Is Fiano Your New Go-To White? Antinori's Cru Barbara, and Vintage Soldera!

August 30, 2016
A Note from Sergio

As someone born and raised in Campania, I've got a lot of love for the region's white wines. A good one smells like I remember the summer breeze of my childhood--a mix of ripening fruit, sea spray on shale, and those mysterious white flowers that bloom early in the morning and late at night. Italy has more than 2,000 indigenous grapes, and many more have been lost to time. I like being able to give you wines made from ancient grapes that have been resurrected by winemakers who are devoted to their care, and I'm particularly happy when I'm able to offer one from Campania, my first home. Today, I'm spotlighting Donnaluna Fiano from Bruno De Conciliis, a weird and wonderful winemaker.

Fiano is the South's aristocratic varietal, praised by the Romans. This grape was facing near extinction in the 1940's when, as the story goes, Mastroberardino came along and saved it. I love a serious Fiano not only because it smells like I remember my childhood but also because, as an adult, I appreciate its ability to feel both weighty and vital, to smell both elegant and feral, to taste both honeyed and stony, and to embrace its many contradictions with grace. Most people think of Fiano as a summer wine, but Bruno De Conciliis' version can't be limited by warm weather. Try his Fiano with butternut squash soup, chicken sausage or a simple pasta with mushrooms this fall, and you'll see what I mean.

Along with this great southern transitional white, I'm very proud to feature two more wines that are made from grapes indigenous to Italy: Antinori's Prunotto 2013 Pian Romualdo Barbera d'Alba and Soldera's 1992 Intistieti. The first is obviously Barbera, the "People's Grape," which Barolo producers have grown alongside their Nebbiolo and poured at their tables for generations; the second is Sangiovese Grosso, and it's a declassified Brunello and a wine that could only come from Gianfranco Soldera. Together this trio shows a few sides of Italy's treasure trove of grapes--one thing about falling in love with Italian wine is that you'll never, ever be bored!


Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence:
Organic, Iconic Fiano for $25
2. Only At IWM:
Antinori's Aristocratic Spin on the "People's Grape"
3. Time Sensitive Offer: 24-Year-Old Soldera Marvel
4. Wine Events: Upcoming August / September / October Wine Tasting Events

My Best,

Sergio Esposito


Today, we're happy to shine a spotlight on one perfect southern Italian white, De Conciliis 2014 Donnaluna Fiano, a gorgeous weighty wine from Campania. This mineral-laden, slightly viscous, full-bodied white has the piquant acidity to accompany a range of meals, from summertime's light food to fall's heartier fare. It's the quintessential all-weather wine, and IWM's portfolio managers have been known to pour it at tastings the whole year around. De Conciliis' Fiano shines in summertime, when it sings with all the saucy heat of its volcanic soils, while maintaining the freshness of its Campanian breezes, but it glows in cooler temperatures too, bursting with juiciness and holding the palate with its textured grip.

An ancient grape that for decades teetered on the brink of extinction, Fiano has been cultivated in Campania for over 2,000 years. There are two clones of Fiano in Campania, and while the more famous clone is Fiano di Avellino, or "Fiano of the bees," Bruno De Conciliis' wine shows that the common clone is every bit as special--this '14 bottling makes the most of Fiano's sapid profile, its interesting waxy quality, nuanced aroma, and palate that bursts with wildflowers, honey and smoky hazelnuts. Winemaker and estate owner Bruno De Conciliis experimented for more than four years to make a Fiano that realized his dream, but when he got it right, he nailed it.

The piquantly flavored Fiano has made a resurgence thanks to producers like De Conciliis and thanks to a newfound love for Campania's mineral-laden terroir. We can't get enough of De Conciliis' ripe, kinetic '14 Donnaluna Fiano. Crushed chamomile and other white flowers, wet river rocks, honey and fresh-cut herbs frame the juicy orchard fruits of this '14 Fiano. Weighty yet fresh, this complex wine whooshes across the palate with mineral-driven energy, building to a saline finish that complements the wine's sweet inner perfume of honeyed fruit.

Summertime may be drawing to a close, but De Conciliis' value white, presented at the BEST PRICE in the country is perfect to have on hand for fall--and beyond. The Donnaluna Fiano, from the Cilento zone on the Campania coast, is a complex, zesty white typified by pear, apple, minerality, honey, and herbs, and it's simply delicious. Heftier and more complex than Pinot Grigio, wilder than Chardonnay, and speaking volumes about its unique Campanian terroir, this '14 Fiano is one of our favorite value Italian white wines. Just one glass, and this is one white you won't put away after Labor Day.

(Italy, Campania - Fiano)
$24.99 Regular Price
$22.99 Case Price/btl

A grape of astounding flexibility and breadth, Barbera is one of the two most planted red wine varietals in Italy (the other is Sangiovese). Historically known as "the People's Grape," and currently recognized as the easy-drinking alternative to Piemonte's more austere Nebbiolo-based wines, the wines of Piemonte's Barbera DOCs offer an approachable, lively, and very tasty way to experience the renowned region. Today, we're proud to present a new allocation of Prunotto 2013 Pian Romualdo Barbera d'Alba at the BEST PRICE in the States. Prunotto has a long and storied history, and the modern chapter began in 1989 when Antinori joined forces with the estate; a year later, Albiera Antinori took control of the project, and in 1994, Antinori assumed full control of Prunotto. Clients who love Prunotto's cult Barolo will adore this beautifully made cru Barbera that's complex, food-friendly, and priced under $30 a bottle, perfect for any night of the week!

Why Buy This Wine:

- Barbera has long been called the "People's Grape," but this aristocratic bottling elevates its status with its aristocratic elegance--it's a terrific way to enjoy the renowned Pian Romulado terroir for less than $30 a bottle!

- The product of a classic growing season, this '13 Pian Romualdo Barbera d'Alba layers its juicy red and black fruits over toasted nuts, crushed flowers, dark chocolate, and mineral-rich earth.

- Tightly wound and very focused, this wine wraps its pure fruits around a core of nervy acidity and firm minerality; while this bottling could use some time in the cellar, it'll age beautifully.

- Deriving from Barbera grown in the Pian Romualdo plot, the grapes for this wine enjoy temperature-controlled fermentation, and the wine ages for a year in oak casks, followed by four months in bottle before release.

- IWM is pleased to present this bottling from the Antinori family's Prunotto estate in Piemonte at the BEST PRICE in the country; contact your portfolio manager to secure this beautifully cellar-worthy Barbera d'Alba.

(Italy, Piemonte - Barbera)
$29.99 Regular Price
$27.59 Case Price/btl

*Pre-Arrival, Fall 2016


Even before the 2012 act of vandalism that decimated more than six years of winemaking, Gianfranco Soldera held the spot as IWM's most talked about producer. His perfection in the vineyard and cellar makes him one of Italy's greatest producers, and his iconoclasm makes him one of the most controversial. Whether because of his iconoclasm or in spite of it, Soldera's wines sit among Italy's most revered wines as well as some of IWM's fastest-selling collector wines. Soldera has always made wine according to his own whims, sometimes declassifying the fruit of an entire vintage and other times declassifying the wine aging in a single barrel to release those wines as IGT bottlings rather than Brunellos. Today, we're delighted to present the BEST PRICE in the States on the Case Basse Soldera Intistieti 1992, a wine that for all practical purposes is a Soldera Brunello--except, of course, it's not.

Why Buy This Wine:

- Historically, when Soldera's wines failed to meet his exacting standards for the Brunello di Montalcino designation, he declassified it, and in 1992 he called this bottling Intistieti, which was classified as Vino da Tavola, rather than a Brunello.

- Soldera first made Intistieti in 1985, and though it's a very rare occurrence, the wine has appeared again in 1987, 1992, and 1995.

- Organically grown Sangiovese Grosso ferments with natural yeasts and ages in large oak botti for a full four years--essentially the same protocol that Soldera gives his Brunellos.

- Sour cherry, underbrush, tar, smoke and crushed dried rose petals waft from the glass in this architectural, pure wine.

- So vibrant it nearly shimmers across the palate, this '92 Intistieti belies its years in its energy, sweet inner perfume and lingering minerality.

- Only IWM can offer this '92 Case Basse di Soldera Intistieti with perfect maturity and straight-line provenance; contact your portfolio manager to secure this rare Soldera bottling.

(Italy, Toscana - Sangiovese Grosso)
$329.99 Regular Price
$299.00 Special Price/btl

This offer will expire in 48 hours on September 1st at 5:00 pm EST.


A Sit-Down Dinner Tasting

Ticket Price: $199.00
Tickets no longer available. (Sold Out.)

Guest Host: Alessia Antinori

IWM Host: Crystal Edgar
Director & VP of Sales

It's a wine event that is decades in the making, featuring a wine that commemorates a historic collaboration between an aristocratic family and a Renaissance artist. Join IWM as we host Alessia Antinori, winemaker and daughter of Marchese Piero Antinori, for a special five-course dinner featuring the extraordinary wines of Antinori, including select vintages of Tignanello, Cervaro della Sala, Badia a Passignano and more--including the special edition Della Robbia Villa Antinori 2013 Chianti Classico Riserva, a wine created to honor Giovanni della Robbia's ceramic mural the "Resurrection of Christ," a piece now housed at the Brooklyn Museum. IWM's own Chef Michael Marcelli and his in-house kitchen staff will craft five glorious courses, and guests will enjoy Alessia's comments on the wines, their history, and this historic art as they dine. It's a unique, extraordinary opportunity to experience Italian winemaking history with the winemaker herself, and it's only available at IWM, the world's leading authority in Italian wine.

Featured Menu & Wines:

Welcome / Antipasti
Montenisa Brut NV
Montenisa Rosé NV

Trancio di Tonno alle Spezie
Grilled Yellowfin Tuna with Fennel & Sungold Tomato
Cervaro della Sala 2013
Pinot Nero della Sala 2013

Strichetti al Agnello
Rough-cut Fresh Pasta with Braised Lamb Shoulder, Celery Root & Tomato
Della Robbia Villa Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva 2013

Meat I
Cotoletta alla Viennese con Funghi al Funghetto
Veal Chop with Roasted Wild Mushrooms & Rosemary
Badia a Passignano 2009
Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Tenuta Tignanello 2013

Meat II
Bistecca alla Fiorentina
48-day Dry Aged Porterhouse with Seasonal Contorni
Tignanello 2012
Tignanello 2013

Muffato della Sala 2008

*Wine list may be subject to change.

Friday, September 16 | 7:00-10:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Dinner Tasting

Ticket Price: $229.00
Early Bird Price $209.00 (Expires Sept. 9 at 5pm EST)

Guest Host: Jeanne-Marie de Champs
Owner of Domaines et Saveurs Collection in Burgundy

IWM Hosts:
Will Di Nunzio
Crystal Edgar
Director & VP of Sales

Burgundy lovers are a breed apart. They're people who love the challenge of deep immersion in just two grape varietals, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and every new vintage deepens their passion. These wine lovers revel in Burgundy's 33 grand cru and 585 premier cru vineyards, and they love discovering village-level wines that defy easy understanding. If you're one of these Burgundy connoisseurs, IWM's Burgundy Lovers' Wine Dinner celebrates all that you love about the region, the wines, and the joy of Burgundy! Led by IWM's Crystal Edgar and Jeanne-Marie de Champs, owner of the Domaines et Saveurs Collection in Burgundy, this dinner will deepen your appreciation of Burgundy as you enjoy five flavorful courses created by IWM's own Chef Michael Marcelli and his in-house kitchen staff. It's a night that's tailor-made for Burgheads--and the people they love who love great wine, terrific food, and lively conversation.

Featured Menu & Wines:

Paul Pernot Bourgogne Aligote 2014

Roasted Langoustine with Hazelnut Butter & Shallot
Country Pâté
Paul Pernot Puligny-Montrachet 2014
François Gay Aloxe-Corton 2014

Smoked Chicken Liver Triangoli with Lobster Mushroom & Black Truffle
Château de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos du Château Blanc 2014
Château de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot Vigne Blanche 1er Cru 2014

Fromage Blanc Gnocchi, Lobster Beurre Noisette
Château de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru La Romanée 2014
Château de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos du Château Rouge 2014

Venison Loin Steak with Bouzy Pears, Young Juniper & Black Truffle
Domaine Leclerc Gevrey-Chambertin Combe Aux Moines 1er Cru 2012
Domaine Gallois Gevrey-Chambertin Les Petites Cazetiers 1er Cru 2013
Mommessin Clos de Tart Grand Cru 2011

*Wine list may be subject to change.

Saturday, September 10 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Ticket Price: $85.00

It's not a soccer match. It's an opportunity for you to compare the wines of France and Italy side by side, the makings of an entirely delightful Saturday afternoon. At this tasting, we'll be matching French and Italian wines that are easy on the palate and gentle on the wallet! Bringing together second-tier wines at iconic estates, little-known artisanal gems, or more obscure grape varietals, this tasting will explore a range of reds and whites from Italy and France--and it'll give you a broad range of wines to enjoy on Tuesday pizza nights, wow your dinner guests, or have on hand for when the wine moment strikes. Led by a knowledgeable IWM sommelier and accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, this tasting is ideal for wine-lovers of all kinds, from newbies to connoisseurs!

*Wine list to be announced.

Saturday, September 17 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Ticket Price: $95.00

The first few crisp days of fall jolt us out of summer's beauty and remind us of autumn's glories--the return of soups, stews, squash and heavier fare. Fall may beckon and winter may hover on the horizon, but we're also not ready to relinquish summer just yet. Join us at our special tasting to the transitional of fall, a wine season that moves you from summer's whites to winter's reds with style. IWM's knowledgeable wine educator will pour whites, reds--even a surprise rosato! Choosing from Italian and French wines and accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, this special Saturday tasting will help you celebrate the coming season, even as you wrest the best from the end of summer!

*Wine list to be announced.

Saturday, September 24 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Ticket Price: $125.00

Nebbiolo and Sangiovese are Italy's most emblematic grapes. The first grape is the pride and joy of Piemonte, the essence of Barolo and Barbaresco, and the foundation of tannic age-worthy wines; the second is most often found in Toscana, the focal point of Chianti Classico and many Super Tuscans, and the building block for fresh wines of varying longevity. Join IWM as our knowledgeable wine expert leads you through these two building blocks of Italian wines, and learn about soil composition, terroir, regional traditions, and stylistic differences, all while adding to your appreciation of Italian wines. It's like a wine tour through the heart and the head of Italy, all without leaving glamorous Union Square.

*Wine list to be announced.

Saturday, October 1 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Ticket Price: $125.00

The temperature's dropping and we're reaching for heartier fare. As roasts, game, stews, and casseroles begin to appear on our tables, it's time to find big, bold reds that will make these rich, dark dishes sing. It's time, in short, for some of IWM's favorite brooding, complex wines. Join IWM at this tasting dedicated to wines that won't be overshadowed by cold weather's robust foods. Our knowledgeable sommelier will pour delicious bottles hailing from Italy's North--think well-known Barolo, Barbaresco and Brunello--as well as its South--think cult favorites like Montevetrano, Terra di Lavoro or Taurasi. Accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, this tasting will rev your palate and broaden your pairing horizons. Winter is coming, but these wines will warm you from the inside out!

*Wine list to be announced.

Saturday, October 8 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Ticket Price: $155.00

The delicious flavors of autumn come together in this special IWM luncheon, featuring new menu items from IWM's Chef Mike Marcelli and our favorite fall weather wines. This special tasting puts dishes made by IWM's in-house kitchen staff front and center and showcases all of fall's finest tastes, from comforting squashes to nourishing meats. Of course, each of the handcrafted courses isn't complete without perfect wine pairings--and a knowledgeable IWM sommelier on hand to explain the wine's history, typicity and traditions. Welcome fall with an open mouth, a warm heart, and a full stomach at IWM's Fall Harvest Lunch. It's the most delicious way to enjoy a Saturday afternoon in autumn!

*Wine list to be announced.

Saturday, October 22 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Ticket Price: $115.00

Italy and France may be rivals on the soccer pitch, but they're perfect complements at your table and in your wine glass. Join us as we explore some of the wines you should be drinking this spring, this summer and on into fall! Led by a knowledgeable IWM sommelier, this wine tasting event, complemented by regional meats and cheeses, will guide you through some of France's best loved white Burgundies, exploring their differences, nuances, and terroir; then we'll double down on your palate education by selecting Italian reds that work in concert with these French whites. Selecting from some of our favorite Italian producers, grapes, regions and styles, these red wines will give you pairing ideas for years to come!

*Wine list to be announced.

Saturday, October 29 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Ticket Price: $75.00

In the US, they're called "orange wines," in Europe "skin-contact wines." Whichever terminology you use, they are all the fashion, which is a little ironic considering that this style of caramel colored wine made from white grapes date back thousands of years, originating in Armenia and Georgia. In many ways, the tale of orange wines goes hand-in-hand with the tale of natural wines; it's rare to find an orange wine made by a producer who doesn't abide by non-interventionist protocol, and indeed, the important producers of these wines in Italy hold a firm belief in non-interventionist agriculture and non-interventionist winemaking. Join IWM as we explore the wild, unique, unusual world of orange wines at this special tasting, accompanied by regional meats and cheeses. It's the perfect way to celebrate fall, welcome Halloween, and expand your palate with those white wines that "taste like a red."

*Wine list to be announced.

For more information, please visit our website Wine Events Page.