Rare Wines: New Vega-Sicilia Único Reserva Especial, Fontodi Vin Santo, and Miani Collection

June 28, 2017
A Note from Sergio

I founded IWM in 1999, aiming to bring the best Italian wine to the US, to educate people in how to understand and appreciate them, and to help my clients build a balanced collection. Those were interesting times. Many wine-lovers had yet to branch beyond California or France, and Italy was still a vastly uncharted territory for many people, filled with discoveries to be made and new grapes, producers and regions to feel impassioned about. I helped introduce people to Barolo, Barbaresco, even Super-Tuscan superstars like Sassicaia, and I used wines like Gaja's cru trio or Antinori's Guado al Tasso to build bridges to stranger, harder to comprehend Italian wines like Gravner's amber gems, Paolo Bea's Umbrian beauties, or Mastroberardino's majestic Taurasi.

Wine discovery is always a journey from the known to the unknown, and in lots of ways, the state of Spanish wines reminds me of that time when I opened IWM's doors. Some Spanish wines are well known to collectors, but others wait in the shadows for discovery. Today, I'm very proud to offer one of those well-known wines, the new 2017 release of Vega-Sicilia Único Reserva Especial. In making this wine, Vega-Sicilia honors the Spanish winemaking tradition of blending a trio of vintages to create a balanced, vibrant, almost ageless wine. It's really hard to get Vega-Sicilia Único Reserva Especial. The estate makes only 1,500 cases of it in any given release. Not much comes to the US. And what does make it here gets snapped up by people who love it. I'm honored to be able to bring this wine to you, my clients.

When I think about artisanal winemakers who toil in relative obscurity, who care more about making wine than they do about making money, who are media shy to the point of pain, I think first of Enzo Pontoni, the owner-winemaker of Miani. This guy is like a seriously rural Vermont farmer, so real and so disinterested in fame. He doesn't promote. He doesn't talk. He just works his vines in Friuli and makes some of the best wines in Italy. Today's offer has 23 different Miani wines, both red and white. They're incredibly hard to find, and you who love Miani will want to jump on them.

Finally, there's one singular bottle of vintage Fontodi Vin Santo--this is the real deal, like drinking sweet Tuscan sunshine!

Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence:
New Release Vega-Sicilia's Aristocratic, Rare Único Reserva Especial
2. Only At IWM:
IWM's Big Offer of Miani's Low Production Cult Wines
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Hard-to-Find 2001 Fontodi Vin Santo
4. Wine Events: Upcoming July Wine Tasting Events

My Best,

Sergio Esposito

There are great wines, and then there are wines of great mystique, great tradition and great myth. The wines of Vega-Sicilia--arguably the most collectable and most historical estate in Spain's Ribera del Duero--hold all of these elusive traits. Today, we're delighted to present the most recent 2017 release of Vega-Sicilia Único Reserva Especial, the estate's coveted and rare non-vintage wine. A blend of the 2003, 2004 and 2006 vintages, the 2017 bottling of Único Reserva Especial is a tour-de-force of Spanish winemaking--and the only thing more special than the wine itself is the history behind it.

In 1864, Don Eloy Lecanda Chaves, a Spanish aristocrat whose father had gifted him with land for a vineyard, returned from Bordeaux with a variety of vine clippings: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and others. While the early interpretations of Bordeaux-style blends came to some questionable results, the estate ripped up many of the imported vines and in their place planted Tinto Fino, a clone of Tempranillo and Spain's most emblematic grape, and a wine legend was born. In 1982, after a series of changing owners, Vega-Sicilia came to rest in the hands of the Alvarez family and its consulting enologist Javier Ausas; together, they make some of the world's most collectable and sought-after wines.

For over a hundred years, Vega-Sicilia wines were available only to aristocracy. Today, they're only slightly easier to get. In addition to the kind of stringent growing practices that keep grape yields astonishingly low, the estate makes the most of their Tempranillo, a grape that has an almost magical ability to age in barrel, and it chooses to hold its premier bottling, Único Reserva Especial, about ten years--and often longer. In making its Único Reserva Especial, Vega-Sicilia adheres to the ancient Spanish winemaking tradition of crafting a non-vintage wine composed of three great vintages; the resulting wine is rare and spectacular. We consider ourselves fortunate to be able to offer it to you--less than 10% of Vega-Sicilia's wines are imported into the States, and fewer than 100 wine retailers carry them.

Brambly black and blue fruits dance with blood orange, licorice, warm earth, black truffles, underbrush and potpourri in the beautifully structured 2017 release of Único Reserva Especial. Blending the benchmark 2004 vintage with the ripe 2003 and 2006 vintages, this wine complements power with finesse and richness with energy. Chewy, polished tannins coat the cheeks as this wine uncurls on the palate, building to a lingering crescendo of sweet and savory notes--it's a mesmerizing ride. As big as this wine is, it's also exceedingly elegant, making it a must-have bottling for those who appreciate the best of the best from Spain. We're delighted to present this aristocratic Spanish wine at very competitive pricing; Vega-Sicilia produced just 1,500 cases of its Único Reserva Especial for its 2017 release, and we urge you to contact your portfolio manager to secure yours from our limited allocation.

(Spain, Castilla y León - Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot)
$449.00 Regular Price
$399.00 Half-Case Price/btl

*Pre-Arrival, Autumn

Nearly seven feet tall, Enzo Pontoni towers in his Miani vineyards, but he knows his vines on a first-name basis, and he crafts some of Italy's most hard-to-get wines. Where other winemakers would leave several bunches of grapes on a vine, Pontoni leaves one, maybe two; where other winemakers would garner a few thousand bottles of wine from a plot, Pontoni will get a few hundred. Miani's production numbers hover around 700 cases a year; thus, to experience Miani's prized wines puts you in a circle of an elite few. You simply can't find this Friulian estate's mono-varietal Refosco, Calvari, or its single-vineyard Merlots, Buri and Filip, wines that challenge Masseto and Messorio. And Miani's whites are no less iconic; collectors covet Miani's unique Chardonnay, Sauvignon, and Friulano wines. Today, we're delighted to present almost two dozen Miani wines, both red and white, one of the largest US offerings of this iconoclastic Italian producer ever.

Why Buy This Wine:

- Miani has intensely low production numbers--just 8,000 bottles, or fewer than 700 cases across all labels for any given vintage--and demand always outstrips supply for these cult Friulian wines.

- Miani's owner, Enzo Pontoni, doesn't just grow his grapes organically; he grows them maniacally, considering each individual vine its own microclimate and employing one of the most assertive green harvests in all of Italy.

- As with other great winemaking masters like Valentini, Gravner and Quintarelli, Pontoni works with a number of different varieties--Chardonnay, Ribolla Gialla, Tocai Friulano and Sauvignon Blanc, along with evocative red grapes, including Refosco and Merlot.

- When Pontoni doesn't make his high-end single-vineyard red wines, he blends the grapes together for his Rosso; rich and seductive, Miani's '10 and '11 Rosso drinks like a Miani cru at a fraction of the price!

- A blend, Miani's Bianco bottling allows Italian wine enthusiasts the opportunity to experience the estate's collector style at a relatively affordable price point; however, serious wine lovers will want to experience the estate's extremely limited production cru Tocai Friulano Badie Filip, Ribolla Gialla Pettarin, or Sauvignon Saurint.

- While this offering focuses on recent vintages, serious collectors will want to focus on extremely rare vintage wines like Miani's outrageous 2006 Merlot Filip or its mind-bending 2002 Refosco Calvari.

- Only IWM can offer this 23-bottle Miani wine collection, but our allocations are extremely limited; contact your portfolio manager to secure your cult Miani selections soon.

Vintage Size Price/btl 6pk Price/btl Case Price/btl
Miani Bianco*
2014 0.75 $98.99 - $91.07
Miani Bianco*
2015 0.75 $79.00 - $72.68
Miani Chardonnay*
2013 0.75 $104.99 $94.99 -
Miani Chardonnay*
2014 0.75 $114.99 $99.99 -
Miani Chardonnay*
2015 0.75 $109.99 $99.99 -
Miani Chardonnay Zitelle*
2015 0.75 $119.00 $99.99 -
Miani Friulano
2012 0.75 $79.00 - $72.68
Miani Friulano*
2013 0.75 $89.00 - $81.88
Miani Friulano Filip*
2015 0.75 $109.00 $99.99 -
Miani Merlot di Buri*
2013 0.75 $289.00 $249.00 -
Miani Merlot Filip
2006 0.75 $335.99 $319.00 -
Miani Merlot Filip*
2013 0.75 $289.00 $269.00 -
Miani Refosco Calvari
2002 0.75 $599.00 $549.00 -
Miani Refosco Calvari*
2006 0.75 $650.00 $599.00 -
Miani Ribolla Gialla Pettarin*
2015 0.75 $119.00 $99.99 -
Miani Rosso*
2010 0.75 $99.99 - $91.99
Miani Rosso*
2011 0.75 $109.00 $99.99 -
Miani Sauvignon*
2015 0.75 $79.00 - $72.68
Miani Sauvignon Saurint*
2013 0.75 $109.99 $99.99 -
Miani Sauvignon Saurint*
2015 0.75 $119.00 $99.99 -
Miani Tocai Friulano*
2015 0.75 $79.00 - $72.68
Miani Tocai Friulano Badie Filip
2009 0.75 $129.00 $99.99 -
Miani Sauvignon Zitelle*
2015 0.75 $129.00 $99.99 -


A true Vin Santo acts like a juggler, spinning sweetness, acidity, nuttiness, fruitiness, and spiciness with remarkable ease. Fontodi crafts its Vin Santo with the same dedication to tradition, quality and typicity that it does in its Chianti, so it's no surprise that this rare wine is one of our favorites. Made, as tradition dictates, of Malvasia and Sangiovese, Fontodi's Vin Santo puts a delicious punctuation mark on any meal, and today, we're delighted to present special, time-sensitive pricing on Fontodi's exquisitely balanced, hard-to-find 2001 Vin Santo. Resting near Panzano in the epicenter of Toscana's viticulture, Fontodi dates back to the 16th century, but Fontodi's modern era started in 1968 when the Manettis, an old Florentine family, purchased the estate. Fontodi's organically cultivated vines enjoy southern-facing plots in a natural amphitheater, which allows the grapes to ripen perfectly, thereby creating wines of great character and structure. Fontodi's Vin Santo is hard to secure, and finding a mature bottling like this 2001 is yet more rare!

Why Buy This Wine:

- Upon release, Fontodi's '01 Vin Santo was praised for its balance between its sweetness and its minerality, its traditional and its exotic elements, and its creamy feel and its acidic freshness.

- Now with more than fifteen years of age, this wine is a kaleidoscopic beauty, at turns showing citrus peel, tropical fruits, savory minerals, caramel, figs and spice cake.

- This dessert wine teases the palate with a mélange of fruits and spices, layering its sweetness atop crushed rocks and jaunty acidity, which linger on the lasting finish.

- A blend of organically grown Malvasia and Sangiovese, the grapes for this balanced Vin Santo come from various plots in Fontodi's holdings; try it with traditional cantucci, Italian almond cookies, for a true Tuscan treat.

- We're pleased to present Fontodi '01 Vin Santo with special, time-sensitive pricing and the "IWM Difference," our assurance of pristine provenance and perfect care throughout the wine's lifespan; contact your portfolio manager to secure yours!

(Italy, Toscana - Malvasia, Sangiovese)
$119.00 Regular Price
$109.00 3-Pack Price/btl

This offer will expire in 24 hours on June 29th at 5:00pm EST.


Tuesday, July 11 | 7:00-10:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Dinner Tasting

Ticket Price: $229.00
Special Two-Ticket Price: $199.50/ticket

IWM Host: Will Di Nunzio

IWM's Wine-Lover Dinner Series celebrates delicious dishes with wines that make them sing. Seafood, fish, and all that the oceans, rivers and lakes give us are perfect summertime fare. IWM invites you to join us for a special Wine-Lovers Dinner featuring seafood and fish dishes-all complemented by perfectly selected wines. Celebrating the special union of seafood and wine with courses invoking Italy's coastal regions, from its North (Friuli, Liguria and the Veneto) to its South (Campania and Abruzzo), IWM's own Chef Michael Marcelli and his in-house kitchen staff will craft a five-course dinner, while our own Will Di Nunzio and Francesco Vigorito will show you that there's more to finding the perfect pairing than merely pouring white wines. Explore your passion for aquatic food and wine while learning how to make mindful wine pairings at your own table. It's a win-win-wine dinner at IWM, and the only thing that can make it better is you!

*Wine list and menu to be announced.

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

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