persistent grip to it and distinct mineral notes, this one really begs for a loin lamb chop.

Finally the Cain Cuvee NV7 about $35 blends different vintages as well as different varieties and different Napa terroirs. Mostly Merlot, Cab Sauv and
Cab Franc. This one was blended from both 2006 and 2007 vintage juice. Chris said this is a Bordeaux blend that is trying to be a Pinot Noir. It is sourced from
a variety of sites with a healthy dose of Merlot. I found this one to be much more supple with very gentle tannins and much more cocoa and coffee notes, with more blackberry and plum than than the Cain Five or the Cain Concept. Really an enjoyable wine. All these wines are available, please contact us to order
Rich Mora
Mora’s Fine Wine & Spirits
280 Rt. 25A E. Setauket, NY 11733

Ordoñez Trip Day 5 Wed April 20 Tasting at Emilio Moro & Singing “Cielito Lindo”

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2008 Emilio Moro Malleolus 2007 Emilio Moro Malleolus Valderramiro 2007 Emilio Moro Malleolus de Sanchomartin

My notes on Emilio Moro Malleolus newest releases followed by pricing and links to available vintages:

2008 Emilio Moro Malleolus (18 months in oak, 25-70 year old vines 100% Tinto del Pais) not for sale yet
Nose of black cherry, leather, cocoa, hint of tobacco very powerful
Taste of lush sweet cherry, cocoa, anise, hint of cigar box with a long 30 second finish, excellent wine

2007 Emilio Moro Malleolus Valderramiro (from the 85 year old “Valderramiro vineyard, 22 months in French Oak) not for sale yet
Nose is lush and powerful with lots of cherry and anise or licorice and hints of stone dust
Palate like the regular Malleolus only more so, lots of cherry, cocoa, spices especially licorice, incense and a very long lingering finish

2007 Emilio Moro Malleolus de Sanchomartin (single vineyard planted in 1964 from cuttings an 85 year old vineyard, 22 months in French Oak) not for sale yet
This is my favorite of the group, brighter fruit, lush mouth watering, I preferred to Valderamirro. powerful perfumed nose of black cherry, blackberry, anise, slight tobacco and cigar box, crushed stone
Palate of cherry, pie spices, a little cocoa a little tobacco, slight toasted bread and toffee with a tsunami finish, wowow.

Emilio Moro Malleolus 2006 Buy On Line
Individual pricing $67.99/bottle, 4 bottle minimum. Case price (12  bottles) $57.79/bottle, please order full cases by phone
Ratings 93 points Wine Advocate Issue 183 June 2009
“The purple-colored 2006 Malleolus was aged for 18 months in French oak. It delivers a complex perfume of cedar, spice box, incense, mineral, and blackberry. This leads to an elegant wine with superior depth and intensity. Layered with tons of savory fruit and well concealed ripe tannin, it will evolve for another 6-8 years and provide optimum drinking from 2016 to 2031. “-Jay Miller  All of the Bodegas Emilio Moro wines are 100% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo).

Emilio Moro Malleolus Valderramiro 2006 Buy On Line
Minimum order Case price (3bottles) $140.25/bottle limited availability
Ratings 95 points Wine Advocate Issue 189 June 2010
“The 2006 Malleolus de Valderramiro is a less dense color than the 2007. It exhibits a fragrant nose of Asian spices, incense, lavender, balsamic, and black fruits. On the palate it is less rich than the 2007 but, make no mistake; this is a very serious offering. It will evolve for another 5-7 years and drink well through 2031.” Jay Miller

Emilio Moro Malleolus de Sanchomartin 2005 Buy Online
Minimum order Case price (3bottles) $165.75/bottle
Ratings 96 points Wine Advocate Issue 189 June 2010
“The 2005 Malleolus de Sanchomartin is a dense purple/black color. It exhibits a brooding bouquet of lightly roasted herbs, minerals, espresso, balsamic, licorice, and blackberry. Powerful, tannic, and massive on the palate, it will require a minimum of 12-15 years of further cellaring. It has all the right stuff; all that’s needed is patience (and youth).”
-Jay Miller

On to Toro, what amazing wines they have at Teso La Monja

Ordoñez Trip Day 4 Tuesday April 19: Basque Stronghold in La Rioja Alta Wines and Bodegas of Sierra Cantabria

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Approaching the Cantabria Range, Rioja Alta Ancient Hut in Vineyards at Bodegas Sierra Cantabria


Starting to get the rhythm of eating, drinking & no sleep. Secret is to get on the bus, with your stuff or face Jorge’s “physical extraction”. I never got to that point. We are becoming seasoned soldiers marching through, vineyards, wineries, lunches, dinners and many bottles of wine. Actually my internal clock adjusted very well to Spanish Time. That means beer with a Spanish omelette at breakfast, a five course lunch with lots of wines. An hour or two siesta of sorts, usually on the bus to more activities until close to midnight, then a big dinner til 2 or 3am and a few short hours of sleep, then lather, rinse, repeat.
The group was a good mix. Four guys from New Jersey boys sophisticated wine merchants with stores throughout the Garden State, three of them  I considered “good ol boys” one animated BeloRusian who reminded me of “Borat”. There was  also the very  hip sommelier of very hip and happening Bar Basque (in NYC) cracking everyone up stomping through the vines in his Prada shoes, the quiet but quick witted and very savvy wine buyer for CasaMono (also NYC). The list goes on with a lumbering former Buffalo Bills offensive linesman with a store upstate NY and a high tolerance for Joselito ham and wine,  and finally the introspective manager of a Brooklyn wine store who turned her Nikon on everything we came across. Jorge also brought along his manager and some of his sales team who made the trip a lot of fun and educational.
Knowledge of Spanish, Spain and Spanish wines varied widely from zilch to totally fluent and familiarity with most of what we were eating and drinking, though the master is Jorge. He seems to know everything about everything Spanish, if it crawls, swims, flys or runs and it is good to eat  he knows where to find the best and the best way to serve it. The list of wine regions in Spain that he works in keeps growing. He knows the growers and winemakers personally, all the best restaurants, the terroir, varieties what each region is best at making at what is “shit”. He has great passion for the food and wine of his homeland and always reminds us that “food without wine is bullshit”. He’s very straightforward and pulls no punches and we went first class all the way. However he has done this a lot and knows how to keep sixteen intoxicated people going at the  pace he has to maintain to cover a large part of the Iberian Peninsula in ten days. When we roll in the morning we roll and when he clinks his glass you listen up or face getting thrown down a dry well. I’m still not sure what the ultimate point of these trips are. For a while I thought that at the end of the trip he would take our fattened livers to make some human foie gras.

Edouardo Eguren at El Puntido Vineyard

Barrels of El Puntido, La Nieta El Bosque et, al. sleeping

in the caves

Everything in Spain is two hours away. We extracted at  5am and after an hour drive we had a rosé and red wine breakfast with more Iberico ham and Spanish omelette. The next stop was Rioja Alta and the vineyards and winery of the Eguren family. Now we are at the feet of the Sierra Cantabria mountains near the village of Paganos, “a terrorist town” according to Jorge . Rioja Alta is on the north bank of the Ebro river with the best terroir in Rioja  and is protected from the north winds by the Sierra Cantabria. We were met at the first vineyard site by winemakers Marcos Egurena and his son Edouardo Eguren and Miguel-Angel Eguren the G.M.,  at the El Puntido vineyard. Puntido means landing or step and refers to the natural 25 hectare broad flat area at the base of the mountains that comprise this vineyard site. It was established in the 1950’s, the soil is calcareous over solid limestone bedrock, the grapes for this and the other single vineyard projects are picked by hand and sometimes hand destemmed as well. I’m focusing on El Puntido, because I love the 2005 and we may get a sweet deal on it but I must mention that there are also El Bosque, La Nieta, and San Vicente. also, the Egurens have a new project in Toro which we will see in a few days. The younger Edouardo took over the tour after introductory comments by his father Marco. Edouardo is a good looking kid in his mid twenties and I hear really lives it up when they let him out of the cellars and vineyards and he visits clients in the states. After visiting the vineyards they took us into the bodega between the La Nieta and El Puntido vineyards. After going through the barrel room we took a freight elevator down through a shaft in the bedrock into their underground aging caves. Were some barrels rest for over two years.

Some Big Bottles of Señorio de San Vicente

After that was a ride to the small (pop.1,155) but important Rioja village of San Vicente de la Sonsierra where the Rioja wine of the same name comes from. Señorio de  San Vicente is produced by a single clone from a single vineyard site and is a really unique and outstanding wine.  We tasted through all the current and soon to be released wines of Sierra Cantabria which is quite a lengthy portfolio, I’ll just give you a few of my notes on the wines. This was followed by another massive lunch in the Bodega of San Vicente in a beautiful old room apparently built just for eating and drinking. They even have disposable toothbrushes in the bathrooms to get the purple off your teeth, the highlights of the meal were langostino, whole, steamed and roasted baby goat. These were some of  the wines tasted:
Sierra Cantabria Organza 2001 and 2009 This is their top white wine. all barrel fermented and aged. It does age beautifully and we got to try the
oldest and newest vintage side by side both are about half Viura and half Malvasia grapes
2001 Organza
Amazing old gold color
Nose A wide range of aromas; nutty and tawny flavors with a bit of minerality and “gout de petrol”. Still had bright acidity and good fruit with some mineral and toffee notes in the finish.

Organza 2009
Nose Intense new oak with ripe baked apples
Taste Toffee and baked apple with a crisp finish. This wine really gains lots of complexity with proper aging.

Vinedos de Paganos “El Puntido” 2005 retail about $50, look for a further discount on this one soon.
Nose Powerful perfume of black fruits and ripe blackberries with hints of nuts, toast,and some mineral notes
Taste: Powerful, saturated with black fruit flavors and hints of toast, spice and some mineral notes. To me El Puntido is much more masculine and structured than La nieta from older vines in the neighboring vineyard

Sierra Cantbria Amancio 2007 price $110 to $160 estimated
made with 200% new oak and very old vines. It is aged in new oak for half the time and then transferred to another new barrel for the rest of its time.
Nose Powerful, deep black fruits with grilled bread, anise, graphite or lead pencil
Taste very strong but smooth on the palate with a long finish, flavors of dark fruit, black cherry, plum and black berry with toast, spice and mineral qualities

Sierra Cantabria Coleccion Privada 2008 retail $38-$45
50 year old vines, 18 months in oak
Very Good Stuff
Nose shows lots of black fruit, some anise and chai tea with lots of depth and layers of flavor. Showing very well for an obviously young wine, very polished

Sierra Cantabria Codice 2009 $8.79 online at Mora’s  100% Tempranillo, aged six months in tank and six months in small French and American oak
Nose dark cherry and plum, hints of cocoa powder and a mineral quality
Taste concentrated berry flavors, lots of grip good but needs to breath a little, an excellent value!

Cork Report: May 14th Tasting with the Ladies of Bordeaux

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Tasting with: Helèné & Florence owners and winemakers 

of Ch. La Gatte and Ch. Saincrit

The Line up: Ch. La Gatte and Ch. Saincrit


We had a great tasting Saturday with owner-winemakers  Helèné Fenouillet of Chateau La Gatte and Florence Prud’Homme of Chateau Saincrit. There is a lot more to Bordeaux than unaffordable 1st growths. These two entrepreneurs each have small properties  (one has 13hectares the other 9.5) on the right “bonk” as they say and work the fields and the cellars themselves. This is truly the fruit of their labor and their passion and appreciation for wine comes through. I of course took a few laps around the tasting table.  Here is my  quick impression of the wines we tasted.

Ch La Gatte Blanc 2010 new release 70% Sauvignon Gris and Sauvignon Blanc. Wonderfully fresh and forward with lovely crisp citrus and white peach qualities and a fresh finish.

Ch La Gatte Rose 2009 70% merlot 30% malbec nose of cherry, strawberry and hints of sweetened ice tea. Nice round ripe quality with hint of honey but dry and crisp on the finish. A rose to drink year round with anything and everything.

Ch La Gatte, La Butte 06 Old vine merlot 100% aged in one and two year old french oak. Intense cherry nose  hints cassis, coffee, spice and wood. Medium body good grip and a satisfying finish, just begging for a rib eye or loin lamb chops

Ch Saincrit Classique 2009 100% merlot, no oak. Very different from the La Gatte very pretty wine with lots of crunchy berry flavors and a lovely round feel. Just a joy to drink.

Heléné signing bottles for customers Obviously a fan!

Free Tasting Saturday May 14 With the Women of Bordeaux

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Saturday from 3 to 6pm  Chateau La Gatte co-owner Hélenè  Fenouillet  and Chateau Saincrit Winemaker Florence Prud’Homme will visit Mora’s Fine Wines for a tasting and discussion of their tasty French wines. We have a history with Mike Affatato  going back to the early 1990’s before he had his wine epiphany, since then he followed his passion and literally dove into the French wine business and acquired Chateau La Gatte with Hélenè Fenouillet in 2004. We are lucky to have Hélenè here as she spends a lot of her time at the Chateau. Florence Prud’Hommer comes from Chateau Saint Crit, a neighboring property that is totally new to our shop, we are sure you will love her 2009 Bordeaux as well. So stop by between 3 and 6pm this Saturday
it is very special to taste with the owners and winemakers, the artisanal spirit of the wine comes through and you come to appreciate the individual effort in making them.

R Wines “Bitch Grenache” or should I say “La Puta Garnacha” is Back

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R Wines Bitch Grenache (Aragon, Spain)$10.39, save 20%


 The wonderful R Wines from The Grateful Palate have been on hiatus for a while but look what popped up.
The Bitch Grenache is back, as usual a bargain but now you must look for it on the Spanish rack because this Formerly
Aussie Wine is now made in Aragon Spain, which makes since Aragon is the original source of the Grenache grape.
  No ratings on the wine yet but here are winemaker Chris Ringland’s notes on the making, style and character of this wine:

” I blended Bitch Grenache Aragon 2009 from a selection of un-oaked Grenache wines from various sub-regions of Aragon and Navarra, around the Southern regions of the Ebro river valley. The climate is typical of inland Northern Spain; continental with very cold winters and hot, dry summers. Although rainfall varies considerably, depending on altitude, the annual average rainfall in Zaragoza, the regional capital of Aragon, is around 360mm or 14″, which is very low and comparable with the dry, inland viticultural climates of Southern Australia and the central valley of California. Soils vary considerably as well. They are typically alluvial, but zones of rich red-brown loams and white limestone are intermixed with very rocky slate at higher altitudes. Grenache (Garnacha) survives here without the need for irrigation. Yields are typically low and this, combined with a historical selection of small-berried, deeply colored clones, produces wines of a more “masculine” expression of the variety. Dark cherry and raspberry aromas are underpinned with spicy, peppery notes with hints of anise. Aragon Grenache displays extraordinary natural acid balance, even at elevated ripeness levels. I have selected wines, which convey vibrant, juicy fruit together with a very soft, sweet-fruited palate structure. The key here, as I have found elsewhere with my winemaking experiences, is very gentle handling during the primary fermentation, with a big emphasis on very soft pressing of the fermented grape skins. While Aragon Grenache can take surprisingly well to quite lavish new oak during maturation, the style for Bitch Grenache is all about fruit aromas and flavors. Maturation without oak influence enhances the natural fruit expression of these selections. 2009 vintage in Northern Spain saw a continuation of warm, dry summers, with very little rainfall during the vintage months. Clean, slowly ripened grapes retained impeccable fruit and acid balance at harvest time. Bitch Aragon Grenache is very approachable now, but don’t be deceived into thinking that it won’t age. I predict that the wine will develop further personality with 3 to 5 years in the cellar.” ~ Winemaker Chris Ringland

Cork Report: Saturday May 7 Please Don’t Call it Jelly Tasting with Polaner Selections

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Yes, the Polaner All Fruit Company has a distributorship of fine wine with a great portfolio that we are just discovering. The tasting was a huge hit, all the wines showed very well and we nearly sold out of most of the wines.
Here is my quick take on this broad sample of wines. The links work if you want to shop these delicious wines.

Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontes 2010

Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontes 2010
Price: $14.99
This variety reminds me of Viognier and Chenin. Very floral on the nose with a soft yet crisp character. If you have it with food it is for very light fare though. Could see it with very simple raw shellfish.
Susana Balbo Late Harvest Torrontes 2009 500mL
Susana Balbo Late Harvest Torrontes 2009 500mL
Price: $27.99
This was a neat comparison, same grape different process. I never knew before today that Torrontes was originally used mainly for sweet wines which doesn’t surprise me since it reminds me so much of Chenin.  This wine is light and fresh with lots of intense floral, ripe tropical fruit and tree fruit aromas. Delicious and NOT cloying but quite sweet. One of my new best friends.
O'Reilly's Pinot Gris Oregon 2009
O’Reilly’s Pinot Gris Oregon 2009
Price: $15.99
I really like this Alsace style Pinot Gris from Oregon. very apple and pear in the nose and on the palate with some flesh to it and good crispnes. It can pair with grilled seafood, even rich sauces, sausage and choucroute, but it goes down fine on its own.
Foucher-Lebrun Chais St. Laurent Chinon Vigne en Veron Rouge 2009
Foucher-Lebrun Chais St. Laurent Chinon Vigne en Veron Rouge 2009
Price: $11.99

No oak, all stainless fermentation. Light body, lovely fresh and distinct nose of cherry with a touch of underlying herb and minerality. Fruity yet dry and fresh on the palate. It was definitely the bargain of the day at only $12. Try for meaty fish, monkfish or salmon especially with a red wine sauce

Corvidae Cabernet Franc The Keeper Columbia Valley 2009

Corvidae Cabernet Franc The Keeper Columbia Valley 2009
Price: $19.99
This had obvious oak treament and was much more brooding, dark and complex, murky but not muddled. Definitely a red meat wine good for beef steak or lamb chops. This one also had cherry but it was black cherry  with oak notes, a creamy fleshy texture and hints of cocoa and toasted bread in the lengthy finish. People were really floored with the contrast between the two styles of Cabernet France
Black Sears Cabernet Sauvignon Estate 2008
Black Sears Cabernet Sauvignon Estate 2008
Price: $87.99
The Big Kahuna
Black Sears Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain, Napa California 2008
This was the big time wine of the day. Something about great Napa Cabernet that I love. Pull out your superlative dictionary on this one. It is dark, brooding and oozing with cassis, blackberry, with flavors of licorice, cocoa, herb and stone dust. The texture is chewy and expansive with a lengthy finish, definitely need decanting and can stand some more cellaring but a thrill just the same.
Rich Mora

Dick’s Pick: 94 Point Brunello, ready to drink and save 63%! Very Limited

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Cerbaiona Brunello di Montalcino 2003 Buy Now/ More Info

Only $89.99 Supply extremely limited! Save 53%

from the release price of $192!

94 Points – Wine Advocate, April 2008
“The 2003 Brunello di Montalcino reveals perfumed aromatics and gorgeous layers of ripe red fruit, smoke, menthol, tar and licorice as it flows onto the palate with remarkable grace and elegance. This sweet, nuanced Brunello shows outstanding persistence and balance, particularly in the way the tannins are so beautifully integrated with the rest of the wine. Readers who love great Sangiovese from Montalcino should be sure Cerbaiona’s 2003 Brunello is at the top of their shopping lists. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2020.” -Antonio Galloni