Lustrous Valdicava Brunello Riserva, New Antinori Chianti Release, and Benchmark Bordeaux!

August 21, 2017
A Note from Sergio

There are many ways to look at winemakers. They're farmers. They're artists. They're alchemists, turning fruit and sunshine into wine. They're mad scientists with arcane obsessions about vat size, gravity displacement, cork composition, and bottle thickness. They're historians documenting the weather and the soil. They're mystics, harnessing the earth's energy to craft a potion that helps heal the soul, turns ordinary food into a banquet, and makes friends out of enemies.

The best winemakers are a bit of all these things, but in a vintage like 2010 in Montalcino, what winemakers were first and foremost was very, very lucky. When the weather gives you such a perfect growing year for grapes, all you can do is get out of the way and let the beauty of the vintage shine. Today, I'm very pleased to bring back Valdicava's outrageous cru Brunello Riserva from 2010. It's a power-packed, textured wine that springs from the glass with all the beauty, all the radiance and all the purity of its vintage. Vincenzo Abbruzzesse, Valdicava's winemaker-owner, is a meticulous craftsman, and this wine is amazing.

2010 in Bordeaux wasn't shabby either. In addition to the '10 Valdicava Brunello Riserva mags, today's offer also has 750ml bottles of 2010 Château La Mission Haut Brion, a wine I offered in large formats a few weeks ago. My clients wanted a chance to enjoy regular-sized bottles of this towering wine, and here they are! Finally, the Antinori family's roots in Toscana stretch back more than 500 years. Today's eLetter debuts the most recent fruits of their history and their tradition, Badia a Passignano 2012 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione. It's a pure, shining and long-aging Chianti, and it's gorgeous.


Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence:
Stunning 2010 Valdicava Brunello Riserva, in Magnum!
2. Only At IWM:
Debuting Antinori's Singular 2012 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Collector Giant, 2010 Château La Mission Haut Brion
4. Wine Events: Upcoming August Wine Tasting Events

My Best,

Sergio Esposito

A wonderland of biodynamically grown vines rowed with indigenous flowers and grasses, the Valdicava estate gets its name from the Valdicava Valley, home of the greatest single-vineyard Brunello wines. Sitting on a high plane close to Montalcino in the coldest part of Toscana's Brunello zone, the wines of the Valdicava Valley balance their body and their perfume, offering great structure combined with intoxicating aromatics. Valdicava's Madonna del Piano vineyard sits in the middle of both the Valdicava Valley and the Valdicava estate, so it's no surprise that Valdicava's Madonna del Piano Riserva arguably sets the standard for cru Brunello. It's an exceptional wine that bursts with its extraordinary terroir.

Today, we're delighted to present magnums of Valdicava's majestic 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Madonna del Piano. While Brunello enthusiasts have many great wines to enjoy from the benchmark 2010 vintage, Valdicava's extraordinary Brunello Riserva is a must-have wine. Lustrous yet muscular, this wine's pure red fruits mingle with brooding notes in a complex, detailed palate. This wine is at once massive and finessed, crossing the palate in a rush of velvety, chewy tannins as it builds to a long, lingering finish. It's a powerful, precise evocation of its outstanding vintage, and aged in magnum, this wine is almost ageless.

Founded in 1953, Valdicava rose to international attention in 1987 when Vincenzo Abbruzzese took control of the family-owned-and-operated estate. Decades later, Abbruzzese has earned the reputation of being a single-minded and meticulous producer, growing his grapes organically and crafting wines with minimal intervention. As you'd expect from a winemaker as exacting as Abbruzzese, Valdicava makes its cru Brunello Madonna del Piano Riserva only in the best years--just 19 times between 1977 and 2010--and this '10 bottling is stunning, a wine that serious Brunello enthusiasts should experience. Valdicava bottles only a fraction of its wines in large formats, and our allocation of this benchmark Brunello Riserva is strictly limited; contact your portfolio manager to secure yours.

Valdicava 2010 Brunello Di Montalcino Madonna del Piano (1.5L)
(Italy, Toscana - Sangiovese Grosso)
$649.00 Regular Price
$599.00 3-Pack Price/btl
$549.00 Half-Case Price/btl

Chianti Classico has a long, storied and complex history. Chianti Classico was born in 1716 when Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany, delimited the Chianti production zone to the nine communes between the provinces of Florence and Siena, and in 1932, a ministerial decree distinguished the Chianti made in this zone of origin by adding the suffix "Classico." The modern Chianti Classico production zone lies between the provinces of Florence and Siena, and in 2010 the DOCG created a new designation (it could be applied to not-yet-released vintages), Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, which is yet more discriminating than Chianti Classico Riserva, the previous pinnacle of Chianti Classico expressions. Today, we're delighted to debut Badia a Passignano 2012 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, a stellar new release from one of Antinori's family of estates.

Why Buy This Wine:

- Gran Selezione is the crème de la crème of Chianti Classico, and Antinori dedicates its Badia a Passignano estate to making only its Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, a long-aging, terroir-driven Sangiovese.

- Following a cold, snowy winter and a cool, rainy spring, the summer of 2012 was sunny, dry and warm, and the year's harvest saw perfectly ripened, balanced grapes.

- Opulent, complex and electric, this '12 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is a seductive wine that layers its succulent red and blue fruits with espresso, blood orange, licorice, wildflowers, savory herbs and leather.

- Bright acidity makes this wine almost crackly on the palate, but its super-ripe fruit and umami bass-line provide a riveting balance--it's an intense, fleshy wine that's still graceful.

- A bold, delicious wine that explodes with pure Sangiovese fruit, this '12 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is a delight to drink right now, but it'll be even more delicious years down the road.

- IWM is proud to debut this new release from Antinori's Badia a Passignano at the BEST PRICE in the country; contact your portfolio manager to secure your bottles from our initial allocation!

Badia a Passignano 2012 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione
(Italy, Toscana - Sangiovese)
$45.99 Regular Price
$42.31 Case Price/btl

Founded by Jean de Pontac in 1533, Château La Mission Haut Brion earned its Crus Classé status in the Graves classification of 1953. While historically overshadowed by its more famous neighbor, Château Haut Brion, Château La Mission Haut Brion has, in the past few decades, shown itself to be this great estate's rival, crafting outstanding wines that many believe to be worthy of premier cru status (Domaine Clarence Dillon S.A. assumed ownership of both estates in 1993). Today, we're delighted to follow up an earlier offer of magnums with standard-sized bottles of Château La Mission Haut Brion 2010 Pessac Leognan Grand Cru Classé de Graves, a benchmark vintage of an extraordinary wine. Spanning 52 acres in Pessac and Léognan, Château La Mission Haut Brion sports stony soils that are uniquely suited to its Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc grapes, and today's towering 2010 is a testament to the estate's skills, terroir and traditions.

Why Buy This Wine:

- Critics and winemakers agree: 2010 may be the most concentrated vintage ever made in Bordeaux, and today's wine makes a strong argument for being wine of the vintage; it's a sublime, concentrated, and velvety take on 2010.

- This wine's nose explodes with black and blue fruit, graphite, truffles, and scorched earth, and its inky purple color gives a hint to its complexity, weight and majestic beauty.

- Smooth and silky, this wine slowly unfolds its myriad layers and wraps the palate with a chocolaty feel--something that's all the more remarkable for this massive wine's alcohol level of 15.1%.

- A blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, and 1% Cabernet Franc, this Pessac-Léognan Bordeaux is an outstanding achievement, and it's a worthy testament to the historic Château La Mission Haut Brion estate.

- Definitely a wine for the ages, this Bordeaux will drink for years and years; contact your portfolio manager to secure your '10 Pessac Leognan Grand Cru Classé de Graves at special, time-sensitive pricing!

Château La Mission Haut-Brion 2010 "Pessac-Leognan" Grand Cru Classe de Graves
(France, Bordeaux - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc)
$899.00 Regular Price
$699.00 3-Pack Price/btl

This offer will expire in 48 hours on August 23rd at 11:59pm EST.

Autumn Arrivals

Saturday, August 26 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Ticket Price: $99.00

IWM Host: Francesco Vigorito

Fall brings back to school and a change of seasons--it also heralds the arrival of newly released Italian reds. Join IWM's own Francesco Vigorito as he unpacks, uncorks, and unveils the newest, hottest, and most exciting wines to hit IWM's temperature-controlled shelves. For educational context, Francesco will offer insider information, guiding guests in a larger understanding of vintage variation, the impact of terroir, and how producer styles impact the wines in your glass. This autumnal wine tasting will be accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, prepping you and your palate for the cool weather to come. It's the newest and best from Italy and Italian Wine Merchants, the world's leading authority in Italian wine.

Featured Wines:

Cerbaiona Brunello di Montalcino 2012
Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Cicala 2011
Le Macchiole Paleo Rosso 2013
Paolo Bea Sagrantino di Montefalco Secco Pagliaro 2008
Gallois Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2015
Chavy-Chouet Puligny-Montrachet Enseignères 2015
Paul Jaboulet Aîné Cornas "Domaine St Pierre" 2009

*Wine list may be subject to change.

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

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