Under $70 Benchmark Ornellaia, Collector Barolo from Antinori, and Outrageous Sammarco

August 17, 2017
A Note from Sergio

The cantina for Tenuta dell'Ornellaia sits in this tiny Bolgheri hollow, shaded by trees and surrounded by acres and acres of vines spooling out in orderly rows. Bigger than it looks on the outside, this cantina is a lovely, squat building that gleams with steel and glass. The famous Masseto hill rises off in the distance, like a fairyland for wine-lovers. In this squat building and from those many rows of vines, Ornellaia makes two of the finest Super-Tuscans on the market, Ornellaia, its flagship wine, and Masseto, its incredible Merlot. Capitalizing on their first two wines, Ornellaia added to the stellar lineup with secondary bottlings, Le Serre Nuove and Le Volte, wines that are almost stars in their own right.

Today, I'm proud to present a new allocation of the benchmark 2013 Le Serre Nuove. This vintage of Ornellaia's second wine is a glorious bottle that shines with the outrageous weather of the vintage. It's not a wine that's going to throw open its arms and invite you in immediately--the 2013 growing season made for structured, precise wines--but if you have a little patience, it will unfurl in waves of nuanced notes. In other words, this wine is more like a poem than a pop song, and paying attention to its subtleties will bring joy. On the other hand, if you can't wait (and we can't blame you if you can't), decant this Ornellaia for a few hours before drinking it. You'll be very glad you did.

Along with this terrific Italian Super Tuscan, there's another: Castello dei Rampolla's luscious, powerful 2011 Sammarco. While Ornellaia sits in the heart of Bolgheri and its wines find their energy in the region's fossilized, mineral-laden soils, Castello dei Rampolla sits smack in the center of Chianti Classico's beating heart, and they get their aromatics and their texture from that ancient, extraordinary terroir. This '11 Sammarco may be the wine of the vintage--or it may not, who cares? It's incredibly good, and it'll drink now and for years down the road.

Finally, there's one singular Barolo Riserva from Prunotto, Antinori's estate, and you do not want to miss it!

Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence:
Le Serre Nuove, Ornellaia's First-Rate Second Wine
2. Only At IWM:
Prunotto's Superb Barolo Riserva
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Effortlessly Elegant 2011 Sammarco
4. Wine Events: Upcoming August Wine Tasting Events

My Best,

Sergio Esposito

Today, we're delighted to bring back Tenuta dell'Ornellaia 2013 Le Serre Nuove, one of the best iterations of Ornellaia's second wine we've ever seen. While Ornellaia's flagship wine is a remarkable Super Tuscan, its second-tier Le Serre Nuove is in some ways even more noteworthy. It's expected for flagship wines to be stunning, but it's rare when estates' "second" wines are absolutely first rate. Le Serre Nuove consistently is. IWM's staff gets legitimately excited when new shipments of Le Serre Nuove arrive; it's often the wine that we stockpile in our cellars, in no small part because it's a bottle that would be a flagship were it to come from any other estate.

Although 2013 was an atypical growing season for Bolgheri's Tenuta dell'Ornellaia, it ending in a benchmark vintage and a banner year for the estate's Le Serre Nuove. Harvest was slightly later than average, but its warm, temperate weather gave the grapes a long hang time, allowing them to ripen fully yet retain acidity. The '13 Le Serre Nuove almost crackles with energy, and its exuberant acidity provides the perfect foil to the wine's rich, opulent, ripe fruit. This '13 Le Serre Nuove is a terrific bottling, and it's enjoyable right upon release, although it definitely has the structure to provide delicious near to mid-term drinking.

Changing its composition every vintage, the '13 Le Serre Nuove is a blend of 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 12% Petit Verdot, and winemaker Axel Heinz takes care to ferment each grape varietal separately to be certain to coax the most from it. This vintage is a treat for the senses--brambly black berries and juicy cherries cavort with grilled herbs, exotic spices, mocha, and warm cigar wrapper in this silky, grippy Super Tuscan. Medium-bodied yet satisfying, this wine unspools on the palate to reveal chewy, fine-grained tannins and a mineral-inflected palate, and it builds to a powerful yet finessed, lingering finish.

Presented at very competitive pricing, this '13 Le Serre Nuove serves as a perfect bridge wine for Italian wine newbies, but it's also complex and terroir driven, so it'll reward aficionados too. Delicious, distinctive and sophisticated--the '13 Le Serre Nuove gives many reasons to love it, and love it we do, as do our clients. We've already sold through two previous allocations of this benchmark Super Tuscan; don't hesitate to secure your bottles of '13 Le Serre Nuove before they fly out of our temperature-controlled cellar!

Tenuta dell'Ornellaia 2013 Le Serre Nuove*
(Italy, Toscana - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot)
$69.99 Regular Price
$64.39 Case Price/btl

*Pre-Arrival, Autumn

Yesterday, we offered a pair of vintage Prunotto Barbaresco; today, we're delighted to present Prunotto 2010 Barolo Bussia Vigna Colonnello Riserva, a favorite Barolo bottling. While the Prunotto estate got its start in 1904, 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 the estate, but it still took fourteen years for Prunotto Barolo Bussia Vigna Colonnello Riserva to be born. Deriving from the historic four-acre Colonello vineyard (Prunotto, owned by the Antinori family, has a 2.5-acre plot), the grapes for this wine don't move far from their source. Antinori built a tiny winery and tasting room in the center of their vineyard, so these traditionally vinified Nebbiolo grapes never see a truck--it's an extraordinary move for an extraordinary wine. Presented at the BEST PRICE in the country, Prunotto's 2010 Barolo Bussia Vigna Colonnello Riserva is an aromatic, elegant beauty that will drink for decades.

Why Buy This Wine:

- Few winemakers are as dedicated to creating a wine as terroir-driven as Prunotto is in crafting its Barolo Bussia Vigna Colonnello Riserva; the grapes grow and are made into wine without traveling!

- Working with winemaker Gianluca Torrengo, Albeira Antinori and her Prunotto team strived to create a wine that was worthy of this renowned vineyard; it took about a decade to find protocol that did the wine justice.

- Though the 2010 growing season challenged Piemonte's winemakers, this classic, aromatic, and complex Barolo vintage is reminiscent of the '80s and '90s, a time of consistently cooler, wetter, more stressed vintages.

- Rose petals, licorice, tarry earth, warm baking spices and cigar wrapper frame the bright, transparent Nebbiolo fruit in this transfixing '10 Barolo Bussia Vigna Colonnello Riserva.

- This wine balances its full, silky palate with nervy acidity and cheek-piquing, chewy tannins, and it unfolds with tantalizing layers as it builds to a lingering, supple crescendo.

- Offered at the BEST PRICE in the States, Antinori's prized cru Barolo Riserva is a show-stopping wine; contact your portfolio manager to secure yours.

Prunotto 2010 Barolo Bussia Vigna Colonnello Riserva*
(Italy, Piemonte - Nebbiolo)
$149.99 Regular Price
$139.00 Half-Case Price/btl

*Pre-Arrival, September

Tucked into a valley near the Conca d'Oro in the heart of Toscana, Castello dei Rampolla sits in an ideal spot for winemaking, and indeed this estate makes ideal wines. Until recently, Castello dei Rampolla has remained slightly under the radar of Super-Tuscan enthusiasts, but its recent string of excellent vintages has brought this biodynamic winemaker more and more notice. Family-owned-and-operated and entirely biodynamic, the small Castello dei Rampolla estate crafts terrific alternatives to iconic Super Tuscans Sassicaia and Solaia, and we've been saying for a few years that owner-winemaker Alceo di Napoli might very well have made the wines of the 2011 vintage with his two Super-Tuscan reds. Today, we're delighted to present special, time-sensitive pricing on the effortlessly elegant 2011 Sammarco, a Super Tuscan that is radiant, layered, and gorgeous in this vintage. It's a wine to drink now, next year, five years down the road, and again in a decade!

Why Buy This Wine:

- The product of passion, a superb skillset, and loving care, Sammarco competes with wines from larger estates, and it's a consistent favorite with IWM staff and our clients.

- A blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon kissed with Sangiovese and Merlot, Sammarco could only come from this 103-acre vineyard, a biodynamically tended wonderland studded with cypress trees, grasses, herbs and flowers.

- 2011 was a ripe year, but the vibrancy and exquisite structure of this Sammarco vintage belies the year's heat--it's a textured Super-Tuscan beauty that has wowed IWM's clients at tastings.

- This '11 Sammarco explodes with succulent red and black fruits, pencil lead, crushed lavender and violets, licorice and dark chocolate.

- Offering an opulent, caressing texture that wraps the palate with silky, powerful tannins, this '11 Sammarco kicks it into high gear.

- We've sold through multiple allocations of this superb Sammarco bottling; contact your portfolio manager to secure yours at special, time-sensitive pricing.

Castello dei Rampolla 2011 Sammarco
(Italy, Toscana - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese)
$89.00 Regular Price
$79.00 Case Price/btl

This offer will expire in 48 hours on August 19th at 11:59pm EST.

Autumn Arrivals

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

Ticket Price: $99.00

IWM Host: Francesco Vigorito

Fall brings back to school and a change of seasons--it also heralds the arrival of newly released Italian reds. Join IWM's own Francesco Vigorito as he unpacks, uncorks, and unveils the newest, hottest, and most exciting wines to hit IWM's temperature-controlled shelves. For educational context, Francesco will offer insider information, guiding guests in a larger understanding of vintage variation, the impact of terroir, and how producer styles impact the wines in your glass. This autumnal wine tasting will be accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, prepping you and your palate for the cool weather to come. It's the newest and best from Italy and Italian Wine Merchants, the world's leading authority in Italian wine.

Featured Wines:

Cerbaiona Brunello di Montalcino 2012
Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Cicala 2011
Le Macchiole Paleo Rosso 2013
Paolo Bea Sagrantino di Montefalco Secco Pagliaro 2008
Gallois Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2015
Chavy-Chouet Puligny-Montrachet Enseignères 2015
Paul Jaboulet Aîné Cornas "Domaine St Pierre" 2009

*Wine list may be subject to change.

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

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