Today's Featured Offer:
Classic Antinori Chianti Classico, Leflaive's Perfect Puligny Montrachet
, and Fairytale Ferrari

October 16, 2014 
A Note from Sergio

Chianti has a long, illustrious, confusing, troubled and ultimately triumphant history. In some ways, it all begins and ends in the eighteenth century. In 1716, the Grand Duchy of Toscana Cosimo III de'Medici wrote the first set of laws regulating the cultivation of grapes and vinification of Tuscan wine, designating the hilly region nestled between Siena and Firenze as Chianti. This area became the geographical basis for the 1967 DOC designation, during which time there was no DOC distinction between Chianti and Chianti Classico. It was all just Chianti.

But Chianti also was as much a region as a style of wine. Historical slang called any vermillion or Florentine wine "Chianti." In an attempt to codify his region's most famous wine, nineteenth-century nobleman Baron Bettini Ricasoli advised that the Chianti formula be crafted using Sangiovese for its basis, along with added parts of Canaiolo and white grapes--in fact he mandated that the region's vineyards grow specific percentages of these grapes. For that reason, the '67 DOC rules required Chianti makers to use Sangiovese along with these other grapes, paving the road for bad wines.

Thank Bacchus for the Super-Tuscan revolution of the 1970s, however, because these bad Chiantis forced people to reconsider the beauty of Sangiovese. As producers like Sergio Manetti, creator of Le Pergole Torte, fled the designation and succeeded wildly in crafting pure Sangiovese wines, it forced Chianti producers to up their games, and the wines got better, in part helped along by shifting DOC regulations. Today, Sangiovese from Chianti is extraordinary, and the wine world is glad.

Today, I'm delighted to feature a beautiful Chianti Classico from Antinori, a family that has been residing in and making wines in Toscana for more than six hundred years. Leave it to Piero Antinori and his daughters to make a pure Sangiovese wine that honors the past while looking to the future. This '08 Chianti Classico is a thing of beauty--elegant, muscular, aromatic and downright delicious. It's drinking beautifully today, and it'll amaze you even more in a decade.

Along with this fine Chianti, I'm proud to offer a gorgeous wine from 1954. Antonio Ferrari's Il Barone is the stuff of legend, and I wrangled to get more in stock. Finally, I'm very happy to offer a beautiful Puligny-Montrachet from Leflaive. At least one IWM staffer calls it "one of the greatest" white Burgundies he's ever tasted.




Today's Featured Sections Include:


1. Spotlight on Excellence: We Love Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico Riserva 2008
2. Time Sensitive Offer: Extraordinary Leflaive Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon
3. Our Experts Suggest: Cult Wines that Thrill, Reward and Satisfy
4. Only At IWM: Rare 60-Year-Old Ferrari
5. Wine Events: 
Barolo & Barbaresco

My Best, 



Sergio Esposito


Well-made Chianti is a necessary thing. It's a delicious, layered, and cheery, wine that offers a viscera-warming embrace and makes a zingy friend to food. It's a study in contrasts--a nose of sweet cherries and warm sun, and a dry palate that's deceptively lean, but sturdy as high tensile wire. In its ruby body Chianti holds centuries of history, the story of people who worked hard to be understood and to turn the fruits of their labor into a bottle that sang of the place it was made. Chianti can make you fall in love with Italy, and as much as your heart may belong to Brunello, and your mind to Barolo, and your passion to Amarone, Chianti will, for those who came to Italian wines through this beautiful staple, always be their first love. 

Today, we're delighted to present the Badia a Passignano 2008 Chianti Classico Riserva, a well-made Chianti if ever there was one. This mono-varietal Chianti Classico Riserva comes from the legendary Antinori family, so it's likely no surprise that it's elegance incarnate. This '08 Chianti Classico seamlessly melds pure Sangiovese red and dark fruit with herbal notes, spice, wildflowers and tobacco. But as classic and seductive as the wine's notes are, its age-worthy structure, exceptional finesse and unmistakable Antinori class into a deeply pleasurable Chianti experience. While this wine is drinking now, it'll drink even better in a decade; never underestimate the aging potential of a well-wrought Sangiovese wine.

The 600-year-old Antinori family produces this Chianti Classico exclusively from the finest Sangiovese grapes grown on its Badia a Passignano property. Located in Sambuca Val di Pesa less than two miles south of the Tenuta Tignanello estate, Badia a Passignano is a former monastery (Badia means "abbey") founded in the year 395, though the abbey's archives say 891. In 1987, the Antinori family acquired the land around the monastery totaling 551 acres, 138 planted to vines. The actual monastery belongs to the monks of Vallombrosa, but the Antinoris are able to use the incredible cellars of the abbey to make the wine, and this bottling speaks of its tradition, authenticity and history.

Raise your glass to the wine that most likely made you fall in love with Italian wine--Chianti Classico--and do it with one of our favorite evocations of this great vino, Badia a Passignano 2008 Chianti Classico Riserva, presented today with special time-sensitive pricing.


(Italy, Toscana - Sangiovese)

$54.99 Regular Price
$48.39 Case Price/btl 

 *Pre-Arrival, Oct/Nov 2014


Domaine Leflaive is one of the most important estates in Puligny. Anne-Claude Leflaive's team produces extraordinary wines at the family estate, which dates back to 1717, although it got its real start in 1905 when Anne-Claude's grandfather, Joseph, founded it with only twelve acres of vines. The Leflaive family is passionate about their land and wine, and the Leflaive team harvests all 56 acres of vineyards by hand. Nurturing the vines back to health after the chemical fertilizer and pesticide dependent 1980s, Anne noticed that healthier vines produced better, more delicious and complex wines. As a result, she made the domaine completely biodynamic in 1998. Although Domaine Leflaive's stunning 1er and profound Grand Crus get the most notice, all of the estate's wines are exceptional; Domaine Leflaive treats each of its wines with the same care, no matter the appellation. Today, we're delighted to present the extraordinary 2011 Leflaive Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon at special time-sensitive pricing.


Why Buy This Wine:


- Deriving from a 12-acre virtual monopole (the Chavy brothers each also own very small parcels) of 50-plus-year-old vines in deep soil, Leflaive's Clavoillon is everything a perfect white Burgundy should be--and the intense, limited production 2011 vintage makes this wine yet more concentrated and rich.


- Showing a bright yellow color, this wine offers an amazingly expressive nose of Macintosh apples, hints of honeysuckle, grapefruit and lemon, floral notes, minerals, a touch of vanilla, and a telltale Puligny touch of anise.


- Leflaive's Puligny-Montrachet Le Clavoillon is the most modestly priced 1er Cru in its stable of wines, allowing even the most price-conscious Burgundy buyer to experience the amazing world of Leflaive's legendary Puligny-Montrachets.


- Contact your portfolio manager to secure the Leflaive Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon 2011, one of the greatest expressions of white Burgundy, at special time-sensitive pricing.

Domaine Leflaive 2011 Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon
(France, Burgundy - Chardonnay) 

$149.00 Regular Price 
$126.65 6-Pack Price/btl


This offer is available 48 hrs and will expire on October 18th at 5:00 pm EST.


Francesco Vigorito fell in love with a 1998 Ornellaia at his high school graduation. After living in Florence, Italy, and getting his Sommelier Certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers in the UK, Francesco came to IWM as a Portfolio Manager.

Drinking Today:
 Valentini 2012 Cerasuolo Rosato d' Abruzzo
(Italy, Abruzzo - Montepulciano)
$89 Regular Price 
$81.88 Case Price/btl


For the Cellar: Miani 2010 Rosso
(Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia - Merlot Blend)
$99.99 Regular Price 
$91.99 Case Price/btl


For complete descriptions of the wines and an explanation of why Francesco selected these wines, please visit our expert's post at Inside IWM.



Antonio Ferrari didn't intend to be a winemaker, but when this Piemonte native visited Puglia in the late 1920s, he was struck by a thunderbolt and fell in love with the land and its grapes. Beginning in 1938, Ferrari lived a life that made him essentially eat, sleep and drink wine. He didn't just want to make passable wine; he wanted to make amazing wine, buying the very best Primotivo, Negroamaro and Malvasia grapes from local farmers. Ferrari died in 2003 without ever bottling all of his wines. Rather, his wines, after aging in Slovenian casks for a decade, sat in cement tanks, sold years after their maker and namesake had died--undiscovered, entirely unsung, virtually unknown. The rich, ineffable wines of Ferrari defy easy description, but once you've had one, you never, ever forget it. Today, we're delighted to present the Ferrari 1954 Il Barone, a rare, gorgeous and indescribably wine that will confound your senses.

Why Buy This Wine:
- Mature and opulent, Ferrari wines can easily complement a dessert or cheese course and even make braised beef dishes sing. 
- This wine will inspire meditation and conversation--1954 recalls the year that Willie Mays made "The Catch" and the New York Giants swept the Indians; Il Barone is a wine to enjoy with family and friends for the winter.
- Despite sitting in cement tanks for decades, the Madeira-like Il Barone, a mono-varietal Primitivo, is an assertive wine that evolves with exquisite deliberation, revealing devastating layers of brooding, dark notes. 
- Figs, coffee, rich spices and Christmas cake make this wine a hedonistic treat; however, it's the piquant acidity complementing this deep, dark decadence that makes the Il Barone otherworldly.
- This IWM signature comes with impeccable provenance and perfect maturity and the BEST PRICE in the country--contact your portfolio manager to secure bottles of what may be our final allocation of this 60-year-old wine.


(Italy, Puglia - Primitivo)

$129.00 Regular Price


Saturday, October 18, 2014, 1-3 pm

Regular Price $145.00

Price Including Tax $157.87

In Italian wine, Barolo is known as the king and Barbaresco the queen, and together there is one grape to rule them all: Nebbiolo. Join us as we explore these two iconic Piemontese wines, tasting bottlings from producers like Bruno Giacosa, Luciano Sandrone, Ada Nada, Renzo Seghesio--and more! Certified Wine Educator Robin Kelley O'Connor will lead this sit-down tasting, educating you in the finer points of the Nebbiolo grape, showing you the subtle differences between abutting regions Barolo and Barbaresco, and elucidating stylistic nuances among producers. Accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, this Saturday tasting is like a trip to the swirling hills of Piemonte--all without leaving glamorous Union Square in New York City!

Featured Wine List:
Fantinel Prosecco Brut Extra Dry NV
San Giuliano Barbaresco 2009 
Ada Nada Barbaresco Elisa 2008 
Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Santo Stefano di Neive 2009
Scarzello Barolo 2007 
Renzo Seghesio Barolo Pajana Riserva 2006 
Poderi Aldo Conterno 2009
Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne 2009 
Bruno Giacosa Barolo Le Rocche Falletto 2009 
Cappellano Barolo Chinato NV

 *Wine list subject to change


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