Sandrone Barolo for the Holidays? Super-Tuscan Star Chianti Classico! And Flawless Sherry!

November 16, 2017
A Note from Sergio

Next Thursday is American Thanksgiving Day, the start of the holiday season. Many Americans like to give Champagne for the holidays, but I like to give Barolo, and there is one specific, historical reason. After World War II, Piemonte's economy was effectively decimated. Most high-end winemakers were desperate--they didn't have a market, and they didn't have the funds to keep making wine without a profit. But the Piemontese are deeply bound to their traditions, and even widespread poverty couldn't stop people from saving up their lire all year. They wanted to buy at least one beautiful Christmas present for their friends or family. Usually, Barolo, nationally recognized as the most prestigious, long-aging wine, was that present. So when December 25 neared, the Piemontese popped open a bottle and drank it together.

In part, this practice saved some of Barolo's most established houses from going under; just one windfall gave them enough support to continue on through a difficult year. But there were other saviors: Major companies, Fiat and Pirelli among them, in Barolo's neighboring city, Torino, bought up the wine and handed it out to employees, clients, and friends. And still other companies, like Nutella, in nearby Alba, employed farmers during the off-season, allowing them to remain near their land and support their families. The combination of these forces kept alive an important wine that would likely have otherwise disappeared.

That's why I still buy Barolo for the holidays. I like to honor the tradition that secured the future for Giacomo Conterno, Giuseppe Rinaldi and Bartolo Mascarello, and that made winemakers like Luciano Sandrone, Vietti, and Domenico Clerico possible. Today, I'm very proud to present Sandrone's silky, thrumming 2013 Barolo Le Vigne, a wine that nicely follows up yesterday's offer of Vietti's powerful 2013 Barolo Lazzarito. 2013 is such an extraordinary Barolo vintage that you can't drink, cellar, or enjoy enough of it, and while it's too early to call the wine of the vintage, Sandrone's '13 Le Vigne will blow you away. Of course, your holidays have room for all kinds of wines, and you shouldn't miss the new release of Castello dei Rampolla's superb Chianti Classico; it's under $30! Finally, the holidays are the right time for Barquero 1905 Solera Fundacional Amontillado--I managed to score a new allocation!


Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence:
Is Sandrone's 2013 Barolo Le Vigne the Wine of the Vintage?
2. Only At IWM: Stylish Chianti Classico from Super-Tuscan Star, Castello dei Rampolla
3. Time Sensitive Offer: "Flawless" Barquero Amontillado Sherry
4. Wine Events: Upcoming November Wine Tasting Events

My Best,

Sergio Esposito

Luciano Sandrone always wanted to be a winemaker. He began his career as a cellar-man working in the historic Marchesi di Barolo estate, saving his money until he could afford to buy his first parcel of land in Cannubi Boschis in 1977, and, having spent all his savings to buy his land, Sandrone began making his wines in his parents' garage. Sandrone quietly worked, revising his techniques, until he caught the wine world's attention with his 1989 and 1990 vintages. Since then, nothing has slowed down for Sandrone, and that's just fine with this winemaker's many ardent fans. A master winemaker, Sandrone boasts holdings in some of the most legendary plots in Barolo, and his highly sought-after Barolos sit among the elite wines of Piemonte, if not the world.

Today, we're pleased to present Sandrone's superb 2013 Barolo Le Vigne. Sandrone took full advantage of the benchmark 2013 vintage, and the Barolo we spotlight today illustrates the beauty a great winemaker can make out of a low production, high quality vintage that is challenging and ultimately rewarding. Brambly, brooding and round, the '13 Barolo Le Vigne is also bewitching and elegant. Sweet red and blue fruits dance with tarry earth, rose and violet petals, balsamic herbs, and touches of underbrush and warm baking spices. This wine oozes across the palate with a silky, weightless feel, leaving refined tannins and a lovely inner perfume. It's early to call Sandrone's 2013 Barolo Le Vigne the wine of the vintage (and it has a lot of stiff competition), but this bottle is one of our favorites.

Luciano Sandrone crafts his Le Vigne as a traditional cuvee Barolo, choosing grapes from the vineyards of Ceretta (Monforte), Vignane (Barolo), Merli (Novello), Conterni (Barolo), and new this vintage, Villero (Castiglione Falletto). In 2013, Barolo Le Vigne is a balanced, thrilling wine that you'll want to revisit again and again because, while you'll want to drink this Barolo right away, a few years in the cellar will make for even greater enjoyment. We sold through our initial allocation of Sandrone's stellar '13 Barolo Le Vigne in a matter of hours, and we expect this new allotment to go just as quickly. Don't hesitate to secure your '13 Barolo Le Vigne--whether or not it's the wine of the vintage, it's in stock, ready to ship for the holidays, and too exceptional to miss!

Sandrone 2013 Barolo Le Vigne
(Italy, Piemonte - Nebbiolo)
$149.00 Regular Price
$139.00 Case Price/btl

You might know Castello dei Rampolla best for its Super-Tuscan wines Sammarco and Vigna d'Alceo, but these are not the only reds we love from this biodynamic estate. While Castello dei Rampolla is most famous for its two Super Tuscans, when estate founder Alceo di Napoli began making wine in 1970, he began by making Chianti, and today, we're delighted to debut the new Castello dei Rampolla 2015 Chianti Classico, a seductive and bewitching bottling. Given the caliber of Castello dei Rampolla's other wines, it's no surprise that it makes one of the best normale Chianti Classicos you'll ever taste, and this 2015 is a sneak peek into the growing year whose warm yet dry weather was ideal for Sangiovese! Presented at under $30 a bottle, this wine packs a wallop at its price point, and as delicious as it is right now, it's going to grow even more beautiful with a few years in the cellar.

Why Buy This Wine:

- 2015 blessed Tuscan winemakers with weather that was warm and sunny during the day but cool and temperate at night--perfect for ripening thick-skinned Sangiovese grapes--and this Chianti Classico evokes its stellar growing year.

- Welcoming but balanced, this '15 Chianti Classico bursts with sweet fruits, bristles with acidic energy, and balances all its elements with grace.

- Juicy red and blue berries dance against a backdrop of warm new leather, blood orange zest, savory herbs, baking spices, fresh loam and rain-spattered wildflowers in this luminous Chianti Classico.

- Peppery, chewy tannins stud the cheeks as this wine whooshes across the palate, building to a mineral-laden, powerful finish.

- Showing tremendous depth, finesse, and balance, this biodynamically grown and vinified Chianti Classico is an IWM favorite, and, priced less than $30 a bottle, the BEST PRICE in the country, it's a steal!

Castello dei Rampolla 2015 Chianti Classico*
(Italy, Toscana - Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon)
$29.99 Regular Price
$27.59 Case Price/btl

*Pre-Arrival, Late Winter

Rare is the wine that is more than a century in the making, but today, we are proud to present one of the very best. Pérez Barquero sherry works to redefine the genre, and with more than a hundred years behind it, Pérez Barquero 1905 Solera Fundacional Amontillado is beloved by sherry connoisseurs and praised by critics. Just over 308 acres situated in Spain's Córdoba province, family-owned-and-operated Pérez Barquero is devoted to the Pedro Ximénez grape, which grows perfectly in the estate's porous, chalky Albariza soils, and the estate occupies some of the best locations in the Montilla-Moriles appellation. While Pérez Barquero makes a range of wines, brandies and vinegars, it's most famous for its 1905 Solera Fundacional Amontillado, a world-class sherry of complexity, nuance and elegance. Today, we're delighted to give enthusiasts of mature wines a rare opportunity to indulge their palates: Pérez Barquero 1905 Solera Fundacional Amontillado, presented with special, time-sensitive pricing!

Why Buy This Wine:

- While IWM doesn't put much stock into wine scores for Italian wines, we'd be remiss if we didn't note that 1905 Solera Fundacional Amontillado has received multiple near-perfect scores!

- Pérez Barquero 1905 Solera Fundacional Amontillado gets its name from the oldest vintage contained in this non-vintage solera method wine; it's a rich tapestry of flavor profiles and silky texture, at once energetic and mellow.

- The solera method blends across multiple vintages, and the average age of the wines in this sherry is about eighty years old, which allows for unbelievable complexity and nuance.

- This sherry explodes with raisined and juicy fruit, saline minerals, Christmas cake, toasted nuts, marmalade and ginger, and this kaleidoscope of flavor notes continues on the concentrated, rich palate.

- Deeply viscous, dry, and powerful, this wine unfolds in mind-bending layers, wrapping its fruit around a serious core of minerals to create a dizzying drinking experience.

- Extremely rare and commensurately prized, Pérez Barquero 1905 Solera Fundacional Amontillado is a sherry for enthusiasts of old wines; it's an exceptional treat that deserves to be savored.

- We're delighted to give our clients the opportunity to secure this rare Pérez Barquero sherry; secure yours with special, time-sensitive pricing just in time for your holiday gatherings!

Pérez Barquero 1905 Solera Fundacional Amontillado (700ml)
(Spain, Córdoba - Pedro Ximénez)
$499.00 Regular Price
$399.00 3-Pack Price/btl

This offer will expire in 48 hours on November 18th at 11:59pm EST.

Killer B's

Saturday, November 18 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Ticket Price: $129.00

IWM Host: Will Di Nunzio, President

This tasting brings wine to its simplest--and most iconic--parts. We'll be pouring wines beginning with "B," like Barolo, Brunello, and Barbaresco (and maybe Barbera, for good measure). Taste an array of beautiful bottles and learn why these winemaking regions make some of the most sought-after, popular and representative wines in the world. Join us at this special sit-down tasting, accompanied by regional meats and cheeses and led by a knowledgeable IWM sommelier, and get to know, to appreciate, and to love these iconic "B" wines just a little bit better. You'll get an "A" in wine education at this event from IWM, the global leader in Italian wine.

Featured Wines

Fontodi Meriggio 2016
Dante Rivetti Barbera d'Alba Mara 2015
Château de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos du Château Rouge 2015
San Giuliano Barbaresco 2012
Pian Delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino 2012
Cerbaiona Brunello di Montalcino 2012
Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Bussia 2013
Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne 2013
Prunotto Barolo Bussia Vigna Colonnello Riserva 2010

*Wines may be subject to change.

Saturday, December 2 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting Lunch

Ticket Price: $299.00
Early Bird Price: $269.00 (Expires: Fri, Nov 24 at 11:59pm EST)

One of IWM's most highly anticipated tasting events is our white truffle luncheon, a delicious celebration of the tartufo bianco, Alba's most sustainable delicacy! Truffles flown from Piemonte will serve as the centerpiece of this sit-down luncheon with a menu designed by IWM's own Chef Michael Marcelli and his in-house kitchen staff, and guests will enjoy dishes that make the most of truffles and fall's ephemeral fare. IWM's knowledgeable sommelier will pour fine Champagne, Barolo, Barbaresco and other great wines, explaining the role of terroir in wine and in truffles, helping to deepen guests' understandings of the interconnectivity of wine and food. Autumn brings the most wonderful time of the year--truffle season. Celebrate it in style with IWM.

Featured Wines & Menu

Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve NV
Alberico Bianco 2014
Le Mortelle Botrosecco Maremma Toscana IGT 2014
Assorted Antipasti

Vincent Dauvissat Chablis 1er Cru les Vaillons 2014
Fresh Trofie al Ferro with Spiny Lobster, Potato & Grilled Pancetta

Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco 1998
White Truffle Tajarin

Canalicchio di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino 1998
Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne 1998
Pelissero Barbaresco Annata 1995
Roasted DuBreton Pork Loin with Nebrodini Mushroom & Braised Cipollini

La Poderina Brunello di Montalcino 1988
Parmigiano, Raw Cherry Blossom Honey & White Truffle

*Wines may be subject to change.

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

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