Five-Vintage Cupano Brunello Retrospective! And Sassicaia in Patagonia!

October 25, 2016
A Note from Sergio

I moved back to Italy about six years ago, and when I first returned, I kept on hearing one name over and over again. "Cupano," the young Italian sommeliers kept saying, and I started drinking. Then I visited the estate, which perches on a hill a few kilometers from the Sesti's Castello di Argiano and from the sprawling Banfi estate. Cupano's Ornella Tondini and Lionello Cousin are people who have lived exciting lives packed full of adventure, risk, art, love, animals, travel--and wine. Ornella, a trained art historian, has worked in museums in Rome, run magazines in London, and raised children in Tuscan sixteenth-century villas without electricity or running water. Lionello, a documentary filmmaker born in France, has traveled the world from the North to the South Poles, from the Sudan to South America.

Touring Cupano's land, I was struck by the vineyards. The vines were old, gnarled and thriving in that stressed way that only the best wine vines are. They were also meticulously kept--Lionello famously walks through the vineyard, trimming leaves and bunches with manicure scissors he keeps in his pocket--but it was more than that. Walking around, I saw the stony ground. Eons ago a river had run through this land, leaving rocks, pebbles and stones in its path. This rockiness imbued minerality into Cupano's wines, but it also gave its vines perfect drainage. The vines were naturally, perfectly stressed, and the God-given terroir meant that these vines would be naturally healthy, naturally resistant to pests and disease. It was ideal. The estate's wines made sense; they were the physical embodiment of natural resources and human passion.

Today, I'm very proud to present the fruits of Cupano's labors and the products of those perfect vines: five vintages of this estate's beautiful, organic Brunelli. Spanning 2003 to 2008 (the only missing vintage is the benchmark 2006--it's virtually impossible to secure!), this roster of Cupano wines lets you drink deep. I've even snagged some magnums of the 2008 Brunello, which will be great for your next dinner party. Since the time I first brought Cupano's wines to IWM, the estate has exploded. It's a cult winemaker that cognoscenti seek out because they know that wines that bear the Cupano label are just that extraordinary. Today's offer is perfect to start your exploration into this cult estate--or to fall a little more deeply in love.

And don't miss the 2009 old-vine Pinot Noir from Piero della Incisa Rocchetta's estate in Patagonia; it's extraordinary!

Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence:
Five Glorious Vintages of Cult Cupano Brunello
2. Only At IWM:
Big Bottles of Exotic 2008 Cupano Brunello
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Sassicaia Scion's Old-Vine Pinot Noir in the New World
4. Wine Events: Upcoming October / November Wine Tasting Events

My Best,

Sergio Esposito


Sometimes it's hard to believe the hype, but Cupano's wines do more than make you believe the hype; they make you come up with new superlatives. Montalcino, home of Brunello, is a beautiful place, but it's hard to find an estate that's more romantic than Cupano, one Montalcino's rare certified organic estates. Housed in an ancient stone villa, Cupano sits alone on a rolling plain at the far edges of Montalcino. Off in the distance is the Banfi castle; to the left, the medieval hilltop town of Camigliano--and that's it. It's a beautiful prospect, and this estate, helmed by Ornella Tondini and Lionello Cousin, makes fittingly beautiful wines.

Today, we're very proud to present a five-vintage Cupano retrospective. This offer curates an all-star roster of some of our favorite Cupano vintages, giving you a panoramic view of this cult estate. You can choose from the silky yet vibrant 2003 Brunello, 2004's sensual and aromatic wine, the powerful and finessed 2005 Brunello that put Cupano on the wine world's radar, the fleshy but elegant 2007 Brunello, and the textured but nuanced 2008 bottling. Best of all, these five vintages come with the BEST PRICE in the country, making this the ideal time for serious Brunello enthusiasts to get to know and love Cupano.

Ornella and Lionello, who founded Cupano in the late '80s, use a decidedly French approach with their wines, which reflects Lionello's nation of origin, and they use non-interventionist methods in the vineyard to carry the grapes' decidedly Italian personality, a reflection of Ornella's heritage. Lionello studied with renowned vigneron Henri Jayer, and is so fanatical about his vineyards that during the growing season he walks through them with a pair of silver nail scissors in his pocket, pruning leaves, bunches, and tendrils, and maintaining a deeply personal relationship with his vines. Whether it's the painstaking care in the vineyard, the skills in the cellar, or the magic that imbues the estate, Cupano's wines are so good that they'll transport you to a perfect Tuscan evening.

A Cupano Brunello is elegant, generous and refined; it's no wonder why the estate has garnered fans around the globe. Since IWM's first offer of Cupano in 2013, this estate's wines are reliable favorites of IWM's clients and our portfolio managers. As you would expect, the five vintages presented today come with the "IWM Difference": our promise of perfect temperature-controlled care and pristine, straight-line provenance. If you've not yet enjoyed Cupano Brunello, there's no time like the present; contact your portfolio manager to secure your Cupano Brunello selections. Our allocations are limited, and Cupano's gorgeously made Brunelli wait for no man--or woman!

Cupano 2003 Brunello di Montalcino*
(Italy, Toscana - Sangiovese Grosso)
$139.00 Regular Price
$129.00 Case Price/btl

Cupano 2004 Brunello di Montalcino*
(Italy, Toscana - Sangiovese Grosso)
$149.00 Regular Price
$139.00 Case Price/btl

Cupano 2005 Brunello di Montalcino*
(Italy, Toscana - Sangiovese Grosso)
$139.00 Regular Price
$129.00 Case Price/btl

Cupano 2007 Brunello di Montalcino*
(Italy, Toscana - Sangiovese Grosso)
$129.00 Regular Price
$119.00 Case Price/btl

Cupano 2008 Brunello di Montalcino
(Italy, Toscana - Sangiovese Grosso)
$109.00 Regular Price
$99.00 Case Price/btl

*Pre-Arrival, Late Winter


It's hard not to open your 2010 Brunello bottles, but we have something that will help your patience: magnums of juicy, exotic 2008 Cupano Brunello, a wine just entering its drinking window. Cupano, a rare certified organic Montalcino estate, sits on a rolling plain at the far edges of Montalcino, where it crafts outstanding, beautifully structured wines. Ornella Tondini and Lionello Cousin, the owners and operators of Cupano, which was founded in the late '80s, use a decidedly French approach with their wines, which reflects Lionello's nation of origin, and they use non-interventionist methods in the vineyard to carry the grapes' decidedly Italian personality, a reflection of Ornella's heritage. Whether it's the painstaking care in the vineyard, the skills in the cellar, or the magic that imbues the estate, Cupano's Brunello is always elegant, generous and refined, and the layered, textural '08 Cupano Brunello comes to you at the BEST PRICE in the country.

Why Buy This Wine:

- Just like the standard bottles offered above, these magnum formats of Cupano's exotic 2008 Brunello will both please Sangiovese Grosso enthusiasts and seduce wine-lovers who are new to the grape.

- Crafted from meticulously grown organic Sangiovese Grosso grapes kept to extraordinarily low yields, this Brunello spends fifty months in oak barrels and in the bottle before release; the result is a spicy, aromatic, intense and velvety wine that offers deceptive power, great longevity and terrific balance.

- Juicy black cherries and other red fruits dance with sweet baking spices, medicinal herbs, sun-warmed earth and crushed flower petals in an opulent wine with a caressing mouth-feel.

- Offering a stunning texture and a sweet inner perfume, this wine is deeply laden with Montalcino terroir and presents a profoundly sensual experience from its first aromatic whiff to its last, lingering sip.

- These magnum bottles of Cupano '08 Brunello are ideal for your large holiday gatherings, but years of enjoyment await the enthusiasts who have the patience to cellar this wine.

- Please contact your portfolio manager to secure these magnum bottles of '08 Brunello di Montalcino from the region's rising star, Cupano, at the BEST PRICE in the US.

(Italy, Toscana - Sangiovese Grosso)
$228.99 Regular Price
$209.99 3-Pack Price/btl
$199.99 Half-Case Price/btl

*Pre-Arrival, Late Winter


When former St. Louis businessman Donald L. Bryant bought his 13-acre estate overlooking Lake Hennessy in 1985, he was looking to make a home--not world-class Cabernet Sauvignon. However, this is exactly what he did. After ripping out the existing vines and replanting with Cabernet Sauvignon in the late '80s, Bryant Family Vineyards released its debut bottling with the 1992 vintage. It didn't take long for this Napa Valley winemaker to attain cult status. By the mid '90s, the Bryant Family wines were winning the hearts and minds of wine critics and wine connoisseurs across the globe, and since the inaugural vintage, Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignons have shown no sign of slowing down; they are collector classics that fetch high scores, high prices and high praise from their adoring fans. Today, IWM is proud to present time-sensitive, special pricing on an outstanding pair of 2013 Bryant Family releases, the estate's Bordeaux-style blend Bettina and its iconic Cabernet Sauvignon.

Why Buy This Wine:

- 2013 is a banner vintage in Napa, California; the year gifted winemakers with superb weather marked by a long, sunny summer that ended in a dry, even harvest; the Bryant family made the most of the benchmark vintage with its balanced, saturated wines.

- Sappy and juicy, the '13 Bettina layers its sweet red and brambly blue fruits with smoky minerals, crushed river rocks, potpourri, grilled herbs, licorice and mocha; it's a seductive wine with the structure to drink for decades.

- Intense, chewy tannins and serious structure mean that you'll want to wait a few years to enjoy the '13 Bettina, but time will mellow this powerful wine's components and show its true finesse.

- The Bryant Family's flagship wine is its Cabernet Sauvignon, and in 2013 this wine is gorgeous: succulent blue and black fruits dance with flower petals and spice, complemented by brooding, savory notes like incense, pencil lead, underbrush, and tar.

- While this wine's Cabernet Sauvignon fruit seems achingly pure, the wine is nonetheless fleshy and opulent, providing a riveting study in contrasts; grippy and expressive, this wine grabs the palate and doesn't let go--not that you want it to!

- IWM is pleased to present special time-sensitive pricing on these terrific 2013 Bryant Family Vineyards new releases; contact your portfolio manager to secure yours.

Bryant Family 2013 Bettina
(United States, California - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot)
$799.00 Regular Price
$699.00 Half-Case Price/btl

Bryant Family 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
(United States, California - Cabernet Sauvignon)
$999.00 Regular Price
$899.00 Half-Case Price/btl

This offer will expire in 48 hours on October 26th at 5:00 pm EST.


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."

Featured Wines:

Movia Pinot Grigio 2013
Radikon Oslavje 2008
Gravner Breg Anfora 2005
Cupano Rosso di Montalcino 2010
Fontodi Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna Del Sorbo 2012
Domaine de Montille Volnay 1er Cru Les Brouillards 2011
COS Contrada 2008
Radikon Merlot 2000
Domenico Clerico Barolo Pajana 2010

*Wine list may be subject to change.

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

Ticket Price: $499.00
Early Bird Price: $479.00 (Expires Monday, October 31)

IWM Hosts:
Will Di Nunzio,
Francesco Vigorito,
Vice President of Sales

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 Mike Marcelli and his in-house kitchen staff design a dazzling multi-course menu, carefully paired with fantastic wines from the cult-inspiring estates of Gravner, Valentini, Fiorano and more, all rounded out with antipasti before and dolce after. Knowledgeable IWM sommeliers will pour Barolos from Aldo Conterno and Sandrone, as well as Brunello bottles from Soldera and Poggio di Sotto, along with other beloved wines from Movia, Palari, and Antinori's Castello della Sala. It's the most wonderful time of the year--truffle season--and we invite you to celebrate it in style with IWM.

Featured Menu and Wines:

Ca' del Bosco Cuvée Annamaria Clementi 2001
Movia Pinot Grigio 2013
Palari Faro 2007

Pasta I
Wild Snow Crab Risotto, Pine Nut & Chive
Castello della Sala Cervaro della Sala 2005
Gravner Breg Anfora 2003

Pasta II
Fresh Sheep's Milk Gnudi with Braised Lamb Shoulder & Abalone Mushroom
Case Basse Soldera Rosso IGT 2008
Poggio di sotto brunello 2009
Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2001

Roasted Wild Squab with Capicola & Sarladaise Potato
Sandrone Barolo Cannubi Boschis 1990
Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Colonnello 1988

Dolci e Formaggi
Fiorano No. 48 Sémillon 1995

*Wine list may be subject to change.

Saturday, November 5 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting Lunch

Ticket Price: $149.00

Guest Hosts: Lorenzo & Sabina Sassetti, Pertimali Winemakers

The Sassetti family has lived in Montalcino for many generations, and winemaking has long been not only a means to their livelihood but also a passion. Join IWM onNovember 5, 2016, as we celebrate the family-owned-and-operated Pertimali estate at a five-course luncheon hosted by the estate's winemakers, Lorenzo and Sabina Sassetti. Along with nine wonderful Pertimali wines, this intimate luncheon will feature dishes created by IWM's own Chef Michael Marcelli and his in-house kitchen staff. As you dine, Lorenzo and Sabina will offer estate history, anecdotes, and inside information, providing the ideal environment for passionate wine-lovers to get to know Pertimali's wines. Delicious and informative, this luncheon will be an extraordinary experience for Italian wine enthusiasts to deepen their appreciation, enjoy like-minded company, and drink very special wines. It's like a trip to Italy, all without leaving glamorous Union Square!

*Wine list to be announced.

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