Return of the "Approachable" Sassicaia, Meursault in Umbria, Must-Have Bonneau du Martray
August 27, 2015 
A Note from Sergio

When the weather doesn't cooperate, my winemaker friends complain. They talk about the cold, the heat, the rain, the lack of rain, the hail, the snow, the plague of locusts. They sound, in short, like farmers. Of course, winemakers are farmers, but it's easy to forget that when the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the grapes are slowly ripening on the vine. But being a farmer is only part of a winemaker's job. The more you know about winemakers, the more you realize how intricate, complex and deep their knowledge needs to be. It's not just how best to grow the grapes, how to coax the vines into producing perfect fruit or how to prune to help the berries ripen. It's when to pick. It's how to move the grapes from fields to cantina and how to sort the best berries--and then the real decisions begin!
2012 was an interesting year across Italy and into Europe. After a wet spring, the summer was long, hot and dry, especially in Bolgheri, putting stress on the vines and on the winemaker to green harvest and plan carefully. In Burgundy, 2012 challenged vignerons with a frosty spring, hail in July, both coulure (shatter) and millerandage (shot berries). But across France and into Italy, the growing season ended in a fairytale vintage with tantalizingly low yields. Gorgeous wines--but there's not much of them.
Today, I'm proud to offer new allocations of three 2012 wines: Sassicaia from Bolgheri's Tenuta San Guido, Cervaro della Sala Chardonnay from Antinori's outpost in Umbria, and Bonneau du Martray's stellar Corton-Charlemagne. The best thing about this vintage of Sassicaia is that it rewards people who aren't patient. If that's you, you'll want to hop on this warm Sassicaia vintage. You can drink it now, and it'll be juicy and fresh, but you can also lay it down for a while and let it age a handful of years. Likewise, both the Antinori Chardonnay and the Bonneau du Martray bottling entice you to drink it now, or let it wait a bit. Either way, you're drinking up beautiful expressions of this fairytale year.

Today's Featured Sections Include:
1. Spotlight on Excellence: It's "Rather Special," Tenuta San Guido '12 Sassicaia
2. Only At IWM: 
Exclusive Large Format Antinori Cervaro della Sala '12 Chardonnay
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Must-Have Bonneau du Martray '12 Corton-Charlemagne
4. Our Experts Suggest: 
Italian Greats, Familiar and Unknown
5. Wine Events: Upcoming August & September Wine Tasting Events

My Best, 


Sergio Esposito


As most IWM clients know, Sassicaia--a masterful cuvée of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc that debuted in 1968--is single-handedly responsible for launching the Super-Tuscan movement, and it remains one of the most sought-after wines in the world. Following in his father's footsteps, Marchese Nicolò Incisa della Rocchetta continues the tradition at the Tenuta San Guido estate with the spirit and dedication that drove his late father, Mario. While undeniably rich in history, Sassicaia is nonetheless rich and intense, with ever-elegant flavor and an unmistakable texture, and today, we're delighted to present a new allocation of Tenuta San Guido 2012 Sassicaia, a graceful yet approachable bottling of this aristocratic wine.
Tenuta San Guido calls the growing season of 2012 "rather special." After a long, cold winter, the spring started a little late, but from May on, the weather grew warm, dry, and a little challenging. However, Bolgheri's seaside location helped to cool the temperatures during the hot, long summer, and by the time harvest began in September, the grapes were "perfect"--healthy, even, ripe, and balanced. This vintage of Sassicaia is juicy and succulent, yet it's also fresh, acidic, balanced and textured. Enjoyable slightly earlier than most Sassicaia vintages, this '12 nonetheless has the structure to age for decades.
An iconic blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc, Sassicaia is a consistently aristocratic wine that reflects its vintage variation in nuanced, unexpected and complex ways, making it a bottling that seduces collectors anew with each bottle. Rich, intense and elegant, the '12 Sassicaia holds its juicy red and blue berries, fresh-cut herbs, river rock minerality, and smoke in sinuous balance. This '12 Sassicaia wraps its ripe fruit around a core of minerality, and its velvety tannins coat the palate with exquisite texture.
Famous for its elegance, vibrancy, and rich bouquet, Sassicaia is beloved for its sweet frutti di bosco and pointed cypress and herbs, elements it holds in a temptingly firm tannic grip. Sassicaia is always one of IWM's most in-demand wines, and we anticipate this new allocation of '12 Sassicaia will sell out even before it reaches our cellars. Contact your portfolio managers to secure your bottles with pristine, straight-line provenance and very competitive pricing.

(Italy, Toscana - Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc)
$179.00 Regular Price
$169.00 Half-Case Price/btl
*Pre-Arrival, December 2015

We consider Antinori Cervaro della Sala Chardonnay to be one of IWM's signature wines. It makes sense: Antinori has been one of our most beloved producers since IWM opened its doors, and this Chardonnay is one of our most poured wines at IWM's tastings. Today, we're delighted to present a new allocation of the rich, opulent, textured '12 Cervaro della Sala Chardonnay in double magnum bottles! Antinori's 1,300 acres (about 400 under vine) in Umbria are under the guidance of Marchese Piero Antinori, his three daughters, and renowned enologist Renzo Cotarella, an Umbrian native, and Cervaro della Sala is a remarkable blend of Antinori's history, Umbria's terroir and Cotarella's know-how. A remarkably age-worthy white that was inspired by the wines of Meursault, Cervaro della Sala Chardonnay is an ideal wine to enjoy from magnum; it will cellar beautifully, and when you open it, your guests and you will have more to love!
Why Buy This Wine:

- Antinori makes its Cervaro della Sala with aging in mind--the estate has bottles dating to '85, about the same time that Angelo Gaja was perfecting his Chardonnay-based Gaia & Rey, and this '12 bottling is perfect to enjoy for years, especially in double magnums, ideal for aging.
- Our clients have enjoyed decades-old bottles of this great Antinori white, and these large format bottles offer sublime aging potential--or immediate gratification if you don't have the patience to wait!
- The child of a warm growing season, the '12 Cervaro della Sala offers complexity, a shimmering, kaleidoscopic palate and great vibrancy.
- A blend of Chardonnay kissed with Grechetto, this '12 puts its unique Umbrian terroir--a mixture of clay soils, volcanic sediment, and Pliocene fossils--front and center in its minerality that begins with the first sniff and ends with the mineral-laden finish.
- The '12 Cervaro della Sala complements its stone and citrus fruits with a lovely saline minerality that offsets its lushness and provides a perfect balance.
- We've enjoyed Cervaro della Sala Chardonnay bottlings that had decades of maturity, and these large format bottles offer near, medium or long-term drinking; contact your portfolio manager before we sell out of this IWM signature wine!

(Italy, Umbria - Chardonnay, Grechetto)
$239.99 Regular Price
$219.00 Special Price/btl


One of the most revered producers of Corton Charlemagne, Bonneau du Martray has certainly earned its reputation over the past two centuries, especially during the past decade of vintages, which have signaled an incredible revival. The family-owned-and-operated Bonneau makes just two wines, splitting its production between approximately 95% Corton-Charlemagne and the remainder Corton Rouge, both Grand Crus and both collectable. Bonneau du Martray's Corton vineyards lie in the original section of the hill of Corton, where the very finest vines are located, and in its Corton-Charlemagne, the domaine blends across three separate parcels of Chardonnay on the hill to create a wine that's powerful yet nuanced, aromatic yet flinty, and rich yet elegant. Today, we're delighted to present the Bonneau du Martray 2012 Corton-Charlemagne! Enjoyable now, this wine will become yet more beautiful in the years to come; it's a wine that serious Burgundy enthusiasts will enjoy returning to again and again.
Why Buy This Wine:
- Under the management of Jean-Charles le Bault de la Morinière and his winemaking team, Bonneau du Martray has been on a mission to make the estate the greatest in the appellation; the wine we offer today embodies the team's success.
- Corton-Charlemagne is one of the finest wines in the world, and Bonneau du Martray must be considered one of the top three estates producing this collector white Burgundy.
- In the past century, the appellation of Corton-Charlemagne has grown, and Bonneau's 23 acres of Corton-Charlemagne vineyards, the largest single grand cru holding of any Burgundy producer, sit in the prime pocket of the territory.
- The Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne 2012 is a work of art, typifying why Corton-Charlemagne has the reputation for being the pinnacle of Chardonnay.
- Bonneau du Martray's '12 Corton-Charleagne is powerful, complex and concentrated, offering amazingly deep aromas that beg for quiet cellaring to fully develop--its full-bodied palate is rich, elegant, intense, and full of class.
- IWM is pleased to present these magnum bottles of '12 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne at special time-sensitive pricing that's 30% off our regular price; please contact your portfolio manager to secure yours.

Bonneau du Martray 2012 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
(France, Burgundy - Chardonnay)
$209.00 Regular Price
$189.00 Half-Case Price/btl 

This offer will expire in 48 hours on August 29th at 5:00 pm EST.

Born in the US, but raised in Italy, IWM President of Sales Will Di Nunzio fell in love with wine when his father opened a twenty-year-old Biondi-Santi Brunello for Will's twentieth birthday. Will has since turned his love into a career.
Drinking Today: Talenti 2013 Rosso di Montalcino
(Italy, Toscana - Sangiovese Grosso)
$24.99 Regular Price
$22.99 Case Price/btl
For the Cellar: Pianpolvere 2004 Soprano Barolo*
(Italy, Piemonte - Nebbiolo)
$129.99 Regular Price

*Pre- Arrival, Autumn 2015

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


Back To School: ABCs of Italian Wine

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

Ticket Price: $75.00

Italian wine can be confusing--more than 2,000 indigenous grapes, thousands of years of winemaking history, and all those hard-to-pronounce names can make Italian wine feel a little intimidating. Join IWM NYC as we demystify Italian wine by pouring the ABC's of Italian wine: Amarone, Brunello, Barolo and Chianti Classico--ast well as a few other surprise bottles that will thrill your palate. These all delicious, easy-to-love Italian bottles, all presented by IWM knowledgeable sommeliers and accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, and whether you're an Italian wine aficionado or an Italian wine newbie, you're sure to walk away with a greater appreciation of Italy's vino. Come and taste Italy, all without leaving the comfort and beauty of Union Square!

Featured Wine List:

Begali Amarone Classico 2011
Cupano Brunello di Montalcino 2008 
Renzo Seghesio Barolo Pajana Riserva 2008 
Castello di Selvole Chianti Classico Riserva 2011 
Le Macchiole Bolgheri Rosso 2013
Valle Dell'Acate Il Frappato Vittoria 2014
Sartarelli Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi Classico 2014
Cornarea Roero Arneis 2014
*Wine list may be subject to change.

Saturday, September 12 | 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 from Piemonte and Liguria, a steely rosato from the Amalfi Coast, and reds from Montalcino, Campania, and Piemonte. 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!
Featured Wine List:
Cornarea Roero Arneis 2014
Sartarelli Verdicchio Tralivio 2013
Raffaele Palma Salicerchi 2011
Cupano Rosso di Montalcino (1.5L) 2005
De Forville Nebbiolo d'Alba San Rocco 2013
Raffaele Palma Montecorvo 2011
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino 2009
Renzo Seghesio Barolo Pajana Riserva 2008
*Wine list to be announced.

Tuesday, September 15 | 6:30-9:30 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Ticket Price: $235.00
Limited Seating Available.
Please Call 212.473.2323 for booking information.

Billecart-Salmon Champagne was the very first wine IWM carried that comes from outside Italy. It's a testament to this Champagne house that it was the first, and that all these years later IWM still champions it. To celebrate our longstanding relationship with Billecart-Salmon, IWM is delighted to announce that we'll be hosting a very intimate winemaker dinner with Antoine Roland-Billecart, Billecart-Salmon's own winemaker, in our Vintage Tasting Room, the closest experience to a sitting in a winemaker's cellar that you can find in New York City. IWM's own Chef Mike Marcelli will craft a five-course meal with each course designed to complement one of Billecart-Salmon's fine Champagnes, adding to your understanding and enjoyment of this family-owned-and-operated Champagne house. An IWM first, this memorable evening allows just a few wine enthusiasts to get to know and love Billecart-Salmon better, to ask questions of M. Roland-Billecart, and to experience a memorable evening with wine lovers like themselves. Seating is very limited; don't hesitate to reserve your places soon.
*Wine list to be announced.

Saturday, September 19 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Ticket Price: $95.00

Nebbiolo is Piemonte's best-known grape and the basis for its best-known wines, Barolo and Barbaresco. Indigenous to the hills surrounding Alba, Nebbiolo's name derives from the Italian word for fog, nebbia, though whether that refers to the white tinge that covers the black grapes as they ripen or the mist surrounding the Langhe hills, no one is entirely sure. One thing is certain: not only is Nebbiolo a very old grape, but it is also one that has been recognized for centuries for its greatness. Join us at a special tasting that investigates, explicates and celebrates Nebbiolo with eight great bottlings that feature the emblematic grape. IWM's knowledgeable sommelier will pour Nebbiolo wines from some of our favorite producers at this delicious, educational tasting, all complemented by regional meats and cheeses for a Nebbiolo party you won't want to miss.
Featured Wine List
De Forville Nebbiolo d'Alba San Rocco 2013
Sandro Fay Rosso di Valtellina Tei 2013
Donnas Vallee d'Aosta Rosso 2011
San Giuliano Barbaresco 2010
Rocche dei Manzoni Bricco Manzoni 2009
Poderi Aldo Conterno Langhe Nebbiolo Il Favot 2011
Renzo Seghesio Barolo Pajana Riserva 2008
Rocche dei Manzoni Barolo Vigna Big 'd Big 2010
*Wine list may be subject to change.

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

Ticket Price: $110.00

On the heels of last week's Nebbiolo tasting comes this carnival of Sangiovese Grosso. In the nineteenth century, Clemente Santi isolated the Sangiovese clone that has come to be known as BBS11, and his son Ferrucio used it to create the Brunello di Montalcino we know and love. While Sangiovese has spawned multiple clones, Sangiovese Grosso has thicker skins, lower yields, and smaller berries, and because of these characteristics, it makes a darker, more ageable wine. This special tasting commemorates the rare marriage between grape and terroir as knowledgeable IWM sommeliers pour six different Sangiovese Grosso wines, including bottles from Talenti, Cupano and Angelo Gaja. Accompanied by meats and cheeses, this tasting is a rare opportunity for Brunello enthusiasts to get to know their favorite grape--and their favorite region--a little bit better!

Featured Wine List:

Talenti Rosso di Montalcino 2013
Cupano Brunello di Montalcino 2003
Cupano Brunello di Montalcino 2008
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino 2009
Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2010
Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino 2009
More Wines to be Announced. 
*Wine list may be subject to change.

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