Le Boncie Le Trame, Castello dei Rampolla Chianti Classico, and Vintage Monfortino!

January 18, 2018
A Note from Sergio

The poster-grape of Toscana, Sangiovese is no shy fruit--it explodes with flavor, acidity, and aromatics. Sangiovese is bold, and sometimes a little brash. For decades, winemakers worked to find ways to tame the power of Sangiovese, often adding other grapes. They added Colorino for a plum hue, higher tannins and earthy notes to the wine, and they added Mammolo for its scent of violets. They added other grapes, too, some noble and lost to time, others on the brink of extinction. They also added white grapes, and this was less good, leading to Chianti that was an acidic, ubiquitous shadow of the great wine it could be.

But many winemakers believed that Sangiovese could be elegant and powerful, and they rejected the limits that the DOC imposed upon them. They tinkered with Sangiovese and they ignited the Super-Tuscan revolution. Winemakers flouted the rules and made wines they way they wanted, leaving consortiums and bypassing DOC designations. Today, I am proud to bring you a wine that hearkens to the days before the Super-Tuscan revolution but still doesn't fit the confines of the DOC: Le Boncie 2014 Rosso di Toscana IGT Le Trame. This is an insanely good biodynamic wine from Chianti Classico, but it's a Sangiovese rebel. Including other indigenous Tuscan grapes, this wine tempers Sangiovese's raw power with delicacy, yet it slinks with a feral grace. It's a true Tuscan wine with a pure Italian soul, and I think you'll love it.

While Le Trame comes from the heart of Chianti Classico (and while it more or less abides by Chianti Classico's rules), it's not a Chianti Classico-- Giovanna Morganti, the owner-winemaker of Le Boncie left the Consorzio years ago. Castello dei Rampolla is a more famous biodynamic estate in the same region--you probably know it from its Super-Tuscan stars Sammarco and Vigna d'Alceo--who continues to make a rule-abiding Chianti Classico, Today I'm delighted to bring you a new allocation of Castello dei Rampolla's spicy, juicy and electric 2015 Chianti Classico. This wine shocks your tongue with energy--it makes every bite of food taste delicious, and if you love Sangiovese, you owe it to your palate to stock up.

Finally, I scored a few bottles of a once-in-a-lifetime Barolo Monfortino vintage--don't miss it!

Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence:
Debuting Le Boncie's Elegant, Feral '14 Le Trame Rosso
2. Only At IWM: Must-Have Chianti Classico from Beloved Castello dei Rampolla
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Once-In-A-Lifetime 1961 Barolo Monfortino Riserva
4. Wine Events: Upcoming January / February Wine Tasting Events

My Best,

Sergio Esposito

There's no place like Toscana to find full-throttle reds, the kind of wine that hugs you from the inside, enlivens every bite of food with fresh acidity, and brings a ray of Tuscan sunshine to your gatherings. One of our recent favorites comes from family owned-and-operated Podere Le Boncie, located in the heart of Chianti Classico, that uses mindful organic agriculture and traditional viticulture to craft wines with a pure Tuscan soul. Today, we're delighted to debut the elegant yet wild 2014 Le Trame Rosso IGT. Priced at under $45, this seductive, aromatic Rosso is sure to bring a smile to your face--and have your guests reaching for more!

2014 was an odd growing year in Toscana--a mild winter morphed into a warm yet dry spring, a cool and tempestuous summer, and then a dry and sunny fall that ended in a surprisingly good, if low production, harvest. The '14 Le Trame dwells in its opposites--it's a frankly seductive wine that entices with a slinky, feral grace. Dusty Tuscan terroir holds fistfuls of juicy red and blue fruits, cedar wood, crushed wildflowers, crushed graphite, umami and spices in this aromatic, thrumming '14 Le Trame. Pure fruits echo on the palate, where they're complemented by fine-grained tannins, electric acidity, and a mineral-laden bass line; beautifully balanced, this wine can drink now but it has the stuffing to age for a decade or longer.

Giovanna Morganti, the owner-winemaker at Poderi Le Boncie, is dedicated to wines that honor her Tuscan roots. A trained oenologist, Giovanna chose to densely plant traditional Tuscan grapes that she had worked with in her studies, and she decided to use biodynamic methods both in the vineyards and in the cellar to craft pure, unmediated expressions of her unique terroir. Le Trame is mostly Sangiovese that's blended with 10% Colorino, Mammolo, and Foglia Tonda; this mix combines four indigenous Tuscan grapes, and while Sangiovese and Colorino have long stood as components of Chianti, both Mammolo and Foglia Tonda have had rather precarious pasts--this last grape has almost died out twice!

Following the 2010 vintage, Morganti opted out of the Chianti Classico Consortium, choosing to release her wines as IGT bottlings. The thoroughly Tuscan Rosso di Toscana Le Trame illustrates the wisdom of her decision; just as Super-Tuscan icons Flaccianello and Le Pergole Torte embody the tradition of Tuscan winemaking while raising the bar for the region, so too does this Le Trame honor the past while looking toward the future of conscientious, biodynamic winemaking. Le Boncie makes only 1,000 cases of its Le Trame Rosso IGT every vintage, and less than a third of that comes to the US; contact your portfolio manager to secure yours new 2014 Le Trame release and experience trule Tuscan beauty.

Podere Le Boncie 2014 Rosso di Toscana IGT Le Trame
(Italy, Toscana - Sangiovese, Colorino, Mammolo, Foglia Tonda)
$44.99 Regular Price
$41.39 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--it's a food-friendly treat that drinks now or years down the road.

- 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, Spring

Giacomo Conterno's legendary, inspiring Barolo Monfortino Riserva is a breathtaking wine. It's a little hard to pin down the first Barolo Monfortino--some say 1920, others argue 1912, while still others date the bottling to 1924. Regardless of its inaugural vintage, Barolo Monfortino has long been the greatest, most collectable, and most historic Barolo bottling. While it's easy to categorize this Barolo as "collectable," to simply understand Barolo Monfortino as a collector wine is to do its ineffable beauty an injustice. While Barolo Monfortino is a standard bearer for Barolo, it is also a wine that inspires winemakers--including its own--to raise their standards to do better, and to create a wine that shows its individual personality while reflecting its vintage and its ever-changing terroir. Today, we're very proud to present Barolo lovers with a once-in-a-lifetime wine, the harmonious, momentous and unforgettable Giacomo Conterno 1961 Barolo Monfortino Riserva, a gem of a wine for any serious collector.

Why Buy This Wine:

- The wine we offer today is special: 1961 is the final year that Giacomo Conterno ran the winery, handing the reins over to his sons, Giovanni and Aldo, but the '61 Barolo Monfortino was crafted almost entirely by Giovanni, who passed away in 2004.

- Moreover, collectors and wine connoisseurs widely consider the Barolo Monfortino 1961 to be one of the great vintages of the 1960s (the other is 1964), and this wine most certainly stands the test of time.

- This 57-year-old Barolo Monfortino is a mature wine of tremendous finesse, depth, complexity and vitality, layering its Nebbiolo fruit, iron shavings, rose petals, smoke and baking spices with tertiary notes of tarry earth, black tea, truffles and warm saddle leather.

- Ethereal yet surprisingly energetic, this '61 Barolo Monfortino drinks like a dream, floating on the palate with delicacy and grace, constantly evolving and showing a kaleidoscopic range of notes, textures and nuances.

- Presented with the "IWM Difference," our promise of pristine provenance and ideal temperature-controlled care throughout the wine's lifespan, this 56-year-old Barolo Monfortino Riserva will be a gem in any true collector's cellar; contact your portfolio manager to secure yours.

Giacomo Conterno 1961 Barolo Monfortino Riserva*
(Italy, Piemonte - Nebbiolo)
$1,899.00 Regular Price
$1,799.00 Special Price/btl

*Pre-Arrival, Two Weeks

This offer will expire in 48 hours on January 20th at 11:59pm EST.

Saturday, January 20 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Regular Ticket Price: $109.00

IWM Host: Francesco Vigorito, Vice President of Sales

It's not a soccer match. It's an opportunity for you to compare the wines of France and Italy side by side, the makings of an entirely delightful Saturday afternoon. In this Studio del Gusto tasting, we'll be matching wines from Burgundy, Bordeaux and beyond with Italian Barolo, Brunello and more. We'll pair wines from some of our favorite producers and present you with an unparalleled opportunity to compare and contrast the wines of the world's two greatest winemaking countries. Spending a Saturday sipping wines from iconic and emblematic producers, nibbling on French and Italian cheeses and meats, you'll see that the clear winner is you!

Featured Wines:

Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Colonnello 2012
Canalicchio di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino 2012
Pernot Belicard Puligny-Montrachet Perrières 1er Cru 2015
Graci Etna Bianco Arcurìa 2015
Château Grand Puy Lacoste 2009
Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Chaupin 2013
Château de la Maltroye Chassagne-Maltroye 1er Cru Clos St Jean 2015
Terriccio Tassinaia 2010

*Wines may be subject to change.

Saturday, January 27 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Regular Ticket Price: $119.00

IWM Host: Will Di Nunzio, President

Italy has more than 2,000 different indigenous grapes, the most of any country in the world (though Portugal may beg to differ). One way to make sense of this number of grapes--and the extraordinary number of delicious wines made from them--is to focus on one geographical area. Join us as our knowledgeable IWM sommelier lead you through a tour of most emblematic, delicious, and outrageous expressions from Italy's North. We'll be pouring wines from Valpolicella, Vallee d'Aosta, Friuli and more, and our knowledgeable sommelier will guide you in understanding the panorama of northern Italy's terroir, traditions, and grapes. Accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, this sit-down tasting offers aficionados or Italian wine newbies the most delicious education in authentic wine that you can get outside of Italy. Toe to tip, IWM is where Italian wine lovers come for fine Italian wine.

Featured Wines:

Prunotto Pian Romualdo Barbera d'Alba 2014
Poderi Aldo Conterno Langhe Rosso 2013
Peter Sölva & Söhne Amistar Rosso 2012
Gravner Rujno 2001
Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Brunate Le Coste 2005
Vietti Barolo Rocche 1997
Dal Forno Romano Valpolicella Superiore 2009
Brigaldara Amarone della Valpolicella Classico (1.5L) 2005

*Wines may be subject to change.

Saturday, February 10 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Regular Ticket Price: $109.00

Few of us get to Europe as often as we want; this special Saturday tasting brings the flavors of Europe's great wines to you, without ever leaving glamorous Union Square in New York City! Our knowledgeable sommelier will take you to Italy, France and Spain, exploring four different wine regions with handpicked bottles of both red and white wines, giving you a whirlwind yet delicious trip through some of Europe's most important wine regions. Accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, this tasting is ideal for experienced wine-lovers looking to broaden their palates, newbies who seek an easy-to-understand overview, or travel-hungry people with wanderlust and a love for great wine. It's a two-hour trip to Europe's wine capitals, and you don't even need to pack your bags!

*Wines to be announced.

Wednesday, February 14 | 7:00-10:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Dinner Tasting

Regular Ticket Price: $219.00
Early Bird Ticket Price: $199.00 (Expires: Friday, February 9)

It's the one holiday devoted to couples, and this Valentine's Day, IWM wants to invite you and yours to a very special dinner. Chef Michael Marcelli and his own in-house kitchen staff will craft delicious dishes that will be coupled with beautiful Champagne, beloved Burgundies, lovely Italian whites, and rich Italian reds, creating memorable pairings that are perfect matches. Join IWM's knowledgeable sommelier at this special sit-down dinner to experience for yourself how every thing has its mate; dine on delicious antipasti, terrific pasta, and decadent sweets, and enjoy wines from legendary makers, all while choosing your ideal dinner combination! IWM loves Valentine's Day, and we want to celebrate it with a dinner of perfect pairings, an event made even more complete with you!

Featured Menu:

Wagyu Carne Crudo
Cotuit Oysters on the Half Shell

Pasta I
Fresh Anellini with Razor Clam, Ceci, Saffron & Golden Ossetra Caviar

Pasta II
Bronze-cut Lumaconi with Homemade Lamb Sausage, Marjoram, & Lion's Mane Mushroom

Roasted Lamb Rack, Black Truffle & Fondant Potatoes

Cape Gooseberries
Assorted Chocolates

*Wines to be announced.

Saturday, February 17 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Regular Ticket Price: $129.00

IWM Host: Will Di Nunzio, President

Most Americans fall in love with Toscana first--after all, it's the home of Vernaccia, Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, and Super-Tuscan wines! This event celebrates everyone's first, favorite Italian wine region with a handpicked list of exceptional Tuscan wines. Let a knowledgeable IWM sommelier take you on a tour of Toscana, and get an insider's point of view as you explore Tuscan's many splendored reds, piquant whites, and surprising sparklers. Learn to tell your Sangiovese Grosso from your Sangiovese and your Vermentino from your Trebbiano, come to understand why Toscana is so hospitable to "international" grapes, and study what makes Super Tuscans so special, all while tasting a range of Vini Toscani. From mineral-laden whites to lithe light reds to burly big rosso wines, this tasting, accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, will add to your wine education, deepen your passion for Italian wines, and let you experience Toscana without the plane fare. It's the next best thing to seeing Michelangelo's David in person!

*Wines to be announced.

Saturday, February 24 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Regular Ticket Price: $129.00

Wine is a living thing, and like all living things, it changes with age. While everyone knows that wines mature, not everyone knows exactly what "maturity" means. This special tasting, led by a knowledgeable IWM sommelier and accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, focuses on the same wine--but years apart! Let us pour you vintage wine pairs so that you can experience the ways that differing growing years, bottle age, and other factors affect the wines in your glass. Appreciating mature wines requires palate education, but it offers a rich payoff in terms of your understanding, knowledge and enjoyment. This tasting will help wine newbies come to recognize the nuances of maturity, and it will help deepen wine connoisseurs' knowledge. Wine is time in a bottle, and this tasting will let you see the many ways that maturity is magic!

*Wines to be announced.

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

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