Poggio Scalette's Way with Sangiovese, the Prince's Sémillon, and Vintage Sassicaia

August 24, 2016
A Note from Sergio

Sangiovese's true home is in Toscana, where it has been pushing its way through the rocky Italian soil since Etruscan times. Growing on Toscana's rolling hills, Sangiovese is calmed by continuous cool breezes and ripened by the Tuscan sun. Even there in ideal conditions, Sangiovese remains a difficult fruit to master. The men and women who have a way with this grape make wines that sing great arias of Italy. There's this way that an excellent Sangiovese wine transmits the very air where it grew, the sun that shone on it, and all the green things big and small that grew alongside it. Pour a glass of a really good Sangiovese, and you're transported to Italy. You can smell the earth, the needles on the cypress trees, the chestnuts rolling along the ground, the poppy seeds blowing in the wind.

Today, I'm very proud to bring you a full-throttle, unapologetic, and altogether Italian Sangiovese wine from Poggio Scalette, the 2013 Il Carbonaione. Called the "father of Sangiovese," Vittorio Fiore founded the Poggio Scalette estate in 1992. Vittorio is a trained enologost, and he'd had a hand in shaping the wines of other estates when he founded Poggio Scalette. He wanted a very special place, and he found one. This estate had vineyards dating back to the decade after the end of World War 1, and they held a rare, ancient clone, Sangiovese di Lamole. Vittorio chose to make a cru wine from this old-vine plot, and Il Carbonaione was born. This mono-varietal Sangiovese wine is Toscana incarnate.

2013 was a classic, lovely year in Toscana; the weather was cool, and crystalline and beautiful. This 2013 Il Carbonaione is remarkably elegant and refined, yet it thrums with Sangiovese's power. If you love Montevertine's Le Pergole Torte or Fontodi's Flaccianello, you will adore this wine. It's really good. Along with this deeply Italian wine, I'm proud to present two more. First, there's a 1995 Sémillon from Fiorano, an outrageously racy bottle of Prince Alberico Boncompagni Ludovisi's fairytale white. And finally, I managed to score more bottles of the superb 1997 Sassicaia--you asked for it, and here it is!


Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence:
Full-Throttle, Elegant Sangiovese in Il Carbonaione
2. Only At IWM:
One Singular Fiorano Sémillon
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Vintage Sassicaia from Benchmark 1997
4. Wine Events: Upcoming August / September / October Wine Tasting Events

My Best,

Sergio Esposito


Sangiovese is Italy's most cultivated grape. Like a spy, this grape goes by many names: Sangiovese Grosso, Montepulciano, Prugnolo Gentile, Sangioveto, Scansano, and Morellino, to name a few. Just as Sangiovese has many names, it also has many clones--Sangiovese Grosso, the grape you love for its Brunello, is one, but the most widespread is Sangiovese Piccolo, the grape responsible for most Chianti Classicos. Growing in tight bunches, Sangiovese requires a very long season to ripen with warm, sunny days that extend into mid-to-late October, so hills with southern exposure do it well; it also prefers soil with generous limestone. As easy as it is to love, Sangiovese is not an easy grape to grow.

Sangiovese, however difficult, flourishes at Podere Poggio Scalette, located in he northeastern sector of the Chianti district. Today, we're delighted to present Podere Poggio Scalette 2013 Il Carbonaione, the latest release of the iconic mono-varietal Sangiovese bottling. In any vintage, this wine is a perfect marriage of Sangiovese clone, Tuscan land, and family passion, but 2013 raises the bar with its classic weather, creating a Sangiovese expression of unrivalled grace and purity. Renowned enologist Vittorio Fiore is known as the "father of Sangiovese," and his Il Carboniaone wine embodies why. Il Carbonaione is consistently a full-throttle Sangiovese, but this '13 bottling adds a gloss of sophistication. It's stunning, and it'll drink for years.

Poggio Scalette's Il Carbonaione plot was the first in the area to be replanted after the phylloxera epidemic in the decade following World War I, and this site's old vines provide a rare opportunity to taste the original Sangiovese di Lamole, a low-yielding Sangiovese clone indigenous to the Chianti Classico region. Debuting with its 1992 vintage, Il Carbonaione was one of the first pure Sangiovese Super-Tuscans, although since then the various Chianti DOCG regulations have come to allow mono-varietal Sangiovese wines. Fermented in stainless steel and aged in large oak tonneaux, Il Carbanaione speaks eloquently of its old-vine fruit, unique rocky terroir, and rich Tuscan history.

Beautiful, rich red, blue and black fruits burst from the glass, joined by notes of crushed violets, saline minerals, smoky incense, licorice, and menthol in this elegant, delineated '13 Il Carbonaione. This wine has a soaring structure and a framework provided by vibrant acidity, a sturdy mineral core, and chewy, sophisticated tannins; while you'll be tempted to drink this wine early, your patience will reward you. Presented at the BEST PRICE in the country, Poggio Scalette '13 Il Carbonaione is a treat for fans of Sangiovese, Chianti purists, or wine-lovers who favor "big reds." Contact your portfolio manager to secure yours from our limited allocation.

(Italy, Toscana - Sangiovese)
$49.99 Regular Price
$43.79 Case Price/btl


In 2004, the fabled wines of Fiorano came to IWM when Italy's iconic wine critic, the late Luigi Veronelli, kept his promise to the late, great Prince Alberico Boncompagni Ludovisi, the Prince of Venosa, to place these complex wines in the rightful hands of passionate wine enthusiasts and collectors. These wines immediately caused a sensation in the wine world. Located in in Lazio, Fiorano was a fabled estate and to have sampled Fiorano's wines puts you in the elite few, for these nearly impossible-to-get bottles are the product of a dedicated and passionate maker whose avant-garde, organic approach was way ahead of its time--and who ripped up his vines shortly before his death. The Fiorano vineyards are now in the hands of Alessia Antinori, whose team is painstakingly restoring them. Today, we're delighted to present Fiorano No. 48 Semillon 1995, a long-aging wine that is as delicious as its fairytale story would suggest.

Why Buy This Wine:

- This Fiorano Sémillon combines the characteristics and layers of a mature white Burgundy, the dried tropical fruit of a Sauternes, the texture and body of an Alsatian white, and the oxidative but mineral side of an aged Sherry, all together in one bottle.

- The product of dedication and passion from Prince Alberico Boncompagni Ludovisi and his Fiorano estate, whose avant-garde approach of organic agriculture and the use of a magical mold was way ahead of its time, this wine shows a rare ability to age.

- This 21-year old-white defies what we think we know about wine; this powerful, stable white opens with hours of aeration to a range of nuances that few wines in the world can deliver.

- Luscious honeyed fruit dances with rare herbs, bees wax, menthol and exotic spices in this '95 Sémillon that almost bursts with acidic energy.

- At once racy and mature, this Sémillon unfurls on the palate to show a velvety texture, and its surprisingly youthful acidity propels it to a sustained, complex finish.

- Only IWM can offer you this magical, rare and perfectly stored white with impeccable provenance and more than twenty years of maturity; the prince labeled each wine with its barrel aging number, giving connoisseurs intimate insight into his spectacular wines.

- Offering one of the great stories in wine that makes every sip more intriguing, this wine is exceptional; for more on the Prince and the Fiorano wine story, please click here.

(Italy, Lazio - Sémillon)
$124.00 Regular Price
$111.60 Half-Case Price/btl
$99.20 Case Price/btl


A few weeks ago, we offered our serious Super-Tuscan lovers a rare opportunity to enjoy a benchmark vintage Sassicaia with pristine provenance and perfect maturity. Demand was greater than our initial supply, so IWM founder Sergio Esposito worked our European sources to score more. Today, we're delighted to offer a new allocation of the 1997 Sassicaia, a wine that was misunderstood upon release and has shown its pedigree in its maturity. From Robert Parker to the New York Times, 1997 was vaunted as a contender for Italy's vintage of the century, but the '97 Sassicaia holds an interesting relationship to this celebrated vintage. Upon release, 1997's wines were rich, opulent, approachable, and while critics rewarded fruit-forward, opulent wines, they didn't recognize the beauty in more austere, aristocratic wines, like the '97 Sassicaia. Now with almost two decades of perfect maturity, this '97 Sassicaia has come into its own--best of all, we're presenting this wine with special time-sensitive pricing!

Why Buy This Wine:

- Upon its release, the '97 Sassicaia emphasized finesse and nuance, but this slant was out of style for critics who favored extroverted, dense and immediately approachable wines.

- A lean, elegant, age-worthy wine adrift in a pool of ripe bottlings, Sassicaia received low critical scores; it wasn't that Sassicaia was poor that year--Sassicaia is never bad--it was that the wine didn't fit the critical narrative for the vintage.

- With time, this blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc has shown its true mettle; maturity has turned this delicate vintage into a wine that's more magical, ethereal and beautiful than critics could've foreseen.

- This mellow, mature Super Tuscan shows its seamless integration and patina of tertiary notes; its herbs, menthol, minerals, and cigar wrapper are now more pronounced, complementing the wine's fresh Morello cherry and cassis.

- We always say that most enthusiasts drink their Super Tuscans too early; this extraordinary offer allows you to enjoy a pristine bottle of vintage Sassicaia the way its maker intended--with age.

- We sold through our most recent allocation of this superb Sassicaia bottling and expect this one to fly out of our temperature-controlled cellar; contact your portfolio manager to secure your '97 Sassicaia at special time-sensitive pricing!

Tenuta San Guido 1997 Sassicaia
(Italy, Toscana - Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc)
$549.00 Regular Price
$449.00 3-Pack Price/btl
$399.00 Half-Case Price/btl

This offer will expire in 48 hours on August 26th at 5:00 pm EST.

*Pre-Arrival, Winter 2017


Saturday, August 27 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Ticket Price: $85.00

IWM Host: John Camacho Vidal

When Americans fall in love with Italian wines, they almost always fall in love with Chianti Classico first. Juicy, bright, thrumming with terroir, and utterly delicious, food-friendly Chianti Classico is a logical point of seduction for Italian wine newbies--but what makes it so very special? Join IWM as we explore Chianti Classico and take you down the many trails that this iconic Tuscan wine can take you. This tasting, complemented by regional meats and cheeses and led by a knowledgeable IWM sommelier, will center on Chianti Classico and the grape that makes it: Sangiovese. But Chianti Classico will only be a launching pad for further adventures as we journey to the far reaches of Sangiovese, enjoying Brunello, Rosso di Montalcino, and other Sangiovese delights. Italian wine is a delicious adventure, and it's waiting for you!

Featured Wines:

Castell'in Villa Chianti Classico 2011
Fontodi Chianti Classico 2013
Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva Tignanello 2012
Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2010
Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Le Volte 2013
Poderi Poggio Scalette Il Carbonaione 2013
Valdicava Rosso di Montalcino 2013
Collemattoni Brunello di Montalcino 2010

*Wine list may be subject to change.

A Sit-Down Dinner Tasting

Ticket Price: $199.00
Early Bird Price $189.00 (Expires Aug. 23 at 5pm EST)
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.