Two New Poggio di Sotto Brunello Releases! And Italy's Best Sparkling Wine!

April 1, 2015 
A Note from Sergio

Yesterday, I introduced the 2013 Rosso di Montalcino from Livio Sassetti's Pertimali estate by giving some context to the wines that come from the northern Brunello zones, an area whose weather tends to lend itself to making riper, denser wines. Today, I'd like to offer some context to two new releases from the beloved Poggio di Sotto estate by talking a bit about the southern Brunello zones, where this estate, Talenti, Gianni Brunelli, Cupano and a few others rest.

Just as in other Brunello subzones, the southern region has so many contours that you'll find dramatic shifts in altitude from estate to estate in terms of altitude--Poggio di Sotto is slightly higher--but warmer climate shows through in all the wines. The vineyards that fan out eastward from Tavernelle into Sant'Angelo are exposed to a more full-on Mediterranean climate than the rest of Montalcino, with sandier soils, less wind, and lower altitude. You can see these effects in other crops too; look at the olives from this region in October, while Il Greppo's olives in the central subzone are still green. Just like the olives, a warmer climate contributes to a denser, less acidic, fruitier Brunello. That said, some estates, like Talenti and Poggio di Sotto, have elevated vineyards with southern and western exposures that create potent wines with a spectacular combination of structure and ripeness.

A few weeks ago, I was proud to offer the 2011 Rosso di Montalcino from Poggio di Sotto. I'm happy to follow up that offer with two new releases from this legendary estate, Poggio di Sotto 2009 Brunello and its 2008 Brunello Riserva. When you open these wines, you smell the air that blows the beautiful Poggio di Sotto estate. You smell Sangiovese fruit, yes, but you also smell cypress, layers of wildflowers, a kind of earthy thrum, and a touch of lavender and mint. They could come from nowhere else on earth, and you will love them.


Today's Featured Sections Include:


1. Spotlight on Excellence: New Release of Poggio di Sotto 2009 Brunello di Montalcino!
2. Only At IWM: 
New Release of Poggio di Sotto 2008 Brunello Riserva!
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Does Ca' del Bosco Make Italy's Best Sparkling Wine?
4. Our Experts Suggest: 
Legendary Winemakers, Classic Vintages, Peak Experiences
5. Wine Events: April Wine Tastings

My Best, 


Sergio Esposito




This past February, we brought you the release of the 2011 Rosso di Montalcino from Poggio di Sotto, the first bottle from this legendary estate that we've offered since its sale to Claudio Tipo's ColleMassari group of estates. That bottling sold out in a matter of days, and today, we're excited to offer you another--the complex, layered, and lush Poggio di Sotto 2009 Brunello di Montalcino at the BEST PRICE in the country.

While the past few years have seen two major changes at Poggio di Sotto--first, Piero Palmucci's choice to sell the estate, and second, the loss of Giulio Gambelli, the late, great consulting enologist--these recent releases suggest that Poggio di Sotto continues its tradition of crafting intense, pristine, aromatic, and altogether lovely wines. There's no question that filling the shoes of Palmucci and Gambelli posed a challenge, but in securing consulting winemaker Federico Staderini, it seems like ColleMassari made a good choice. These new releases show all the hallmarks of classic Poggio di Sotto wines.

The '09 Brunello from Poggio di Sotto is a classic bottling--and it's a wine for those who appreciate tension in their Sangiovese Grosso. Fleshy yet delineated, this '09 Brunello lays its succulent fruit and pretty wildflowers on a thrumming bed of earth, minerals, spice, game and herbs, and it wraps its juicy red and blue berries around a core of intense tannins and nice minerality. Crafted from biodynamically grown Sangiovese Grosso, this Brunello is vinified with only indigenous yeasts in stainless steel and then aged in oak barriques. It's a wine that offers nice enjoyment now, but cellaring it will definitely pay off for a decade or two.

Always a client favorite, the wines of Poggio di Sotto have consistently been among our fastest-selling collector Italian bottlings. Just as Gambelli and Palmucci did, Tipo and Staderini employ scrupulous protocol in the vineyard and maintain prime conditions in the cellar. As has always been true at Poggio di Sotto, this '09 offers a finessed Brunello that privileges age-worthiness and elegance over extraction. While some things have changed at this beloved estate, the important things have not. This '09 Brunello is case in point.



Poggio di Sotto 2009 Brunello di Montalcino*

(Italy, Toscana - Sangiovese Grosso)

$139.99 Regular Price

$129.99 Case Price/btl


*Pre-Arrival, Winter 2015



For decades, Poggio di Sotto's founder, former shipping executive Piero Palmucci, worked with consultant Giulio Gambelli, the name behind one of Montalcino's majestic stars, Gianfranco Soldera. Together, this estate created a reputation for wines with a perfectionist streak and a painstaking production process. In 2011 Claudio Tipa of ColleMassari bought the estate, and a year later Gambelli passed away, leaving the wine world worried. There was no need for anxiety. Intent on maintaining the estate's traditions, Tipa installed Federico Staderini as consulting winemaker, and the estate has continued making its pure, intellectual, structured wines without a hitch. Today, we're delighted to present the 2008 Poggio di Sotto Brunello Riserva, a deeply aromatic wine that's both ethereal and lush. Presented at the BEST PRICE in the country, this '08 Brunello Riserva is a wine that a true Brunello enthusiast will immediately recognize could only come from Poggio di Sotto; it's just that exceptional.

Why Buy This Wine:

- Adamant about color correctness in Brunello, Palmucci believed that dark Brunellos are disingenuous and don't resemble a properly pure-varietal expression; thus a Poggio di Sotto Brunello visually embodies this stance in its medium-red garnet color.

- Sophisticated, ethereal and racy, this '08 Brunello Riserva seduces with its nose of aromatic flowers, red and purple fruit, Asian spices, citrus zest and earth.

- Polished, fine-grained tannins coat the mouth in this very elegant wine that balances its sweet fruit with bright acidity.

- Already showing a touch of tertiary development, this wine will drink nicely now, but it'll be even better a decade or two down the road.

- Crafted from biodynamically grown Sangiovese Grosso, this Brunello is vinified with only indigenous yeasts in stainless steel and then aged in oak barriques.

- IWM's allocations of this '08 Brunello Riserva are very limited; contact your portfolio manager to secure yours at the BEST PRICE in the States.


Poggio di Sotto 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva*

(Italy, Toscana - Sangiovese Grosso)
$225.99 Regular Price
$199.00 Case Price/btl

*Pre Arrival, Winter 2015


Lombardia's Franciacorta has grown to become synonymous with Italy's méthode champenoise sparklers, and today, we're very proud to present one of the region's premier bottlings, the Ca Del Bosco 2001 Cuvée Annamaria Clementi, at the BEST PRICE in the US. Situated in a natural bowl that looks across Lake Iseo to the Alps, Franciacorta has lower temperatures than the rest of the very fertile Lombardia, and its gravelly, glacial moraine both forestalls ripening and imparts a piquant acidity to the wines. Ca' del Bosco, founded in 1968 by Maurizio Zanella, is one of Franciacorta's leading estates, carefully crafting artisanal expressions from its 230 acres located near the hills of Brescia, using the principles of supreme drinkability, harmony and balance as its guide. Named after proprietor Maurizio Zanella's mother, Ca' del Bosco Annamaria Clementi is aromatic, laden with intense minerality, and nicely weighty; it's also arguably the finest sparkling wine made in Italy.

Why Buy This Wine:

- A blend of 55% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Bianco and 20% Pinot Nero, this special bottling utilizes only the finest grapes from the various single vineyards for this iconic wine, made only in the very best of vintages.

- Crafted using méthode champenoise, this wine's structure, complexity and elegance are remarkable, and this bottle can easily stand up to the great vintage bubbles in Champagne.

- Lemon curd, toasted brioche, almond nougat and white flowers greet the nose in this ultra sophisticated, creamy '01 Franciacorta.

- Perfect, elegant perlage tickles the palate, while this fresh methode champenoise wine's savory palate makes it a perfect complement to food. Suited for special occasions, this gorgeous vintage bottling honors Annamaria Clemnti, the founder of Ca'del Bosco.

- Very reminiscent of Bollinger RD, this '01 Cuvée is a great expression of Zanetti's abilities, and it shows that Italian sparkling wine can compete with some of the best of Champagne.

- IWM is pleased to present both normal and magnum bottles of Ca' del Bosco 2001 Cuvée Annamaria Clementi at the BEST PRICE in the country; it's the perfect Italian sparkler to celebrate your life's most important moments.

Ca del Bosco 2001 Cuvée Annamaria Clementi
(Italy, Lombardia - Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Nero)
$175.00 Regular Price
$131.25 Special Price/btl

Ca del Bosco 2001 Cuvée Annamaria Clementi (1.5L)
(Italy, Lombardia - Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Nero)
$300.00 Regular Price
$225.00 Special Price/btl


This offer will expire in 48 hours on April 3rd at 5:00 pm EST.


Francesco Vigorito fell in love with a 1998 Ornellaia at his high school graduation. After living in Florence, Italy, and getting his Sommelier Certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers in the UK, Francesco came to IWM as a Portfolio Manager.


Drinking Today: Bruno Giacosa 1998 Barbaresco Santo Stefano Riserva
(Italy, Piemonte - Nebbiolo)
$349.00 Regular Price
For the Cellar: Biondi-Santi Il Greppo 1995 Brunello di Montalcino
(Italy, Toscana - Sangiovese Grosso)
$225.00 Regular Price

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

Italy Meets Spain

Saturday, April 4, 1-3 pm

A Light Lunch Tasting


Regular Ticket Price $115.00

Early Bird Special $95.00 (Expires April 1, 2015, 5pm EST


IWM Hosts:

Robin Kelley O'Connor - Certified Wine Educator  
John Camacho Vidal - Senior Portfolio Manager


Outside of Italy, one of IWM's most beloved winemaking regions is Spain. After all, the two countries have much in common: a reliance on indigenous grape varieties, an adherence to traditional winemaking methods, iconoclastic makers, and a will to make wine that enhances the taste of food. Though enemies on the soccer pitch, this match-up between Italy and Spain will showcase the many ways the two countries complement one another. This sit-around tasting match Spanish and Italian versions of sparkling wine, white wine and red wine, all accompanied by regional meats and cheeses. Led by Robin Kelley O'Connor, a Certified Wine Educator, and Senior Portfolio manager John Camacho Vidal, this tasting will both celebrate Italy and Spain's wines and help you understand their wines better through comparison. It's a Saturdaydevoted to international cooperation--and wine. What's not to love?


Featured Wine List:
Le Macchiole Bolgheri Rosso 2011 
Massolino Barolo 2010 
De Conciliis Naima 2006
Cupano Brunello di Montalcino 2003

Benjamin de Rothschild & Vega Sicilia Macan 2010 
Artadi Rioja El Pison 2010
CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva 2007
La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva '890' 2001  

*Wine list may be subject to change.


Saturday, April 11, 1-3 pm

A Sit-Down Tasting


Regular Ticket Price $145.00

Early Bird Special $125.00 (Expires April 6, 2015, 5pm EST


IWM Hosts:
John Camacho Vidal - Senior Portfolio Manager


Wine can be confusing. There are so many regions, so many grapes, so much history, and so many producers making so many styles. This tasting breaks Italian and French wine down to their simplest--and most iconic--parts. Join Senior Portfolio manager John Vidal Camacho as he pours Brunello, Barbaresco and Brunello from Italy and Burgundy and Bordeaux from France. John will explain the A, B, Cs of these iconic winemaking regions, as you sniff, swirl and sip, and learn what makes each of these wines the most sought-after, popular and representative wines of Italy and France. Accompanied by regional cheeses and meats, this tasting offers a delicious primer to the basics of Italian and French wine. There's a lot of buzz around these killer B's; spend a Saturday afternoon with IWM to see why.


Feature Wine List:


Lignier Michelot Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Les Chezeaux 2011

Domaine H. Boillot Volnay 1er CruLes Fremiets 1er Cru 2010



San Giuliano Barbaresco 2010

Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Santo Stefano di Neive 2007



Domenico Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra 2010

Renzo Seghesio Barolo Pajana Riserva 2006 



Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino 2008

Cupano Brunello di Montalcino 2003

*Wine list may be subject to change.


Saturday, April 18, 1-3 pm

A Sit-Down Tasting


Regular Ticket Price $145.00

Early Bird Special $125.00 (Expires April 13, 2015, 5pm EST


IWM Hosts:

Robin Kelley O'Connor - Certified Wine Educator
John Camacho Vidal - Senior Portfolio Manager


We often talk about two major stylistic winemaking camps: the traditional producers and the modern ones. But what--exactly--divides these two groups? How do they differ? And what can you expect from a traditional producer versus a modern one? This sit-down tasting, led by Certified Wine Educator Robin Kelley O'Connor and Senior Portfolio Manager John Camacho Vidal, will answer those questions and many more, and experience will be your teacher! Pouring pairs of Barolo, Barbaresco, Amarone and Tuscan wines, Robin will guide guests in understanding what makes a regional Italian wine traditional or modern, how to broaden these differences to apply them to a range of wines, and what to expect from producers branded "traditional" or "modern." Join us at this special tasting, accompanied by regional meats and cheese, and learn just how delicious winemaking protocol can be.

*Wine list to be announced.


Saturday, April 25, 1-3 pm

A Sit-Down Tasting


Regular Ticket Price $95.00

Early Bird Special $75.00 (Expires April 20, 2015, 5pm EST


IWM Hosts:

Robin Kelley O'Connor - Certified Wine Educator
John Camacho Vidal - Senior Portfolio Manager


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 Certified Wine Educator Robin Kelley O'Connor and Senior Portfolio Manager John Camacho Vidal lead you through a five of the most emblematic, delicious, and outrageous grapes: Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Dolcetto, Aglianico, and Ribolla Gialla. No doubt you're already on first-name basis with Sangiovese, the grape behind Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino, but we'll take the time to reacquaint you with this ancient grape, as well as help you get to know northern Italy's emblematic reds, Nebbiolo and Dolcetto; its great white, Ribolla Gialla; and southern Italy's Aglianico. Accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, this sit-down tasting offers 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.

*Wine list to be announced.


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