Almost "Perfect" Sugarille Brunello Returns! And Vintage Gaja & Rey and Barolo Monfortino!

July 28, 2016
A Note from Sergio

Today, I'm proud to bring back a wine that is one of the standouts of the 2010 Montalcino vintage, Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello Sugarille. To say that this wine is a standout in this vintage is quite the praise; 2010 is going to go down as a legendary year for Brunello. However, this '10 Sugarille comes from a man who has been surprising, delighting, enraging, and making wine-lovers fall in love for decades, Angelo Gaja. Angelo has owned his Montalcino property for about twenty years, and his Brunellos just get better and better. In fact, this '10 Brunello Sugarille could be one of the wines of the vintage; it's got that tension between its elements that surprises you anew with each sip. It's a mesmerizing wine, and you don't want to pass it up.

Angelo is best known for Barbaresco bottlings, but the way that he brought those wines to the attention of critics and industry people was genius: he poured them his Chardonnay Gaia & Rey first. It's hard to remember this, but in the '80s non-Italian people didn't drink Barolo or Barbaresco very much. They weren't popular wines, and the fashion was for big wines that exploded with purple fruit, so slipping a lean Nebbiolo into the mix was an art of seduction. Angelo mastered it with his extraordinary Gaia & Rey, a wine that was familiar enough to make wine insiders take notice--and then he'd pour them a Barbaresco, and the rest is beautiful Gaja history.

Today, I'm delighted to offer a vintage bottle of Gaia & Rey. This 1988 Chardonnay is a golden child; it's ripe and rich yet lively and complex. Drink it and you'll experience what wine insiders did decades ago: a new appreciation for an Italian master. Finally, I'm very pleased to round out this offer with a 74-year-old bottling of Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfortino Riserva. Yesterday, I gave you serious Barolo lovers a chance to snag a 1952 Barolo Monfortino, so it felt right to up my game and give you a wine that's even older--and even more legendary.


Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence:
How Perfect Can Gaja's 2010 Brunello Sugarille Be?
2. Only At IWM:
Golden, Gorgeous Vintage Gaja & Rey
3. Time Sensitive Offer: 74-Year-Old Barolo Monfortino Riserva Gem
4. Wine Events: Upcoming July / August Wine Tasting Events

My Best,

Sergio Esposito


Today, we're delighted to bring back a wine that stuns us every time we open a bottle, Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille. Angelo Gaja's Brunello Sugarille has earned a reputation of a being powerful, structured and aromatic wine with appealing notes of violets, frutti di bosco, spices and tobacco. In 2010, however, this wine is so much more than approachable: it's a benchmark bottling! IWM doesn't put a lot of stock in critics' reviews of Italian wines, but they definitely got it right with their high marks on this '10 Brunello Sugarille from the iconoclastic Angelo Gaja.

2010 is a benchmark Brunello vintage so outstanding that it forces us to recalibrate the entire scale, and the Gaja '10 Brunello Sugarille embodies the greatness of the vintage in its astounding complexity, seductive aromatics, and breathtaking structure. Juicy blue and black fruits dance with black cherries in this brooding, broad-shouldered 2010 Brunello Sugarille that layers its fruits with crushed flower petals, grilled herbs, warm saddle leather, licorice and tarry earth. This is one unabashedly sexy Brunello that holds your palate with a tannic grip as it builds to a seamless, lingering and complex finish. It's not a Gaja wine to miss--but few are!

As you might expect, Gaja's Pieve Santa Restituta has garnered attention since its inaugural 1995 vintage of Brunello, when Gaja assumed full creative control of the estate. Gaja and his team craft the multi-site Brunello Rennina that blends from three vineyards closest to the parish church, pieve in Italian, and the single-vineyard Brunello Sugarille. In 2005, Gaja added 25 acres to his holdings, and these windy northeast vineyards give the grapes that comprise the estate's eponymous Brunello. Today, the estate produces three beautiful wines: a cru bottling from the historic 12-acre Sugarille vineyard site; Rennina, which draws from vineyards in Santo Pietro, Castagno, Pian dei Cerri; and a traditional cuvée that derives from sites in Sugarille, Santo Pietro, Castagno, and Pian dei Cerri.

While all of the 2010 releases from Gaja's Pieve Santa Restituta estate are stellar, the Brunello Sugarille is a standout with IWM's clients and our staff. After selling through our initial allocations, we had to get more! 2010 is the kind of Montalcino vintage that makes winemakers and wine-lovers pinch themselves--it's out of this world. Don't hesitate to secure your '10 Brunello Sugarille; we're offering this landmark wine at the BEST PRICE in the country, and we know it's going to fly out of our cellars!

(Italy, Toscana - Sangiovese Grosso)
$169.99 Regular Price
$139.99 Half-Case Price/btl

*Pre-Arrival, August 2016


Some call Angelo Gaja's Gaia & Rey Italy's best Chardonnay; others call it Italy's best white. IWM just calls it one of our favorite wines, one that we love to pour at tastings. It never fails to surprise our clients with its hedonistic profile, its brocade-like texture and its luscious palate. A deeply personal wine, Gaia & Rey gets its name from Angelo's family--his daughter Gaia Gaja and his grandmother Clotilde Rey. This beautiful golden wine shows a delicate perfume of citrus fruits and honeysuckle, a richly fruited, medium-bodied palate, and a very subtle touch of spicy new oak--as the wine ages, it mellows, exhibiting toasted nuts and sun-warmed honey. Today, we're delighted to present a glorious vintage bottle of this landmark Italian Chardonnay, Gaja 1988 Chardonnay Gaia & Rey. One taste, and you'll understand why in the '80s Angelo Gaja would pour Gaia & Rey to entice prospective buyers of his glorious Piemonte reds.

Why Buy This Wine:

- Named for his oldest daughter, Gaia Gaja, and his grandmother, Clotilde Rey, Gaia & Rey is an exotic wine that's fermented with naturally occurring yeasts found on the grape skins and in the winery; it's something that only the master Angelo Gaja could create.

- A collector staple, Gaia & Rey ages remarkably well--we've enjoyed bottles from the '80s and '90s that showed remarkable freshness, even as tertiary notes join its palate of guava, tangerine, honey, marzipan and oak spice.

- Bursting with caramel, orchard fruits, potpourri, baking spices and crushed river rocks, this mature Gaia & Rey marries its tertiary notes with its freshness.

- This golden wine unfurls on the palate with a silky feel to offer a bevy of complex notes; its saline minerality offsets its inner perfume, and its slightly oxidized mouth-feel complements its vibrant acidity.

- These days, Gaia & Rey is even more difficult to get than Gaja's iconic Barbaresco bottlings; contact your portfolio manager to secure this pristine, perfect vintage Gaia & Rey at the BEST PRICE in the States.

(Italy, Piemonte - Chardonnay)
$499.00 Regular Price
$449.00 Special Price/btl


Yesterday, we were proud to offer the 1952 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfortino Riserva; it's only right to follow up that wine with an even more rare bottling, 1943 Barolo Monfortino Riserva. Giovanni Conterno founded Cantina Conterno in 1908, and while not labeled Monfortino at the time--the name constituted Giovanni's homage to his home village of Monforte d'Alba--this now legendary Barolo Riserva was born in 1912, the product of Giovanni's emphasis on premium quality wine. Giovanni understood Barolo Riserva to be a wine with prime aging potential and unparalleled complexity, and his son, Giacomo, not only inherited this philosophy, but furthered it. Barolo Monfortino Riserva is very much the epitome of Giacomo's beliefs. A rare, collectable wine with extraordinary longevity, this '43 Barolo Monfortino Riserva comes with the "IWM Difference": a commitment to straight-line provenance and ideal storage conditions. This vintage Giacomo Conterno Barolo would be a jewel in the collection of serious collectors.

Why Buy This Wine:

- Remarkably vibrant, intense and fresh, this '43 Barolo Monfortino Riserva doesn't drink like a wine that's more than 70 years old.

- A bold brick orange in the glass, this wine has the patina that only maturity can give, and a concentrated, structured palate conveys its tertiary notes of tea, dried rose petals, tar and game.

- One of the first Barolos made in what is now known as "the classic style," Monfortino represents the post-WWI shift in Italian winemaking as Barolisti began to make wine to age and drink for decades.

- Barolo Monfortino Riserva is unquestionably a standard-bearer in Barolo, and it consistently shows the deft hand of its maker in its mind-blowing complexity, nuance, power and ineffable beauty.

- Giacomo Conterno crafts its Barolo Monfortino exclusively in vintages of the highest caliber; between the years of 1920 and 2009, the wine made only 47 out of 89 possible appearances, averaging fewer than 600 cases in each vintage.

- It's almost impossible to secure vintage bottles of Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfortino Riserva outside of auction, and unlike auction bottles, this '43 bottling comes with perfect, pristine, straight-line provenance.

- This 73-year-old Barolo Monfortino Riserva is piece of Italian wine history; contact your portfolio manager to secure yours from our limited allocation.

Giacomo Conterno 1943 Barolo Monfortino Riserva
(Italy, Piemonte - Nebbiolo)
$1,599.00 Regular Price
$1,399.00 Special Price/btl

This offer will expire in 48 hours on July 30th at 5:00 pm EST.


Saturday, July 30 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Ticket Price: $89.00

IWM Host: John Camacho Vidal

That noise you've been hearing is the recent buzz about natural wines. They're the wines that get described as "non-interventionist," "organic," or "biodynamic." But what exactly makes a wine "natural"? Join us for this special wine tasting and learn the natural skinny on wines made from grapes grown without pesticides, made without additives, or made with on the ebbs, the flows and the lunar pull of biodynamic protocol. Accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, this seated tasting, led by knowledgeable IWM wine experts, will give you the opportunity to enjoy natural, organic and biodynamic wines, to get to know them better, and to understand why they're so terrific. Prepare to become a convert to their lively, intense, celestial styles; these wines are more than exciting--they're naturally alive!"

Featured Wines:

Movia Puro Rosé 2003
Gravner Breg 1998
Radikon Oslavje 2008
Movia Veliko Belo 2009
Raffaele Palma Salicerchi 2011
Porta del Vento Maque Perricone 2012
COS Nero di Lupo 2014
Fontodi Chianti Classico 2013
Grattamacco Bolgheri Rosso Superiore 2012

*Wine list may be subject to change.

Saturday, August 13 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Ticket Price: $105.00
Early Bird Price: $95.00 (Expires Aug. 8 at 5pm EST)

IWM Hosts: Crystal Edgar & John Camacho Vidal

Like love and marriage or Lennon and McCartney, some things just go together perfectly. Wine and cheese is one of those ineffable couples Join us as we celebrate one of the most natural pairings in the wine-and-food world with eight wonderful global wines and eight beautiful Italian cheeses. IWM's wine educators will pour great wines from around the globe--all while pairing each wine with an exceptional, perfectly complementary cheese. Even more exciting, we'll be joined by Andrew and Christina Marcelli from Marcelli Formaggi in Abbruzzo, Italy, who will tell the story behind such great cheeses as Pecorino Gregoriano, Caciocavallo, Pezzata Rossa, and Pecorino Fiorello. Tantalize your taste buds and expand your pairing expertise at this delicious Saturday event, available only at the world's leading authority in Italian wines, IWM.

*Wine list to be announced.

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

Ticket Price: $85.00

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!

*Wine list to be announced.

Tuesday, August 30 | 7:00-10:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Dinner Tasting

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

Hosts: Alessia Antinori & IWM's Crystal Edgar

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.

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