Ornellaia's "Essential" 2014 Flagship, Cru Prunotto Barbera, and Value-Packed Château de la Maltroye

October 18, 2017
A Note from Sergio

It's easy to forget that winemakers, for all their romance, for all their style, and for all their sophistication, are also farmers. Just as the people who grow the wheat for your pasta and the oranges for your juice are at the mercies of the weather, so too are the people who grow the grapes that eventually become your wine. When my portfolio managers or I talk about "vintage variation," we're essentially talking about the weather for that particular growing year. Sometimes it's hot, and the wines reflect the warmth in their openness. Sometimes it's cold, and the wines show the chill in their reserve. Other times, as in 2014, the weather is challenging and rewarding by turns, and this combination makes for fascinating wines.

Today, I'm very proud to bring you a two 2014 wines, beginning with the flagship bottling from Tenuta dell'Ornellaia, one of the great winemakers in Bolgheri in Toscana. Owned by the Frescobaldi family, Tenuta dell'Ornellaia is beloved because the estate makes wines with density, richness and soft tannins, and it consistently delivers with style. The estate's eponymous flagship wine is always velvety, complex and textured, but in 2014, it's a triumph! Axel Heinz, the head winemaker at Ornellaia, knows his vines, and his team took care during the wet, tempestuous summer of 2014. This '14 Ornellaia doesn't show their work, and if you love a well-made Super Tuscan, you do not want to miss this Ornellaia bottling; it's essential.

The second 2014 wine is a cru Barbera from Prunotto, the Antinori family's historic estate in Piemonte. Prunotto began as a wine collective, becoming the estate of Alfred Prunotto in 1922. About two decades ago, Antinori took control, and every recent vintage of this estate's wines tops the one before it. The '14 Pian Romualdo Barbera d'Alba, like the '14 Ornellaia, doesn't show its wild growing year--it's a delicious, long-aging, complex wine that will pull you back to the glass with every sip.

Finally, there are a pair of 2015 Château de la Maltroye Bourgogne, both red and white, and you have to try these wines!

Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence:
Ornellaia's Essential 2014 Flagship
2. Only At IWM:
Antinori's Historic Prunotto Barbera from 2014
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Must-Have 2015 Château de la Maltroye Borgougne Pair
4. Wine Events: Upcoming October / November Wine Tasting Events

My Best,

Sergio Esposito

A signature IWM producer, Tenuta dell'Ornellaia is a remarkable estate, capable of crafting collector wines, everyday wines, and wines that appeal to a broad range of palates. Building on Bolgheri's Super-Tuscan boom and choosing vines to showcase its natural, rocky terroir, Ornellaia planted its vineyards with grapes traditional to Bordeaux, forgoing Sangiovese that is so archetypal to Toscana. The estate's 190 acres of predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with small plantings of Cabernet Franc vines, lie on elevated parcels composed of clay, gravel, and loam soils, and its clones of diverse origins yield a rich, nuanced palate. Winemaker Axel Heinz and his team at the estate, owned by the Frescobaldi family for more than a decade, make the most of their raw materials, carefully crafting outstanding wines even in challenging vintages--indeed, Ornellaia wines are so consistently outstanding that it's uncanny.

Today, we're very proud to present a new allocation of Tenuta dell'Ornellaia's flagship wine from the precise, delineated vintage of 2014. 2014 was an odd growing year in Toscana--a mild winter morphed into a warm yet dry spring, a cool and tempestuous summer, and then a dry and sunny fall that ended in a surprisingly good, if low production, harvest. Indeed, the only downside of the'14 Ornellaia is that there's not much of it. This wine wafts from the glass with a symphony of crystalline notes: brambly berries, juicy cherries, licorice, warm earth, sweet herbs, smoke and crushed minerals, to name but a few. Immensely expressive yet perfectly nuanced, this is a vivid, sophisticated bottling that has the structure to age for years--and given its demanding vintage, the '14 Ornellaia is a triumph!

Since its debut in 1985, Tenuta dell'Ornellaia's flagship wine has consistently demonstrated excellence, and this bottling from the cool, low-production 2014 vintage is silky, powerful and nuanced. A blend that changes to reflect its vintage, in 2014, Ornellaia is a blend of 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 20% Petit Verdot, and 14% Cabernet Franc; the product of a challenging yet ultimately rewarding year, '14 Ornellaia gained the name "Essence" for the transparent transmission of its terroir. We've sold through our previous allocations of this wine in no time at all, and we're excited to be able to offer our clients a third allocation. Contact your portfolio manager to secure yours--this wine, as its makers suggest, is essential!

Tenuta dell'Ornellaia 2014 Ornellaia
(Italy, Toscana - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc)
$229.00 Regular Price
$199.00 Half-Case Price/btl

Historically known as the "People's Grape," Barbera is conventionally understood as the easy-drinking alternative to Piemonte's more austere Nebbiolo-based wines, but complex, age-worthy Barberas are now becoming popular. Like most great Barbera wines, today's bottling comes from an accomplished Barolo-maker that grows its Barbera grapes with the same care as its Nebbiolo, taking pains to craft authentic, traditional expressions. Originally founded as a Serralunga wine collective, Alfred Prunotto turned the Prunotto estate over to enologist Beppe Colla in the 1950s, who ran it until the '90s, launching single-vineyard bottlings of Barolo and Barbaresco, using Burgundy's model to create the regions' "grand crus." Antinori joined forces with Prunotto in 1989, and a year later, Albiera Antinori took control of the project. In 1994, Antinori assumed full control of Prunotto, continuing in the tradition of crafting fine, authentic Piemonte wines like this '14 Pian Romualdo Barbera d'Alba, offered at the BEST PRICE in the States.

Why Buy This Wine:

- So vibrant that it practically shimmers across the palate, this low production cru Barbera from Antinori's historic Prunotto estate is a bottling of the "People's Grape" that is unquestionably age-worthy.

- 2014 saw a challenging growing year in Piemonte, but you'd never know it from the seamless beauty of this cru Barbera d'Alba from the Antinori family's Prunotto estate.

- Ripe black and red fruits dance on a backdrop of warm baking spices, licorice, fresh loam, pressed wildflowers, and kiss of wood in this delicious Barbera bottling.

- Barbera is beloved for its electric acidity, and while this cru bottling is energetic, it conveys softness on the palate, filling the mouth with plush fruit, savory minerals, and telltale Piemonte terroir.

- Deriving from Barbera grown in the famed Pian Romualdo plot, the grapes for this wine enjoy temperature-controlled fermentation, and the wine ages for a year in oak casks, followed by four months in bottle before release.

- IWM is pleased to present this luscious Barbera bottling at the BEST PRICE in the country; contact your portfolio manager to secure this beautifully cellar-worthy Antinori wine.

Prunotto 2014 Pian Romualdo Barbera d'Alba
(Italy, Piemonte - Barbera)
$29.99 Regular Price
$27.59 Case Price/btl

Even before its release, 2015 was being lauded as one of the great red Burgundy vintages in our lifetime, and despite their low production, these Burgundies are getting a lot of love from producers, critics and connoisseurs who have been lucky enough to taste them. Today, we're delighted to present special, time-sensitive pricing on Château de la Maltroye's two 2015 Bourgogne bottlings. A favorite of IWM's clients and our portfolio managerss, Château de la Maltroye is large for a family estate, sprawling across 40 acres. It's not particularly old for a Burgundy house--the estate dates back only to the eighteenth century--and its current owners, the Cornut family, have owned it since the mid-1950s. However, since the late 1990s when Jean-Pierre Cornut took the estate's helm, Château de la Maltroye has been on a distinct upward trajectory, and the most recent 2015 vintage suggests that the sky is the limit.

Why Buy This Wine:

- Château de la Maltroye's Bourgogne Blanc is predominately made from Chassagne-Montrachet fruit, and Maltroye's Bourgonge Rouge comes from declassified Santenay and Chassagne fruit; these 2015 bottlings give terrific, affordable ways to enjoy their benchmark vintage.

- Jean-Pierre Cornut's pride in his domaine goes so far as to make sure that his entry-level Bourgogne wines are superb bottles that can truly represent the domaine's terroir, typicity and style.

- Juicy orchard and stone fruits, touches of citrus, pressed white flowers and a bit of spice make Château de la Maltroye's Bourgogne Blanc utterly charming in the very approachable 2015 vintage.

- Bursting with red fruits, earth and spice, Maltroye's '15 Bourgogne is an extraordinary value for everyday drinking, and although delicious now, this benchmark vintage will age nicely over the medium term.

- Marked by a warm, dry summer and one of the earliest harvests on record, the 2015 growing season in Burgundy had its share of challenges, but the vintage's wines are gaining comparison to the legendary 2005s.

- Priced at less than $35 a bottle, these two Maltroye wines over-deliver on their modest price points; contact your portfolio manager to secure your '15 Bourgogne Blanc and Bourgogne Rouge at very competitive pricing.

Château de la Maltroye 2015 Bourgogne Rouge
(France, Burgundy - Pinot Noir)
$29.99 Regular Price
$27.59 Case Price/btl

Château de la Maltroye 2015 Bourgogne Blanc
(France, Burgundy - Chardonnay)
$34.99 Regular Price
$32.19 Case Price/btl

This offer will expire in 48 hours on October 20th at 11:59pm EST.

Monday, October 23 | 7:00-10:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting Dinner

Ticket Price: $219.00
Early Bird Price: $199.00/ticket (Expires: Friday, October 20 at 5pm EST)

Hosted by: Alessia Antinori
, Alberico Winemaker
IWM Host: Will Di Nunzio, President

It's a wine event that is decades in the making, featuring wines so rare they're simply unavailable anywhere else! 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 Alberico. Once called Fiorano, Alberico is an estate with a long, storied past and a history of making some of Italy's most important, most collectable wines. In 1995, Prince Alberico Boncampagni Ludovisi, Alessia's grandfather, made his last vintage at Fiorano, pulling up all the vines except for a few rows of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and some white grape vines left on a caretaker's property. After inheriting a portion of the Prince's land following his death in 2005, Alessia took on the project of nursing these vines back to health, intent on making wine as her grandfather did--organically and with minimal intervention. This unique evening will present old vintages of Fiorano, both its fabled whites and its excruciatingly rare Rosso, as well as offer a taste of Alessia's new Alberico bottlings from the estate's restored vineyards. 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 Wines:

Welcome | Antipasti
Antinori Montenisa Brut
Alberico Bianco 2014

Striped Bass, Grilled Pancetta & White Pea
Fiorano No. 45 Bianco 1995
Fiorano No. 26 Bianco 1992

Fresh Pappardelle, Cockerel & Porcini Ragu
Alberico Rosso 2012
Alberico Rosso 2011
Alberico Rosso 2010

Grill Lamb Shoulder, Caper & Roasted Potato
Fiorano Rosso 1988
Fiorano Rosso 1993
Fiorano Rosso 1995

Dolci | Formaggio
Fiorano No. 22 Sémillon 1993

*Wines may be subject to change.

IWM's Annual White Truffle Dinner

Friday, November 3 | 7:00-10:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting Dinner

Ticket Price: $499.00
Early Bird Price: $479.00/ticket (Expires: Friday, October 27)

IWM Host: Will Di Nunzio, President

Piemonte's white diamonds meet Barolo, Brunello, Franciacorta and carefully selected wines at IWM's highly anticipated annual white truffle dinner. If you love Alba's most sustainable delicacy, the tartufo bianco, you won't want to miss this dinner that pairs truffles with wines from some of the great masters of Italy. Truffles flown from Piemonte will be at the centerpiece of this special event as IWM's own Chef Michael Marcelli and his in-house kitchen staff design a dazzling multi-course menu, carefully paired with fantastic wines from cult-inspiring estates, all rounded out with antipasti before and dolci after. Knowledgeable IWM sommeliers will pour Barolos and Brunellos, along with other beloved Italian wines. It's the most wonderful time of the year--truffle season--and we invite you to celebrate it in style with IWM.

*Wines and menu to be announced.

Big & Bold Italian Reds

Saturday, October 21 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Ticket Price: $119.00

IWM Host: Will Di Nunzio, President

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 us as we celebrate the red wines of Italy. From Brunellos to Barolos and Super Tuscans, from Super Piemontese to Aglianico and Valpolicella, this tasting shows why Italian reds are world famous. Guided by knowledgeable IWM sommeliers, this glorious tasting, complemented by meats and cheeses, is devoted to exploring the lushness, the power, and the unexpected finesse of red wines from some of our favorite producers. It's big, it's beautiful, and it's only available at IWM, the world's leading authority in Italian wine.

*Wines to be announced.

Halloween Special: Orange, Biodynamic & Funky Wines

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

Ticket Price: $89.00

IWM Host: Michael Adler

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 "drink like a red."

*Wines to be announced.

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

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