Soldera Retrospective, 1978-1996, Gravner's "Holy Grail," and Stellar Faiveley Corton-Charlemagne

September 29, 2016
A Note from Sergio

Gianfranco Soldera has long been misunderstood, and that's the way he likes it. He never wanted to make wine that everyone would love; he's totally fine making wines for the few. Soldera's basic tenet for his winemaking is this: "A great wine is long lived: it must improve, at least in the first twenty years, and give different sensations as time passes." Many people plunge into a Soldera Brunello upon release and find it austere, off-putting, and inscrutable. A Soldera Brunello needs luxurious time, and the people who love his wines--really, really love them--understand that. The best way to say it is this: Soldera makes wine for people with patience.

This week I've offered a series of extraordinary wines, so I needed to finish with an exceptional offer. I've managed to secure a selection of Soldera's mystical Brunelli, spanning vintages from 1978 to 1996. This list gives IWM clients the rare chance to drink a mature Soldera immediately--or to let it cellar. Some of my favorite Soldera wines are on this list--the sensational '93, the mercurial '94, the historic '78, and the controversial and outstanding '96. Ever since Gianfranco lost the contents of six vintages to vandalism, it has become harder and harder to find his vintage wines. This offer lets you drink Gianfranco's Brunelli the way he does: with perfect maturity and terrific patience.

Along with these dozen Soldera Brunelli, I'm very pleased to offer wine from another uncompromising iconoclast, Josko Gravner. As much a philosopher as a winemaker, Josko approaches his craft with a thoughtful reverence, and you can taste care and mysticism in his indescribable amber wines. 2006 was warm year, and Josko's Ribolla Gialla offered in magnum below is extraordinary--textured like velvet and layered with savory minerals, it's outstanding. It's even better from magnum. If you've never had Josko's amber wines before, it can feel like a leap into the unimaginable, but let me tell you that these wines are pure heaven.

Finally, Burgundy lovers don't want to overlook Domaine Faieveley's 2012 Corton-Charlemagne--enjoy!

Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence:
Gianfranco Soldera Brunello, from 1978 to 1996
2. Only At IWM:
Gravner '06 Ribolla Gialla, a White that Drinks Like a Red
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Faiveley's Intense, Stellar '12 Corton-Charlemagne
4. Wine Events: Upcoming October Wine Tasting Events

My Best,


Sergio Esposito


Even before the 2012 act of vandalism that decimated more than six years of winemaking, Gianfranco Soldera held the distinction of being IWM's most talked about producer. His perfection in the vineyard and cellar makes him one of Italy's greatest producers, and his iconoclasm makes him one of the most controversial. Whether because of his iconoclasm or in spite of it, Soldera's wines sit among Italy's most revered wines as well as some of IWM's fastest-selling collector wines. A Soldera Brunello is a work of art; it's a wine that offers unparalleled purity, finesse and elegance. And even more extraordinary, Soldera Brunello Riserva complements its fine-boned profile with the power and the structure that the very best Sangiovese offers. Soldera is a collector staple, and he deserves to be.

Today, we're delighted to present a collection of a dozen vintage Brunello wines, dating from 1978 to 1996, direct from Soldera's iconic Case Basse estate. Because Soldera lost almost his entire production for the six vintages from 2007-2012, the Case Basse wines we're able to secure are yet more rare, prized, and collectable--especially those from benchmark vintages like 1985, 1991, and 1993, which we offer today. The "IWM Difference" is our commitment to straight-line provenance and perfect maturity, and we illustrate this commitment with today's offer of vintage Soldera Brunello. We're releasing these beautiful bottles from our own temperature-controlled cellars, allowing collectors to enjoy perfectly aged, pristine and mature Soldera Brunello.

Gianfranco and his daughter, Monica, run the estate and cultivate under entirely organic methods, including the use of wild yeasts. Since his first harvest in 1975, Soldera had vinified the same way: the Brunello ages traditionally in large Slavonian oak without temperature control in Soldera's personally designed, stone-walled, naturally air-circulating grotto for five years, six for his Brunello Riserva, and then rests an additional six to twelve months in bottle before release. These are long-aging wines of transfixing beauty and unrivaled purity--in short, they are wines for enthusiasts who appreciate traditional Brunello made with painstaking care.

In order to begin to grasp Soldera, you have to let go of the conventional rules and temporarily suspend logic; the world of Case Basse is a separate universe, parallel to no other, a land of thousand-year-old olive trees split by lightening and still flowering--a land of magical wines. Once you've tasted a Soldera Brunello, you've tasted the work of a genius inspired by a muse. Presenting a rare 18-year retrospective, this offer curates some of Soldera's finest Brunello di Montalcino and Brunello Riserva, including his sauvage 1991 Brunello Riserva, his historic '78 Brunello, as well as sleeper vintages like 1980 and 1993. Our allocations are very limited, and we encourage you to contact your portfolio manager to secure your Case Basse wines soon.

Wine Vintage Size Price/btl 3pk Price/btl 6pk Price/btl
Case Basse di Soldera Brunello di Montalcino*
1978 0.75 $1,399.00 $1,287.08 $1,189.15
Case Basse di Soldera Brunello di Montalcino*
1980 0.75 $999.00 $919.08 $849.15
Case Basse Soldera Rosso Di Montalcino
1980 0.75 $225.00 $207.00 $191.25
Case Basse di Soldera Brunello di Montalcino*
1981 0.75 $1,400.00 $1,288.00 $1,190.00
Case Basse di Soldera Brunello di Montalcino*
1984 0.75 $525.00 $483.00 $446.25
Case Basse di Soldera Brunello di Montalcino*
1985 0.75 $1,245.00 $1,145.40 $1,058.25
Case Basse di Soldera Brunello di Montalcino Riserva*
1991 0.75 $725.00 $667.00 $616.25
Case Basse di Soldera Brunello di Montalcino
1993 0.75 $479.00 $440.68 $407.15
Case Basse di Soldera Brunello di Montalcino Riserva*
1993 0.75 $675.00 $621.00 $573.75
Case Basse di Soldera Brunello di Montalcino*
1994 0.75 $525.00 $483.00 $446.25
Case Basse di Soldera Brunello di Montalcino Riserva*
1996 0.75 $750.00 $690.00 $637.50



While Josko Gravner was once a devotee of modernist techniques, for more than a decade this iconoclast has been using winemaking protocol that's his and his alone. After experimenting with the method from 1997-2000, Gravner devoted himself to making wine in amphorae--clay pots big enough for a man to stand in, lined with beeswax and buried in the ground. While winemakers around the world are now rediscovering this old method, Gravner uses it differently than any other producer, and his wines reflect the difference in their kaleidoscopic palates. Gravner likes to call his wine "amber," as opposed to "orange." Whatever adjective you choose, these wines are shockingly alive, vital, terrifically complex, and completely indescribable. Today, we're delighted to present the BEST PRICE in the country on magnums of the opulent, gorgeous '06 Gravner Ribolla Gialla Anfora. The product of a warm year, this '06 is ripe and caressing, yet it has the structure to drink for years.

Why Buy This Wine:

- This amber wine offers an age-worthy experience in natural winemaking that could only come from the hand of Josko Gravner; these magnum bottles of '06 Ribolla Gialla will allow you to enjoy this transcendent wine for years to come.

- Intense, tannic, and powerful, Gravner's Ribolla Gialla Anfora truly is a white that drinks like a red, and in a warm vintage like 2006, it's nothing short of extraordinary.

- Broad-shouldered and rich, this '06 puts its honeyed apricots, smoke, cigar wrapper, warm spices and salinity front and center, conveying this kaleidoscope of flavors in a velvety mouth-feel and a lingering finish.

- This amber wine is best served like a red, decanted and at cellar temperature; enjoy it with hearty fare--its rich, textured, complex palate will stand up to game birds, pork, and even venison with aplomb.

- As with Gravner's Breg, a blend of white grapes, this mono-varietal Ribolla Gialla ferments on the skins for about a year in amphorae and then ages for a year in cask before bottling, creating a wine of unparalleled texture.

- IWM is pleased to present the BEST PRICE in the States on magnums of this amber beauty from IWM favorite, Josko Gravner; contact your portfolio manager to secure yours.

(Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia - Ribolla Gialla)
$225.00 Regular Price
$207.00 3-Pack Price/btl


IWM tends to champion small-production artisanal producers, but we make exceptions when the wine calls for it, and Domaine Faiveley calls for it. Founded in 1825, family-owned-and operated Domaine Faiveley sprawls across 120 acres, one of the largest estates in Burgundy with properties in thirteen grand cru vineyards, many premier cru vineyards and several monopoles. Faiveley is, in short, a force in Burgundy. Faiveley's wines sit in an elite group that comprises the top one or two percent of vignerons in their appellations, quite the feat given the number of appellations Faiveley produces; much of the great change in Faiveley has been due to the direction of Bernard Hervet (formerly of Bouchard), and most importantly François Faiveley's son Erwan, whose vision for Faiveley has altered the course of the historic estate. Today, we're proud to present the nimble, perfectly structured 2012 Faively Corton-Charlemagne at special time-sensitive pricing.

Why Buy This Wine:

- Located at the very top of the prized Le Corton lieux-dit in the Ladoix-Serrigny portion of the hill of Corton, Domaine Faiveley's 1.52-acre Corton-Charlemagne vineyard, planted in 1961 and 1988, has prime south-southwest exposure and grey marl soil, traits that lend ripeness and minerality to this fine white Burgundy.

- Lively, succulent and juicy, the '12 Corton-Charlemagne shows a genial, open-knit side to this often austere white Burgundy; it's a terrific representation of its "fairytale" year.

- Complementing its customary notes of ripe citrus and orchard fruits, white flowers, river rocks and spice, this wine shows fresh-cut herbs, ginger and nice salinity, all culminating in a lasting finish.

- Erwan Faiveley is as conscientious with his viniculture as he is with his viticulture, and this Corton-Charlemagne sees careful winemaking protocol that makes the most of this low-production yet excellent vintage.

- IWM is delighted to present the 2012 vintage of Faiveley Corton-Charlemagne at special time-sensitive pricing; contact your portfolio manager to secure yours.

Domaine Faiveley 2012 Corton-Charlemagne
(France, Burgundy - Chardonnay)
$315.00 Regular Price
$252.00 Half-Case Price/btl

This offer will expire in 48 hours on October 1st at 5:00 pm EST.


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!

Featured Wine List:

Donnas Vallee d'Aosta Rosso 2012
Movia Pinot Nero 2010
Tormaresca Bocca di Lupo Castel del Monte 2011
Mille Una Bacmione 2007
Silvia Imparato Montevetrano 2009
COS Contrada 2008
Domenico Clerico Barolo Pajana 2010

*Wine list may be subject to change.

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.