Benchmark '10 Antinori Brunello Returns, 69-Year-Old López de Heredia, and Giacosa Barolo!

May 26, 2016
A Note from Sergio

This weekend, Memorial Day, is the official kick-off to summer in the United States. More than just sunny days and higher temperatures, Memorial Day means grilling in your backyard or on your deck, time at the beach, packing for picnics, and spending golden days with your family and your friends. It also means that it's time for really good wine. Today, I'm very pleased to bring back a recent favorite bottling of a really good wine, Pian delle Vigne 2010 Brunello di Montalcino, from our friends at Antinori. You can't do much better than a benchmark vintage of a great Italian wine made by the Antinori team. Most 2010 Brunellos need more time before they're really enjoyable, but you can drink this one now--or years down the road.

Today, I'm also pleased to present one incredible vintage wine, López de Heredia 1947 Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Tondonia. If your palate knows, loves, and craves mature wines, then this is your Holy Grail. I worked very hard to secure a few pristine bottles of this incredible Spanish wine, and it belies its almost seventy years on earth. Finally, I've scored some more Bruno Giacosa 2003 Barolo Rocche del Falletto. Barolo lovers need to have this in their cellars!

I hope you enjoy your Memorial Day weekend with great food, fantastic wine, and, above all, people you love!

Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence:
Under $65 and Gorgeous, Antinori's Pian delle Vigne 2010 Brunello
2. Only At IWM:
Pristine López de Heredia 1947 Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Tondonia
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Must-Have Giacosa 2003 Barolo Rocche del Falletto
4. Wine Events: Upcoming May / June Wine Tasting Events

My Best,

Sergio Esposito


In the hullabaloo over the release of the 2010 Brunello di Montalcino, a vintage so sublime that it's recalibrating our understanding of benchmark Brunello, it's easy to have overlooked some bottles. Americans love Brunello, and IWM clients love this Sangiovese Grosso wine more than most aficionados of Italian wine. Today, we're delighted to focus your attention on a Brunello made by the iconic Antinori family and offer it at just over $60 a bottle, very competitive pricing.

From its start, this '10 Brunello looked special. Antinori reports that after the cold winter of 2009-2010, a rainy spring delayed bud-break; however, the "lovely" summer and "positive" weather helped the grapes achieve "balanced ripening," perfect maturity, and balance. The fruit of Antinori's venture in Montalcino, this Brunello has, since its inaugural 1995 bottling, grown a devoted international fan-base for its structure, aromatics and elegance--as well as Antinori's hallmark accessibility, and this '10 bottling helps to cement the estate's reputation in Montalcino. Simply put, it's a must-have bottling.

Antinori's Pian delle Vigne sits south of the medieval soap-colored town of Montalcino, near the Orcia River Valley. 470 acres in total, Pian delle Vigne rests at between 430 and 825 feet above sea level and has more than 160 acres planted to vine. Pian delle Vigne's stony soils are a mix of clay and limestone, and they receive southwest exposure, offering ideal conditions and terroir for the capricious Sangiovese Grosso. After handpicking, the grapes ferment in temperature-controlled stainless steel and age in oak casks of varying sizes for more than two years.

The nose of this '10 Brunello from Antinori bursts with juicy, succulent red and black fruit, saddle leather, cigar wrapper, sun-warmed earth, cypress, and herbs. Velvety and rich, this wine whooshes across the palate with considerable softness and roundness, yet it's also remarkably structured; this '10 Brunello mixes accessibility with longevity in a wine that's replete with chewy tannins and vibrant acidity. Drinkable early with a little decanting, this '10 Antinori Brunello is a must-have Sangiovese Grosso bottling for Brunello lovers. Don't miss this new allocation before it's gone!

(Italy, Toscana - Sangiovese Grosso)
$64.99 Regular Price
$58.99 Half-Case Price/btl

*Pre-Arrival, Autumn 2016


The saying goes that everything old is new again, and rarely is that more true than at López de Heredia. This Haro, Spain estate grows its grapes gently in traditional bushes and without chemicals, and it vinifies its wines carefully, with only natural yeasts. Taking more time than is required, López de Heredia ages its wines for up to a decade before release--all while reserving some bottles that mature in the estate's mold and cobweb-filled cellars, waiting for release when López de Heredia feels the timing is right. While contemporary winemakers are only now coming around to these practices, calling them "artisanal" or "heirloom," López de Heredia has never strayed from them. Since its founding in 1877, López de Heredia has always been natural, traditional, and amazing. Today, we're delighted to present a serious, remarkably vibrant wine that connoisseurs of historic, mature bottles will enjoy, López de Heredia 1947 Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Tondonia.

Why Buy This Wine:

- This 1947 bottle of Rioja Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva dates from when Truman was president, Jackie Robinson signed his first contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and Christian Dior launched his "New Look" in Paris.

- Raspberries mingle with truffles, worn saddle leather, black tea, Christmas cake and soy sauce in this remarkably vibrant '47 Rioja Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva.

- This wine shows breathtaking balance between its elements: sweetness is complemented by savory notes; tannins are balanced by acidity; and the end result is a stunning drinking experience for wine-lovers who appreciate mature wines.

- If you are a fan of traditional Barolo, then this López de Heredia Rioja Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva wine is for you; this standard bearer of Rioja can best be described as the "Bartolo Mascarello of Rioja."

- The experience of drinking a mature López de Heredia Rioja Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva is akin to enjoying a cross between a Mascarello and a Giacosa, delivering the more delicate tannins and deeply nuanced characteristics of the Tempranillo grape.

- IWM is pleased to present this exceptional López de Heredia 1947 Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Tondonia at the BEST PRICE in the country; our allocations are, as you might expect, severely limited.

(Spain, Rioja - Tempranillo)
$1,219.00 Regular Price
$995.00 Special Price/btl

*Pre-Arrival, Autumn 2016


In the company of Bartolo Mascarello, Giacomo Conterno, and Aldo Conterno, Bruno Giacosa is among the most respected producers of traditional style Barolo, and given that company, it's not at all shocking that Giacosa's Barolos require some maturity before they're truly enjoyable. One of the great cru bottlings, Giacosa's Barolo Le Rocche Falletto derives from the vineyard he bought in 1982. Giacosa nurtures the passion for traditional Piemontese wine, and his winemaking philosophy guides him towards a noninterventionist approach, traditional viticulture and vinification, and the creation of authentic wines. Today, we're very happy to present the classic, succulent, and finessed 2003 Giacosa Barolo Le Rocche Falletto--a wine that surprised even its maker, who came very, very close to not bottling this warm vintage. The '03 Barolo Le Rocche Falleto has flourished and now it's a must-have bottling for lovers of classic Giacosa, offered at the BEST PRICE in the country.

Why Buy This Wine:

- Giacosa's Le Rocche del Falletto is derived from just four rows of old vines situated at the apex of the Falletto vineyard, and the ripe 2003 vintage offers unusual accessibility, juiciness and power.

- Giacosa was initially wary of bottling the 2003 Le Rocche del Falletto, but he's glad he did; the 2003 Le Rocche del Falletto di Serralunga's finesse and nuanced depth validate his decision to bottle the cru.

- Le Rocche del Falletto captures Nebbiolo's purest expression with classic notes of roses, strawberries, dried cherries, licorice, tar, sweet tobacco, and menthol; just coming into its own, this '03 allows for enjoyment now--or decades from now.

- One of the most legendary wines from one of the greatest masters of Barolo, the '03 Le Rocche Falletto offers a core of succulent fruits layered with rose petals, tobacco, saddle leather, eucalyptus and exotic spices.

- This powerful '03 Barolo may explode from the glass, but textured and finessed, it swaddles the tongue with caressing tannins and a lingering, brooding finish.

- Presented today at time-sensitive special pricing, this '03 Giacosa Le Rocche Falletto is an ideal wine for Barolo aficionados; allocations are strictly limited and we urge you to contact your portfolio manager to secure yours.

Bruno Giacosa 2003 Barolo Le Rocche Falletto
(Italy, Piemonte - Nebbiolo)
$159.99 Regular Price
$149.99 Half-Case Price/btl

This offer will expire in 48 hours May 28th at 5:00 pm EST.


Tuesday, June 7
| 7:00-10:00 pm |
New York, NY
A Sit-Down Dinner Tasting

Hosted by: Will Di Nunzio, IWM President

Ticket Price: $299.00
Early Bird Price: $269.00
Expires: Wed, June 1 at 5pm EST

Truffles meet Champagne, Barolo, Brunello, Super Tuscans, and other world-class wines at one of IWM's most beloved tasting events, our truffle dinner. If you love the earthy beauty of Italy's black truffles, you won't want to miss this event that pairs truffles with wines from some of the great masters of Italy and France. Truffles flown from Piemonte will serve as the centerpiece of this special dinner crafted by Chef Michael Marcelli and our in-house kitchen staff with world-class dishes featuring truffles. IWM sommeliers will pour Champagne from Billecart-Salmon, Barolo from Aldo Conterno and Luciano Sandrone, Brunello from Soldera, and wines from Fontodi, Fiorano and more. It's a memorable evening of delicious food, outrageously good wines, and excellent conversation. All it needs is you!

Featured Menu & Wine List:

Antipasti Assortiti
Billecart-Salmon NV Brut Rosé

Handmade Pasta filled with Potato, Black Truffle & Fresh Ricotta
Fiorano No. 32 Bianco 1995
Fiorano No. 48 Sémillon 1995

Meat I
Roasted Quail, Veal & Black Truffle Sausage
Case Basse di Soldera Brunello di Montalcino 1994
Fontodi Flaccianello 1983

Meat II

Lamb Porterhouse, Soft Leek & Cauliflower
Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Granbussia Riserva 2001
Sandrone Barolo Cannubi Boschis 1990

Château d'Yquem Sauternes 1998

*Wines may be subject to change.

Saturday, May 28 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Ticket Price: $94.99

Summer is just around the corner, and with Labor Day on the horizon, it's not too soon to stock your cellar with the wines you'll want to enjoy all summer long. Italy's warm weather, coastal regions, and easy living make for natural summertime pairings. A knowledgeable IWM sommelier will guide you through some of our very favorite warm weather wines, help you learn what pairs with summertime's trickier dishes, and show you how Italy's Amalfi Coast, Tuscan hills, and off-the-beaten path wines make your summertime even more delicious. Pouring from a selection of red and white wines, this tasting event, complemented with regional meats and cheeses, will set you up in style to enjoy summer's heat--while keeping your cool.

*Wine list to be announced.

Saturday, June 4 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Walk-Around Tasting

Ticket Price: $69.00

Early Bird Price: $59.00
Expires: Sun, May 29 at 5pm EST

There is no wine that embodies the pleasure of summertime better than rosé. Like summertime's flowers and ripe produce, rosé wines bloom in a dizzying array of pale pinks, fleshy salmons, bright cherries, and cheery melons. Summertime rosés aren't meant to sit in the dark cellar--they demand to be enjoyed now. Rosés come from all corners of the wine world, and they appear in a wide variety of styles, from soft and sweet to steely and bright. Join IWM as we celebrate the optimistic, sunny side of summertime wines with this tasting dedicated to rosé. Taste beloved rosé wines from Italy and France, along with some surprise wines, all accompanied by regional meats and cheeses. Come to know this genre even better with the help of knowledgeable IWM sommeliers and make your summer blush with joy!

*Wine list to be announced.

Saturday, June 11 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Ticket Price: $79.00

Early Bird Price: $69.00
Expires: Sun, June 5 at 5pm EST

Not even summertime's heat will part some wine-lovers from their red wines--nor should it! Summer is the time of BBQs, grilling, and burgers, and these foods demand a red wine partner, but not all reds work well in summertime heat. How do you keep your hot weather cool while indulging in your favorite red wines? IWM's knowledgeable sommeliers will help you answer this question with international style and unquestionable taste. Join us as we guide you through a landscape of summer-worthy reds, from light, bubbly wines to reds that will make your steak sing. Accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, this sit-down tasting will keep you in the red--red wine, that is!

*Wine list to be announced.

Saturday, June 18 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Ticket Price: $89.00

Early Bird Price: $79.00
Expires: Sun, June 12 at 5pm EST

Celebrate summertime with the very best of light, bubbly, and blush wines from around the globe. From simple sparklers to steely rosés, or classic, crisp whites to flowery, aromatic bottlings, this sit-down tasting, accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, will make the most of your summer wine enjoyment. Summer fare can be difficult to pair--lobster rolls, clambakes and picnic fare are notoriously fussy foods for wine-lovers. This tasting, hosted by a helpful IWM wine expert, will show you what wine to put with your most challenging dish, all while helping you make the most of your summer pool parties, beach gatherings, and road trips. It's the must-attend event for the season, and it could only come from IWM, the world's leading authority in Italian wine.

*Wine list to be announced.

Saturday, June 25 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Walk-Around Tasting

Ticket Price: $69.00

Early Bird Price: $59.00
Expires: Sun, June 19 at 5pm EST

Like linen in summer, crisp, cool, refreshing whites will never go out of style. But how do you decide on the perfect white wine? IWM wants you to keep your cool this summer, both literally and figuratively; join us as we show you the ins, the outs, and the whens of summertime whites. Our knowledgeable sommeliers will pour some of our most favorite whites--from mineral-laden Chablis to flowery Fiano, creamy white Burgundies to steely Pinot Grigio, and bright Riviera whites to sturdy Meursaults, this tasting will give you a panoramic view of summertime's coolest white wines. Accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, this walk-around tasting will let you explore the wonderful world of summertime whites in IWM's rustic, elegant Studio del Gusto. It's the ideal way to toast midsummer with sophistication and class!

*Wine list to be announced.

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