Today's Featured Offer:
Gaja's Classic, Spectacular 2010 Crus! Plus, Italy's Champagne and Alpine Barolo!

April 23, 2014
A Note from Sergio

Long ago, Angelo Gaja came to realize that while his roots are in the tradition of the Langhe, Barolo and Barbaresco didn't have to be just for the Piemontese. He recognized that there are wine-lovers who like the flavors of new wood and there are also those who enjoy tannic wines. He thought there was no reason why these two camps couldn't coexist peacefully, so he made wines that welcomed New World wine-lovers to the fine traditions of Langhe wines.

With meticulous attention to detail, Angelo brought Barbaresco to fame by reducing crop size, shortening pruning of Nebbiolo vines, decreasing fermentation periods, using innovative winemaking techniques, aging wines in barrique as well as some of the largest and oldest botti in Piemonte, and even sourcing timber to build his own barrels. He was among the first to vinify and promote single-vineyard crus, beginning with Sorì San Lorenzo in 1967. His cru Barbarescos--Sorì San Lorenzo, Sorì Tildìn, and Costa Russi--are now virtually unrivaled, even as he added a touch of Barbera and dropped the name "Barbaresco." 

More than fifty years after assuming control of his family's estate, Angelo hasn't slowed down. Even as his daughters Gaia and Rossana begin to play bigger roles in the creation of the wines, Angelo is a force to be reckoned with; you can feel his hand in every sip of the four cru 2010 wines that we offer today. In stock and ready to ship, these '10 Gaja crus--the three Barbarescos and his Super-Piemontese blend Darmagi--are astounding. They hearken back to a time of classic, austere, powerful wines that require patience but reward with a pyrotechnic beauty. They are glorious testaments to Angelo's work, and that is saying a lot.

Along with these collector wines, I'm delighted to offer a pair of affordable, authentic and unusual Italian gems: Barone Pizzini Rosé Franciacorta and Donnas Vallee d'Aosta Rosso 2009. The first is the closest Italy gets to Champagne; it's a sparkling wine made from Pinot Noir using Champagne methods, and it's delicious. The second is a mountain version of Barolo or Barbaresco, a Nebbiolo wine that's somehow both airy and earthy at once. You need to try it to believe it. Best of all, both of these wines come with the best pricing in the US.


Today's Featured Sections Include: 


1. Spotlight on Excellence: The 2010 Crus, Gaja's Return to Piemonte Classics 
2. Time Sensitive Offer: The Italian "Champagne," Barone Pizzini Rosé Franciacorta
3. Our Experts Suggest: Welcoming Warm Weather with Whites from Movia
4. Only At IWM: Under $25 Alpine "Barolo," Donnas Vallee d'Aosta Rosso 2009
5. Wine Events: Indigenous Varieties: Italy's Treasure Trove of Undiscovered Grapes

My Best, 



Sergio Esposito


Angelo Gaja is a producer who can deliver inspiring wines in even the most difficult years. And when the vintage is great, his work is nothing short of monumental. Today, we're delighted to bring back his three revolutionary single-vineyard Barbarescos--Sorì San Lorenzo, Costa Russi, Sorì Tildin--and his Cabernet Blend, Darmagi, from the challenging year of 2010. A year after their initial release, these wines are beginning to show their promise, and that promise is spectacular.

IWM's Sergio Esposito has long said that challenging vintages separate the great producers from the good. 2010 offered many challenges to Gaja. It was cold, wet, and tempestuous, hitting Piemonte producers with rain, fog, and cold fronts. 2010 hearkened back to vintages from twenty or thirty years ago, raising rare fears and concern that the grapes wouldn't ripen enough--or possibly at all. In the end, however, Gaja was pleased with the vintage, saying, "The 2010 harvest will make for harmonious, balanced and elegant wines, endowed with bright, vibrant acidity and measured alcohol content."

A year after the release, it looks as if Gaja was right. These 2010 wines provide the kind of classic structure, fine nuances, elegance and restraint that draws lovers of Piemonte wines to them--and especially fans of Gaja. Make no mistake: these four cru wines need time in the cellar. Even the customarily approachable Costa Russi atypically will need some time to integrate, to tame its tannins and to mellow into the breathtaking beauty that it's destined to be. But the wine lovers who can let these 2010 bottlings sit in a quiet, dark, cool cellar for a few years will be rewarded with wines of unprecedented power tempered by astonishing finesse. 


Anyone who is familiar with IWM knows about Angelo Gaja. He's a divisive, revolutionary, revelatory, visionary figure in Italian wine, and for the last 50 years, he's made wine that's as thrilling as it is collectable. Bucking tradition, Angelo began single-vineyard bottlings of Barbaresco, starting with Sorì San Lorenzo in 1967, followed by Sorì Tilden in 1970. He experimented with shorter pruning for Nebbiolo, added a nitrogen filling system to defend his wines against oxidation at bottling in 1974 and began to use barriques for Barbaresco in 1975. And that was just the start. In a tradition-laden region where time moves slowly, Angelo roared into the future at a heady speed, and he never looked back.


Whether you select the powerful and austere Sorì San Lorenzo, the brooding and bold Sorì Tildin, the aromatic and sensual Costa Russi or the elegant and vibrant Darmagi, the 2010 wines we offer today reflect Gaja's history, his preternatural ability to wrest the best from his vines. We urge you to contact your portfolio manager to help you select which of these Gaja crus best complement your palate, cellar and lifestyle. No one can do it quite like Angelo Gaja.

Gaja 2010 Sori Tildin $425 Reg $382.50 Case Price/btl
Gaja 2010 Costa Russi $425 Reg $382.50 Case Price/btl
Gaja 2010 Sori San Lorenzo $449 Reg $404.10 Case Price/btl
(Italy, Piemonte - Nebbiolo, Barbera)

Gaja 2010 Darmagi $219 Reg $197.10 Case Price/btl
(Italy, Piemonte - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc)

It's almost always the right occasion for a sparkling wine, and this organically grown, artisanally made Franciacorta is the closest thing you can find to Champagne in Italy. Franciacorta is the only region in Italy to produce its sparkling wines in the méthode champenoise, or following Champagne protocol where the secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle. Barone Pizzini crafts an Italian invocation of the French favorite blanc de noirs Champagne in this mono-varietal Pinot Nero that offers gentle bubbles and a palate of juicy cassis, blackberries, toast crust and flowers. Today, we're delighted to offer the BEST PRICE in the country on Rosé Franciacorta from Barone Pizzini, one of Franciacorta's most diligent, earth-friendly and committed producers. 


Why Buy This Wine: 

- Founded in 1870, Barone Pizzini was the first grower in Franciacorta to go completely organic, all the better to transmit its terroir and make high quality wines.

- Champagne produces the greatest sparkling wine in the world, but at just under $45, this Franciacorta offers some relief to the expense a bottle of Champagne can present.


- This organically grown mono-varietal Pinot Nero sparkler gets extensive aging on its lees, giving it delicious toasty notes.


- A beautiful blush in the glass with a gentle, persistent mouse, this Brut Rosé sparkler offers a lively palate of cassis and raspberries, brioche, and wildflowers. 

- The Barone Pizzini Rosé Franciacorta is a delicious, artisanal sparkling wine that you'll want to have on hand to celebrate every festive occasion.


- IWM is proud to present the current release and disgorgement of this artisanal, organic méthode Champenoise sparkler at the BEST PRICE in the country.

Barone Pizzini NV Rosé Franciacorta $49.50 Reg $44.55 6-Pack Price/btl
(Italy, Lombardia - Chardonnay) 


This offer is available for 24 hrs and will expire on April 24th at 5:00 pm EST.


As an IWM Portfolio Manager, Garrett Kowalsky has married his love of wine with his background in finance and economics. A lover of many of the world's wine-growing regions, Garrett acknowledges that Burgundy and Barolo hold a special place in his heart.


Drinking Today:

Movia 2007 Veliko Bianco $39.60 Reg $36.43 Case Price/btl 

(Slovenia, Brda - Ribolla, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon)  


For the Cellar:

Movia 2008 Lunar Chardonnay $42.50 Reg $39.10 Case Price/btl  

(Slovenia, Brda - Chardonnay)


For complete descriptions of the wines and an explanation of why Garrett selected these wines, please visit our expert's post at Inside IWM.


Perched at about 1,000 feet above sea level in the Alps, Donnas is the name of a small village in the lower Valle d'Aosta. Although ancient, viticulture and cultivation in Donnas is difficult, given the steep slope of the mountains, yet these steep slopes are full of centuries-old terraces retained by walls as high as thirteen feet, and since it's too steep to use machines, and harvest is all done by hand. The Donnas Vallee d'Aosta Rosso 2009 we present today at the BEST PRICE in the States comes from the Caves Cooperatives de Donnas, a collective of winemakers. Locals consider their wines to be the mountain version of the wines of Barolo and Barbaresco, and the wine illustrates this comparison in its earthy, airy, pretty profile. 

Why Buy This Wine:

- Valle d'Aosta's rocky steep slopes not only provide great drainage for the vines, but they also force the vines to work hard to produce the berries; the locals proudly refer to these wines as "mountain Barolo." 

- Mostly Nebbiolo that's kissed with Freisa and Neyret, this Rosso shows its northern Italian roots in its purity, suppleness and lithe lines. 

- Aged for at least two years in 25 HL oak casks, the wine gives a beautiful nose full of violets and dried cherries followed with forest smoke; as it opens in the glass you get some coffee mixed with mineral like tones, letting you know that the origin is of a wine carved out of the soil from the rocky Alps. 

- Earthy, airy, alpine and pretty, this Rosso shows lots of cherries, berries and underbrush in its complex, energetic palate.

- IWM is proud to present this artisanal Alpine evocation of the great Nebbiolo grape at the BEST PRICE in the country; contact your portfolio manager to secure yours.

Donnas 2009 Vallee d'Aosta Rosso $24.99 Reg $22.99 Case Price/btl
(Italy, Valle d'Aosta - Nebbiolo, Freisa, Neyret)


Indigenous Varieties: Italy's Treasure Trove of Undiscovered Grapes
A Saturday Seated Tasting featuring Italy's top indigenous wines
Saturday, April 26th, 1:00-3:00pm
Price: $75

A Sit-Down Tasting

From the top of the Boot to the tip of its heel, Italy has more than 2,000 different indigenous grapes, the most of any country in the world (though Portugal may beg to differ). Join us as our knowledgeable IWM sommelier lead you through a tour of nine of the most emblematic, delicious, and outrageous expressions. We'll be pouring wines from Italy's North--an unusual Nebbiolo-based Rosso from Valle d'Aosta--to its South--two amazing Rossos from the slopes of Sicily's Mt. Etna--and many points in between. Enjoy a palate-staining opulent Amarone from the Veneto, a traditional and artisanal Barolo, a stunning expression of the world's most tannic grape from master winemaker Paolo Bea, as well as two extraordinary whites, one limited production Verdicchio and a biodynamic, volcanic blend from COS. Accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, it's the most delicious education in authentic wine that you can get outside of Italy, and it's available only at IWM, the world's leading authority in Italian wine.

Fantinel NV Prosecco Brut Extra Dry

Featured Wine List
COS 2011 Rami
Sartarelli Verdicchio 2013 Castelli di Jesi Classico
COS 2012 Frappato
Graci 2012 Etna Rosso
Donnas 2009 Vallee d'Aosta Rosso
Palari 2007 Faro
Paolo Bea 2007 Sagrantino di Montefalco Secco Pagliaro
Renzo Seghesio 2006Barolo Pajana Riserva
Begali 2008 Amarone Monte Ca Bianca
*Wine list subject to minor changes

Wine Events