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April 17, 2014
Stunning 2010 Vietti Barolo, Palate-Staining Le Corton, and RKO’s St Emilion Picks
April 16, 2014
Two COS Wines for Summer! Sassicaia Sale! And Cupano Magnums!
Today I'm proud to debut three 2010 wines from Vietti, a traditional cuvee Barolo and two cru Barolos, all of them outrageous. Not only are these three wines spectacular, but also they range in price points; the cuvee is less than $70!
Along with these two Sicilian wines, I'm proud to present special pricing on a legendary wine--the 1999 Sassicaia. Fifteen years of maturity, a straight-line provenance, a benchmark vintage, and the greatest of all the Super Tuscans: this wine will floor you. Finally, I'm very pleased to present large-format bottlings of Cupano Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino.
April 15, 2014
Return of Cerbaiona's "Baby Brunello," Under $55 Cru Riserva Barbaresco, and Classic Meursault!
April 14, 2014
Best Ornellaia Yet? Great Lignier Michelot, and Collecter Gaja Sperss!
I'm very excited about our something new, the wines of Prodotturi del Barbaresco. Angelo Gaja and Bruno Giacosa might have made Barbaresco famous, but small-time vineyards, like the 56 members of the Produttori, have been quietly growing grapes and making wines like their forebears.
Last Monday, I was proud to debut the 2011 Sassicaia, the latest vintage of the wine that put Bolgheri on the map. Today, I'm equally delighted to present the 2011 Ornellaia, one of the wines that cemented this region as a winemaking force.
April 10, 2014
Two Super-Tuscan Debut, and Mind-Bending Pernot Belicard Meursault!
April 9, 2014
Under $55 Baricci '08 Brunello, Joseph Voillot's Classic Pommard, and Il Barone '54!
Along with these two debuts, I'm delighted to draw your attention to a 2011 Meursault from Pernot Belicard. This winemaker and its 1er Cru Perrières are very hard to find. This Meursault is an intense ride--aromatic, lush, pure and long finishing, with this dry, hazelnut and citrus palate that's precise, pure and enchanting.
Today, I'm proud to present a new allocation of the Baricci '08 Brunello. I remember tasting Baricci for the first time about a decade ago. I couldn't wait to stock the wine, but I had to. It was only available in Italy.
April 8, 2014
Return of Talenti 2006 Riserva, $30 Artisanal Inzolia, and Tignanello 1982-2010
April 7, 2014
Debuting the 2011 Sassicaia, Legendary Wine, Exceptional Vintage
Today, I'm happy to present an offer that embodies the good points of VinItaly, without the mayhem. There's an old friend, Talenti 2006 Brunello di Montalcino Pian di Conte Riserva, that you can enjoy right now, and it'll make you feel good and happy.
Today, I'm proud to debut the new release of Sassicaia from the 2011 vintage. A debut of Sassicaia's new vintage is always a cause for celebration, but perhaps this vintage calls for even more jubilation.
April 3, 2014
Best Antinori Brunello Yet? Historic Mouton Rothschild, and Shocking Corton Charlemagne
April 2, 2014
Quintarelli '04 Alzero Returns, Classic Meursault, and Under $50 Merlot Super Tuscan
Today, I'm pleased to present another allocation of the '07 Riserva Ferrovia. This Antinori wine satisfies the senses. It's a wine to pour when you want to make Brunello converts out of people who've never tasted one, but it's also a Brunello for people who love the wine but don't necessarily want to wait years before they enjoy it.
Today, I'm proud to announce that I secured another allocation of Quintarelli 2004 Alzero, the latest release from the estate of its indescribable Cabernet Franc wine. We sold out of the first allocation in a couple of days, and I'm sure this bunch will go as quickly.
April 1, 2014
Rolling out Spring Rosés! Return of ’08 Valdicava, and Under $45 Cupano “Baby Brunello”!
March 31, 2014
26 Vintages of Historic Biondi-Santi, Anselme Selosse Sale, and Great Domaine Gallois!
This season of flowers blooming and sun shining, of renewal, cleaning, and waking from winter, calls for a special wine. That wine is Rosé, and I'm delighted to offer two special bottles, both interesting, complex, surprising and under $30.
Along with these extraordinary bottles, many of which would be the crown jewels in a serious collector's cellar, I'm very pleased to present several bottlings of Anselme Selosse Champagne at really great time-sensitive pricing. Winemaker Jacques Selosse is a renegade, and his Grower Champagnes offer stunning, singular experiences to Champagne lovers.
March 27, 2014
Brunello Pair from Cult Cerbaiona, Spain's Great Value Rioja, and Your New Go-To Red
March 26, 2014
Under $80 Cru Amarone, Under $25 Vintage Vacqueyras, and Under $70 Brunello Riserva!
I'm happy to present these two Brunellos in the company of CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva 2005. I think of Spanish wines today being a lot like Italy's wines ten or fifteen years ago: undiscovered, underpriced, and amazing. This Rioja is precisely that. A bottle of finely wrought Spanish wine that will drink for decades that's under $65--it's a great value for a breathtaking Rioja.
Today, I'm proud to present the arrival of Begali Amarone Monte Ca Bianca 2008, a single-vineyard, limited-production Amarone that's well under $100. In fact, it's under $80. I've championed this estate from the moment I discovered it, buying up just about its whole Amarone production.
March 25, 2014
Debut of $70 Antinori Brunello, Girardin Quintessence and Vintage Aldo Conterno Barolo Mags
March 24, 2014
Debut Seghesio '06 Barolo Riserva, Montalcino's Great Super Tuscan and Paolo Bea Sale!
Pian delle Vigne 2008 Brunello di Montalcino, lays down the roadwork in its silky approachability for new palates, yet it speaks so eloquently of its Montalcino terroir that it rewards those who know and love the region's wines. Best of all, priced under $70 a bottle, it's a finely made Brunello that you get to drink early and often.
Today, I'm proud to debut the Renzo Seghesio 2006 Barolo Pajana Riserva, a beautiful wine from that historic vineyard and a Barolo Riserva that's priced at under $80. I'm also delighted to announce new allocations of Cupano's exceptional Super-Tuscan Sant'Antimo Ombrone. I've rarely found Super Tuscans from Montalcino that I really enjoy--Il Palazzone's Lorenzo e Isabelle comes to mind--but Ombrone is one that everyone loves.
March 20, 2014
Domenico Clerico 2010 Barolo Debut, William Fèvre Chablis, and Antinori Chianti Classico!
March 19, 2014
Debuting San Giuliano Barbaresco 2009, Under $18 Antinori, and Bordeaux First Growths!
Today, I'm proud to continue rolling out the 2010  Barolo with three single-vineyard bottlings from Domenico Clerico: his Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra, Barolo Pajana and Barolo Briccotto. Just  as most men are brash in their youth and mellower in their age, so too  has Clerico moved away from his Barolo Boy days, growing ever closer to tradition.
Today, I'm proud to debut the latest release from San Giuliano, one of IWM's favorite under-the-radar Piemonte winemakers, San Giuliano Barbaresco 2009. Like Barolo, quality Barbaresco is hard to find at the under $50 price point, but San Giuliano makes it look effortless.
March 18, 2014
Last of Quintarelli's '02 Rosso? Vintage Flaccianello Mags and Great Joseph Drouhin
March 17, 2014
Debuting Paolo Scavino 2010 Barolo, the Return of Bachey-Legros 2011, and Under $50 Brunello!
The late, great "Master of the Veneto," Giuseppe Quintarelli, obsessed over his wine. From the vines in the soil to the grapes on the vines, from the pressing of those grapes to the aging in his botti, from the bottling of that wine to the corks that stoppered those bottles, Giuseppe, or "Bepi" to his friends and family, nourished an obsession for crafting the highest quality wine he could make. And for more than sixty years, Bepi made extraordinary wine.
Along with the debut of Scavino's new Barolo offerings, I'm pleased to present a new allocation of Bachey-Legros 2011 Burgundies; some of the finest values in the Côte de Beaune, these Burgundies are breathtaking. Finally, I'm delighted to offer one of IWM's favorite affordable Brunellos, the Col d'Orcia 2006 Brunello, priced at under $50. Truly, you cannot go wrong with this wine.
March 13, 2014
Oregon’s Great 2012 Pinot Noirs, Drouhin-Laroze Gevrey-Chambertin, Under $30 Arneis!
March 12, 2014
2006 Granbussia Debut! Christian Mouiex's California Dominus and 30-Year-Old Rioja!
Along with these three bottles, I'm pleased to present a beautiful bottle of Drouhin-Laroze 2010 Gevrey-Chambertin; it might have escaped your notice the first time we offered it, but don't let this muscular, powerful wine go a second time.
Today, I'm proud to debut Aldo Conterno 2006 Barolo Granbussia. In 2005, Aldo Conterno reduced its production of Granbussia by two thirds, making this already highly collectable and fervently sought-after wine even more precious, as well as even more intense, complex, and otherworldly.
March 11, 2014
Return of '07 Talenti Brunello, Under $30 Tenuta San Guido, and Bordeaux Super Seconds!
March 10, 2014
Ten-Year-Old Rinaldi Brunello, White Burgundy Tasting Cases and $50 Brunello!
Today's offer gets us more acquainted with old friends: Montalcino's Talenti, Bolgheri's Tenuta San Guido and our own Bordeaux expert, Robin Kelley O'Connor. Talenti's authentic, umano Brunellos are no strangers to my clients; these wines have long been best sellers, and the 2007 Brunello I'm presenting today is no exception.
Today, I'm proud to present a wine that comes from Giuseppe Rinaldi, an estate that prides itself on traditional winemaking. Beppe Rinaldi grows his grapes organically and makes his wine in ways that his ancestors would recognize, and he's lucky to have a daughter as talented and smart as Marta to take the reins from him.
March 6, 2014
Historical Vintage Sammarco, Sandrone New Release Sampler, and Under $150 Bordeaux!
March 5, 2014
Le Pergole Torte's Burgundian Brilliance,Vintage Ornellaia, and Red Burgundy Cases!
Along with this beautiful mature Sammarco, I'm pleased to present cases of Luciano Sandrone new releases; this case includes four bottles each of his cuvee Barolo, his cru Cannubi Boschis Barolo and his Nebbiolo d'Alba Valmaggiore. It's a fantastic collection for aspiring enthusiasts as well as seasoned collectors.
Along with the Le Pergole Torte, I'm delighted to offer Tenuta dell'Ornellaia with more than a decade of age. We at IWM like to drink our Super Tuscans with some age on them, and this one is drinking perfectly, though it has legs on it yet. Finally, I'm proud to bring you two tasting cases of Burgundy.
March 4, 2014
$33 Sandrone Barbera, $75 Vintage Super-Tuscan Saffredi, and Under $50 Bordeaux!
March 3, 2014
Fuligni ’06 Brunello Returns! 25-Year-Old Masseto and Delicious Value White Burgundy 
Today, I'm delighted to bring you a Barbera from iconic producer Luciano Sandrone. This $30 bottle sits right in the center of the spectrum, which makes it especially appealing. We often think of Barolo or Barbaresco as being the emblematic wines of Piemonte, but a Barbera like Sandrone's, one that comes from three of Luciano's Piemonte vineyards, and speaks just as much about its terroir as Sandrone's Barolos.
Along with this delicious Brunello, I'm very proud to present a limited number of 25-year-old bottles of Masseto, the collector Italian Merlot. You'd have a hard time finding this bottle on the auction market, and it's impossible to find it with the provenance IWM is offering.
February 27, 2014
$16 Artisanal Verdicchio, Classic Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and Under $55 Vintage Sammarco
February 26, 2014
$16 Artisanal Barbera, Vintage Le Macchiole Scrio, and 10-Year-Old Gravner!
Today I'm delighted to present a quality Verdicchio from Sartarelli, the estate's 2012 Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi Classico, a delicious, smoky, juicy wine that's under $17 a bottle.
Today, I'm delighted to spotlight the Quattro Mani Barbera. Meaning "four hands," Quattro Mani is a collective of four celebrity Italian winemakers, including my friend Ales Kristancic and the famed Attilio Pagli.
February 25, 2014
Final Quintarelli '04 Valpolicella, Superb '09 Flaccianello, and Collector '90 Giacosa!
February 24, 2014
$23 Talenti Rosso! The "Perfect" Guigal Ex Voto Blanc? And Vintage Gaja Sperss!
I'm particularly happy to present these three wines because all three of them represent the close relationships I have with these estates--as well as my commitment to offering wines with impeccable provenance. You can draw a straight line from each of these wines to your cellar, and that makes drinking them, regardless of the occasion, that much more beautiful.
A $23 Rosso, a collector Hermitage blanc, and a benchmark vintage Gaja Barolo: this trio of wines would seem to sit in separate spheres. What unites these three bottlings is the IWM difference: my commitment to bring my clients the best wines at superlative pricing with impeccable provenance and pristine temperature control.
February 20, 2014
Valdicava and Canalicchio "Baby Brunellos," Great Nuits Saint Georges and $34 Aldo Conterno
February 19, 2014
2011 Antinori Cervaro Chardonnay Debut! Must-Have Maltroye and Benchmark Il Palazzone
This weekend is Benvenuto Brunello in Montalcino, the annual wine-tasting event that heralds the release of the latest vintages of Brunello, Brunello Riserva and Rosso di Montalcino--this year, the 2011 Rosso will be on display, and I'll be revisiting that first year after returning to Italy in every sip.
Along with this debut, I'm delighted to present wines from two of IWM's favorite producers, Burgundy's Domaine Maltroye and Montalcino's Il Palazzone. First, the Il Palazzone--this 2006 Riserva Brunello is rare; the estate made only 100 cases, and I feel lucky to get a new allocation.
February 18, 2014
The Barolo of the South, the Champagne of Lombardia, and the Royal Wine of Spain
February 13, 2014
Debuting the ’08 Dal Forno Valpolicella, Hard-to-Find Dubreuil Fontaine, and Cupano ‘07 Brunello
Along with this great Campanian native, I'm delighted to present a beautifully made Franciacorta wine, Lombardia's answer to Champagne, from Barone Pizzini; it's delicious and it's well under $40. Finally, I'm proud to debut the 2014 Vega Sicilia Reserva Especial, a serious collector wine that will need no introduction to serious collectors.
Today, I'm proud to debut the Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore from 2008.
February 12, 2014
2004 Barolo Riserva for Under $75, Last Giacosa Santo Stefano? And Cheery Cerasuolo!
February 11, 2014
2007 Talenti Brunello Riserva Debut, Great Movia and Rich Grattamacco
Today, I’m proud to present a Barolo and a Barbaresco that illustrate the history and the dedication of these Piemonte winemakers.
Today, I’m proud to debut the 2007 Talenti Pian di Conte Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, one of the standout wines at our recent Talenti winemaker dinner.
February 10, 2014
Sparkling Wines for Valentines! Begali’s Luscious Dessert Wine, and Debuting Paolo Bea Piparello!
February 6, 2014
Debuting the '09 Canalicchio Brunello, Quintarelli's Sweet Treasure, and '03 Soldera Riserva
Today, I bring you wines that celebrate this  love--and maybe your love too! I begin with the entire inventory of  IWM's sparkling wines-Champagnes, Proseccos, Cavas, and those that defy  easy designation.
Today, I'm delighted to debut another 2009 Brunello, another exceptional vintage. There has been a lot of buzz circulating around the '09 Brunello, and I've tasted many these past few months.
February 5, 2014
Velvety Bea Sagrantino di Montefalco,12-Year-Old Pomerol, and Vega-Sicilia Debut!
February 4, 2014
Under $50 2008 Talenti Brunello, Under $70 Mature Sammarco, and Great 2011 Vincent Girardin
We're debuting the 2007 Sagrantino di Montefalco Pagliaro from Paolo Bea, one of Italy's premier natural winemakers and the shining light of Umbria. We're also debuting the 2004 Vega-Sicilia Ribera del Duero Unico, a breathtaking wine from one of Spain's most prestigious houses.
Last week, IWM played host to two intimate dinners with Ricardo Talenti, the man behind the Brunello estate that bears his last name. Talenti is rare for being one of the few makers of $50 Brunello that I'll carry at IWM. It's hard to find a wine at that price point that I feel confident in, but we've long carried Talenti and our clients have always enjoyed it.
February 3, 2014
Debuting Dal Forno 2008 Amarone, Bodega Chacra Sale, and $50 Barolo!
January 30, 2014
Triumphant Return of ’06 Biondi-Santi Brunello, Vintage George Noellat and $18 Sparkler!
It's a great hedonist treat, a velvet-wrapped experience, and one that makes impassioned converts out of the dubious. It's also a wine whose sheer power and beauty hide all the work that goes into it. Dal Forno hasn't made an Amarone since 2006, and this one will sell out quickly, especially since we're debuting it at the lowest pricing in the States.
Along with this new allocation of Biondi-Santi, I'm proud to present George Noellat Vosne Romanee Les Beaux Monts 1990; it's a voluptuous Burgundy with years of life. I'm also delighted to offer an under $20 sparkling wine from Frecciarossa; you don't need an occasion to open it--you just need a friend.
January 29, 2014
Valdicava's Opulent '09 Brunello Debut, Historic Granbussia and La Gibryotte Mini Vertical
January 28, 2014
Debut 2009 Vigna d'Alceo, Great Brunello Values from Gaja and Canalicchio de Sopra!
Today, I'm proud to debut the 2009 Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino, only the second Brunello from this vintage we've yet debuted. This is, unquestionably, a dark, opulent beauty. We've matched this wine with two other amazing offers, a 1988 Aldo Conterno Granbussia Riserva, and a mini vertical of La Gibryotte Charmes Chambertin.
Today, I'm proud to debut one of the best usual suspects I know: Castello dei Rampolla's Vigna d'Alceo, a superb biodynamically made Super Tuscan. The '08 vintage of this wine was all the rage, but the '09 makes a perfect bookend to that vintage--the wines of this ancient estate seem to get better and better.
January 27, 2014
2004 Quintarelli Amarone Debut, Collector Greats from Montevertine and Luciano Sandrone
January 23, 2014
Vintage Giacosa Barolo Falletto, Antinori's Dessert Wine, and the Prince's Fabled White
The '04 Quintarelli Amarone is the epitome of a collector wine--and given its company in today's eLetter, that's not something I say lightly. For along with this Amarone debut, I'm proud to offer a thirty-year-old Montevertine Le Pergole Torte and a mini-vertical of large format Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne from 1999-2001
Today, I'm delighted to offer three wines that together make for a peak winter experience meal: a famed Fiorano white Semillon, a vintage Bruno Giacosa Barolo, and Antinori's exceptional dessert wine.
January 22, 2014
Debuting Paolo Bea Rosso del Veo 2007, Andre Clouet, and Exclusive Chianti!
January 21, 2014
$27 California Homage to White Burgundy, Quintarelli Debut and Dujac '08 Beauty!
I'm delighted to debut the latest vintage of Bea's entry-level Sagrantino, Rosso del Veo 2007. If you're the kind of connoisseur who revels in wines that are wild, unusual, audacious and beautiful, you'll appreciate this Bea Sagrantino wine; it's a true wine for true wine-lovers.
Along with this American Chardonnay, I'm very proud to debut the 2005 Quintarelli Valpolicella. Giuseppe passed away before this wine finished aging, yet his son and his estate carry on in Beppe's great footsteps.
January 16, 2014
Gravner's Barolo-Like Whites, Landmark Guigal Voignier, and Chavy Chouet St. Aubin 2011
January 15, 2014
Debut 2010 Le Pergole Torte, Best Price on Belair Monange 2009, and Rare San Leonardo in Magnum
Along with this pair of perfectly mature orange wines, I'm pleased to present a great value white Burgundy and a killer Rhône Viognier, Chavy Chouet St Aubin 2011 and Guigal La Doriane 2012. Global wines, great pricing and the unquestionable spice of variety!
Today, I'm proud to debut the 2010 Le Pergole Torte. Put alongside the 2009, the two vintages fit together tongue in groove. Along with this great Italian wine, I'm proud to present one of the great St-Émilions, Chateau Belair Monange 2009, and two vintages of Tenuta San Leonardo San Leonardo, one of the great under-the-radar collector wines--all at extremely competitive pricing.
January 14, 2014
Return of Guado Al Tasso 2010, Sassicaia in Patagonia, and Cru Baby Brunello
January 13, 2014
Best Price on Paolo Bea Santa Chiara, Contino Gran Reserva and Dal Forno Valpolicella!
Today, I'm proud to bring back some of our favorite recent releases: Guado al Tasso 2010, a pair of Bodega Chacra 2010 Patagonian Pinot Noirs, and a cru 2009 Rosso di Montalcino from Fuligni.
Today, I'm proud to debut the 2011 Paolo Bea Santa Chiara, one of IWM's favorite orange wines. People gravitate to these skin-contact wines because they are hefty, complex, weighty wines that drink with the freshness of whites but the gravitas of a red.
January 9, 2014
New Go-To White from Sartarelli, Elegant William Fevre, and Organic Mature Chianti!
January 8, 2014
Arrival of Cupano ’04 Brunello, Great Chateau Plince, and Extraordinary Francois Gay
Today, I'm happy to present Sartarelli Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi Classico 2012 and William Fevre Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses 2009. The first comes from one of our favorite Le Marche producers, Sartarelli.
Today, I'm delighted to announce the arrival of our second allocation of Cupano 2004 Brunello di Montalcino. It's an exotic wine, one that feels like it's both of that Tuscan earth and ascending like smoke into the sky. It's ethereal and earthy and altogether crazy good. I fully expect to sell through this allotment, and I can't urge you in strong enough terms to secure yours soon.
January 7, 2014
Giacosa 2008 Le Rocche Falletto Riserva 2008 Debut, the "Best" Chianti, and Baby Brunello!
January 6, 2014
The Lighter Side of Quintarelli, Bianco Secco 2012, and Artisanal Baby Brunello!
Today, I'm excited to debut the Bruno Giacosa Barolo Le Rocche Falletto Riserva 2008. This wine got some sketchy criticism upon release, but those words just go to show that sometimes critics don't understand a traditional Barolo--or they caught the wine in an awkward, adolescent phase and lacked the vision to see the beautiful adult it would, in time, become.
Many of us are returning this week after the holidays. The Monday after the holidays always gives me a strange combination of reluctance and relief; I’m caught between not wanting the good times to end and enjoying the return to normal life. I love the holidays, the food and the drink, the sharing of love and the making of memories, but I love my work too.
January 2, 2014
Happy New Year! 15% Off Vintage Sassicaia, Bruno Giacosa Barolo, and Antinori Solaia!
December 31, 2013
Happy New Year! And to Make 2014 Great, Valdicava Brunello Sale!
If you're anything like me, you're looking at a depleted wine cellar. The holidays always seem to decimate my cellar. I'm forever dipping into it to open another bottle (or five), to grab a bottle to bring with me, to find that perfect wine to give to an old friend I haven't seen since the last holiday season.
Tonight, all over the world, people will gather together, pop bottles of Champagne or open bottles of wine, watch the clock, kiss one another, and toast to 2014, the new year. It has already happened in Hong Kong, in Australia, in the Philippines. By the time you open and read this e-Letter, it will likely have happened in Egypt, in South Africa, possibly even in Italy, where I will have raised my glass with beloved family and friends.
December 30, 2013
Movia Merlot for $20! Movia Puro Rosé and 20-Year-Old Soldera!
December 26, 2013
Cult Bisson Bianco Marea, Rare Flaccianello Sale, and 1954 Il Barone!
Today's eLetter finds us sitting in what I consider the sweet spot of the holiday season. Wedged between the gift-giving holiday of your choice and the revelry of New Year's Eve, this week rests like the calm center of the storm. It's a time that invariably causes me to pause and reflect, to sit and watch--however briefly--my family and to feel the immense gratitude and love I have for them.
Its terraced vineyards clinging to precipitous cliffs, pictures of Cinque Terre are breathtaking; the truth is somewhat more perilous. Cinque Terre is not an easy place to grow grapes, which is why so many of the small estates have jumped ship. However difficult it is to navigate its seaside cliffs, Cinque Terre has the natural advantages of sea air, stony soil, lots of sun, and millennia of tradition.
December 23, 2013
Favorite Organic Prosecco, 20% Off Wine Clubs, and Under $40 Grower Champagne!
December 19, 2013
Six Vintages of Vigna d'Alceo, and Italy's Answer to Champagne!
The holiday season means a whirlwind of dinners, parties, giving gifts and celebrating life. It means cooking for hours and then sitting for hours and eating, delightedly. It means seeing people you only see a couple of times a year and remembering how much you love them, and it means seeing people you see every day in a glittering, glowing, wonderful light.
Super Tuscans came about as an act of rebellion--a story you might know by heart. Starting in the late 1960s, winemakers in and around Toscana chose to flout DOC rules and make the wines they wanted, often with international varietals or using methods that weren't strictly traditionally Italian.
December 18, 2013
Celebrity Winemakers and Under $20 Wines! Best Price on Chateau Plince and Scrio!
December 17, 2013
Last Poggio di Sotto Brunello Riservas? Simcic Chardonnay and Under $40 Super Tuscan!
Some occasions call for pulling out all the stops--opening that bottle of '88 Granbussia or '97 Biondi-Santi. Other nights call for nice meditative bottle, a thinking wine, something by Quintarelli, Ferrari or Fiorano. Other dinners want a wine that'll make the food sing, something like Solaia, Ornellaia, or Sammarco. But other nights, you need something that's fun, palate-friendly, and delicious. That's where the wines of Quattro Mani come in.
Yesterday's eLetter featured Sangiovese in Chianti, the Italian wine that most wine-lovers taste first. Today, we're featuring the grape in Brunello, the wine that often makes Italian converts out of global wine connoisseurs. Even more specifically, we're featuring two vintages of Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino Riservas.
December 16, 2013
A Celebration of Chianti! Great Iconic Champagne! Vintage Biondi-Santi Riserva!
December 12, 2013
Return of 2007 Talenti Brunello, Great Chavy Chouet, and Cult Valentini!
When most wine-lovers think of Sangiovese, they think first of Brunello. But while Brunello may be the most luxurious, flashy Sangiovese wine, this flexible grape requires a little more exploration. Sangiovese has been pushing its way through the rocky Italian soil since Etruscan times. It's the key to Chianti Classico, many Super Tuscans, Carmignano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and Morellino di Scansano.
In Italy, the holiday season seems to stretch forever. From the beginning of December through to the first week in January, Italians celebrate pretty much non-stop. As a kid, the month-long series of holidays felt like a whirlwind of panettone, panforte, struffoli, and shiny paper-wrapped gifts, of course.
December 11, 2013
Querciabella's Biodynamic Beauties, Fantinel Sparkler Sale, and Gaia & Rey Verticals!
December 10, 2013
Amazing Pricing on Il Palazzone and Domaine Faiveley, and Vintage Sassicaia
Today we're featuring several vintages of Querciabella's Super-Tuscan Camartina, along with a few vintages of the estate's sensational white Batàr, and one of its Chianti Classico. This offer that spans a few years made me think of a small epiphany I had a couple of years ago when tasted three different vintages of Camartina--one from '82, one from '86, and one from '91.
Along with these fine Brunellos, I'm proud to present the biggest list of Domaine Faiveley Burgundy we've yet offered to date. Faiveley might be a big estate, but its wines are terrific. Finally, in time for the holidays, we're presenting a big list of vintage Sassicaia. It's Sassicaia as its makers intended it to be drunk: with age and perfect provenance.
December 9, 2013
Very Special Pricing on Cult Messorio, Cru Barbera, and Soldera Magnums!
December 5, 2013
Movia's Magical Chardonnay, Sandrone "Mini-Verticals," and 2010 Tuscan Icons!
Along with Le Macchiole, today's offer presents two other winemakers whose relationships with their wines is so close they're like family: Piemonte's Braida di Giacomo Bologna and Montalcino's Gianfranco Soldera. The latter is a familiar name to our clients, and the Soldera's 2006 Brunello Riserva in magnum we offer today is a prime example of Soldera's genius.
Ales Kristancic, the owner-operator of the biodynamic Movia estate, has been called a magician, a madman, and a mystic. All of these terms are correct. Ales is completely unpredictable, a philosopher-poet with the tinkling bells of a jester, and his wines reflect his spontaneity, his vitality, and his complete disregard for rules other than the ones he's chosen for himself.
December 4, 2013
Best Price on Cult Valentini! $50 Barolo! And Gaja Grand Cru Verticals!
December 3, 2013
Great Gravner 1993-2005, Collectable Sassicaia and Ornellaia Verticals
The indigenous Montepulciano grape bears no relation to the Tuscan village or wine named after it, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which is made of Sangiovese. This name overlap is just one of the many confusing aspects of Italian wine, but it's one that's worth sorting out. Montepulciano, the grape, grows from Abruzzo to neighboring Le Marche and Molise as well as west to Lazio and as far south as Puglia. Its low acidity and ability to take on color with a very short maceration make it work as a blending grape.
Winemaker, visionary, and maverick, Josko Gravner has asserted that the two main things he has learned in his lifetime were how to ferment and how to prune--and that he was 45 before he learned either. This is a patient man. "My first taste of the wine is after fermentation. Disturbing a wine before is like disturbing a baby before it is born," he said.
November 27, 2013
Our Black Friday Preview, and Benchmark Antinori Brunello for Under $60!
November 26, 2013
Under $120 1949 Ferrari, Off-the-Radar Nuits St. George, IWM's Favorite Value Champagne
Tomorrow's Thanksgiving, and all across America, people are shopping, cooking, and getting ready for tomorrow's feast. It's one of my favorite holidays, and I wish you and your families a very joyous day filled with delicious food, exceptional wine, and great memories.
In September 2011, I was sitting in a small wine shop in Milano, tasting wines with my new friend Alberto, when I looked up on the shelf and spotted the wines of Antonio Ferrari. These wines were a sore spot for me, for I often thought back to them. Years before, I'd tried to secure all four bottlings, but I was only able to talk Ferrari's daughter into selling me the Solaria Jonica. I still felt that loss.
November 25, 2013
Massolino's Exceptional Cru Barolos, Our Favorite Grower Champagne, and Under $30 José Dhondt
November 21, 2013
Soldera's Mythical Pegasos Returns, Special Pricing on Classic Krug, and $25 Aldo Conterno
Franco Massolino is an exceptionally good-looking man. Late thirties and tall, with short, cropped hair, he's got a model's looks; he's also very reserved, quiet, and exceptionally gracious. The first time I visited the Massolino estate in Serralunga about ten years ago, he led my friend Stefano and me down the stairs, through the door, and into a very unassuming cellar. One squat room it was markedly unexceptional. Then he led us through a courtyard and up a stairway to a similarly stark tasting room--just a table, six chairs, a counter, and a door to the home where the family lives.
The center of Gianfranco Soldera's Case Basse vineyards is punctuated by a knobby little hillock, a tiny rounding of the earth. You wouldn't even notice it if Soldera had planted it to vine, it's that small. The hillock isn't remarkable. What's remarkable is the spectacular olive tree that grows on it. Silver barked and impossibly gnarled, this tree is a thousand years old. It was there when the Normans conquered southern Italy, sacking Sicilia. It grew as Petrarch wrote his sonnets in the fourteenth century, as Leonardo da Vinci drew, painted, invented, and created in fifteenth-century Florence.
November 20, 2013
Triumphant Return of 2009 Solaia, Historic Masseto Vertical, and Spain's Best Wine Value
November 19, 2013
Paolo Bea Tasting Case, Vintage Biondi-Santi, and Under $40 Cru Barolo
As much as I enjoy debuting new wines and introducing new producers to you, I have a soft spot in my heart for wines I know and love. Today, I'm delighted to bring you three offers that revisit familiar territory: Antinori Solaia 2009, vintage La Rioja Alta, and a highly collectable twenty-year vertical of Masseto.
Giampiero Bea is a soft-spoken, thoughtful man with a mop of hair and long, almost delicate fingers. He resembles a young Martin Sheen; he definitely has the actor's quiet intensity and wry humor. Giampiero was once an architect. He got drawn into making wine at Paolo Bea, his father's Umbrian estate that has been in the family for a half century, when he was asked to design wine labels.
November 18, 2013
Debut of Two Begali Amarone, IWM's Thanksgiving Case and $100 Vintage Barolo
November 14, 2013
Return of 2010 Redigaffi, Great Super-Piemonte Blend for $20, and Best Price Batàr
If red wine is a spectrum, you've got lean reds at one end, monster reds at the other, and big reds somewhere in the middle. A lean red doesn't just have a thinner body; it has a certain delicacy. It tends to be a wine of finesse and, if you're one to talk enological descriptions, one with lower alcohol and lighter tannins.
Listen closely to any wine connoisseur's discussion about the world's great Merlots such as Château Pétrus and Le Pin, and you'll invariably hear comparisons being made to a few Italian wines. This list will undoubtedly include Tenuta dell Ornellaia's Masseto, but it's also likely to include Tua Rita's Redigaffi, the perennial darling of wine critics and wine lovers alike. It's almost impossible to get ahold of Masseto, but Tua Rita's Redigaffi, one of the great Italian mono-varietal Merlots, is only slightly more available.
November 13, 2013
Debuting 2009 Salvioni Brunello, Jermann's Affordable Whites, and Great Grattamacco!
November 12, 2013
"Barolo Bianco" from Cornarea, Great Scavino Barbera, and Value Alain Gras Burgundy!
A balanced cellar has wines to drink now, wines to drink soon, and wines to drink down the road. It also has wines to drink with your Tuesday night take-out, wines to impress, and wines to celebrate--because wine isn't just about timing; it's also about making a good time even better. This time of year, as the holidays approach, it's important to take stock of what you've got in wait.
Nebbiolo is arguably the defining grape of Piemonte. Barolo, the "King of Wines," and Barbaresco, "the Queen of Wines," sit at the top of the heap in Piemonte. Below these two Nebbiolo wines sits Barbera, "the People's Wine," and a few rungs below rests Dolcetto, "the little sweet one." But growing amidst the hills and swirls of Piemonte grow a treasure trove of grapes that you might not ever have heard about. Barbera Bianca. Erbaluce. Somillon. Freisa. Pelaverga. Ruche. No wonder why Italian wines always have the potential to surprise and delight.
November 11, 2013
Debuting the Acclaimed '10 Guado al Tasso, Vintage Mastroberardino, and $42 Brunello!
November 7, 2013
'08 Biondi-Santi Brunello Arrives! Historic Giacomo Conterno, and Sammarco 2000-2006
Some great winemakers make a wine and it's etched in stone. It's the way they make it, and they're never going to revise their process. Quintarelli, Mascarello and Mastroberardino--whose landmark Radici Taurasi Riserva we offer today in three amazing vintages--are all producers who found a wine and a methodology that worked for them, and they never tinkered with it. What wasn't broken never needed fixing, and their string of extraordinary wines speak for themselves and the wisdom of their makers.
IWM began debuting the 2008 Brunello during the last week of January. In the intervening ten months, we've slowly rolled out wines from our clients' favorite well-known producers--Canalicchio di Sopra, Valdicava, Salvioni, Gaja and Antinori--as well as bottlings from more under-the-radar but nonetheless great estates like Cupano, Barrici and Cerbaiona, announcing the wines' arrivals one by one.
November 6, 2013
Final Bottles of Historic Poggio di Sotto, Benchmark Sandrone and Great Bodega Chacra
November 5, 2013
Sassicaia's First-Rate Second-Tier Wines, a Pair of Great Burgundies, and $36 Baby Barolo
Toscana is breathtakingly beautiful, and Poggio di Sotto has an astounding view of it. The estate sits on the top of a hill, its buildings surrounded by fragrant lavender and rosemary bushes. Just beyond the driveway that curls around the house like a comma, the vineyards slope downward, where striated lines of vines run in parallel stripes like elementary school writing paper.
It's pretty easy to make the argument that the biggest wine movement in the last fifty years is the Super-Tuscan. The story goes, briefly, like this: in the first half of the twentieth century, Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta chose to flout tradition and DOC rules and to make Cabernet-based wines in the style of Bordeaux. A revolution was born with the release of the 1968 Sassicaia, and a new crop of highly collectible, hotly desired, and incredibly tasty wine was the serendipitous result.
November 4, 2013
A Return to 2004 and 2006, Benchmark Artisanal Brunello for $65, and Vintage Soldera!
October 31, 2013
Return of the Best Guado al Tasso Yet, Great Guigal Ex-Voto and Vintage Movia Gems!
In just a couple of weeks most Americans will be gathered around a table with loved ones eating what is probably America's most distinctive meal: Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving festivities require a lot of planning. Where to get the turkey, yams, and cranberries? Who's going to bake the pies? And what's the right wine to pour?
Sometimes the critics get it wrong; sometimes they get it right. Today, I'm delighted to feature a wine that may prove the latter: Antinori 2009 Guado al Tasso, which many critics have hailed as the best vintage yet. This allocation is our second, and I expect it will go as quickly as the first. This Guado al Tasso vintage manages to have it all--richness, elegance, texture, aromatics, tannins that grab your tongue in a velvety grip.
October 30, 2013
A Solaia to Drink Now, Vintage Vigna d'Alceo and Artisanal $20 Cru Barbera
October 29, 2013
Introducing Cupano, Montalcino's Next Superstar! Dugat-Py and Col d'Orcia!
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of introducing one of my new favorite finds, the wines of Cupano, a Montalcino estate that--already iconic in Italy--is poised to take the States by storm. Today and tomorrow, I'm doing something a little different. I'm revisiting wines that I know and love.
Cupano's Ornella Tondini and Lionello Cousin make you feel as if anything is possible. They're 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.
October 28, 2013
Presenting Our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide! Great Gaja for Under $45!
October 24, 2013
Sassicaia's Under-the-Radar Neighbor, $32 Alain Gras Rouge, and Rare Biondi-Santi
The holiday season is coming, and that's something to celebrate. Today, I'm delighted to present the 2013 IWM Holiday Gift Guide. We chose wines that we love, wines that you've come to love, and wines that we're certain that you, your friends, your family and your colleagues will love.
Yesterday, we offered a historic collection of Sassicaia, from 1978-2009. Today, I'm delighted to complement this icon of Super-Tuscan wine with its under-the-radar, affordable neighbor, Grattamacco. My clients know that Sassicaia became the very first Super Tuscan in 1968. Many, however, don't know--or have forgotten--that Bolgheri's second Super Tuscan came from Grattamacco.
October 23, 2013
Sassicaia Offer! Exclusive Antinori Pinot Nero! And Under $40 Super Tuscan!
October 22, 2013
Barat 2011 Classic Chablis, Fuligni Brunello Magnums, and the Last '04 Valdicava Riserva?
Before the 1960s, no one considered crafting a Bordeaux-style wine from vines grown in Italy, much less from fruit grown along the Mediterranean coastline of Toscana's Maremma. People thought this region was unfit for quality wine production; no one thought Bolgheri's sea winds and salty air could possibly make for great grapes.
Yesterday, I was proud to debut a new set of offerings from IWM, our starter cellars. While the majority of these collections featured only Italian wines, one set, our World of Wines cellar, culled bottles from around the globe. As IWM has grown, I've tried to find new way to meet our clients' needs. No one, not even I, drinks just one country's wines. Ask even the most stalwart Italian producers, and they're going to admit finding joy in Burgundy, Bordeaux and beyond.
October 17, 2013
Rare Quintarelli Amarone, Under $24 St. Verans, and Two Beautiful Dessert Wines
October 16, 2013
Best Guado al Tasso Yet? Gallois Gevrey Chambertin and Querciabella Camartina
Renzo Cotarella's motto is "Have passion for everything you do in life." That seems like a tall order. It's hard to think of sustaining the level of energy you'd need to feel passion for everything, from work to family, from hobbies to sports, from shopping for t-shirts to driving your kids to ballet and soccer. But if there's a person who has that drive, it's Renzo Cotarella, the lead enologist at Antinori for the past thirty years.
Renzo Cotarella's motto is "Have passion for everything you do in life." That seems like a tall order. It's hard to think of sustaining the level of energy you'd need to feel passion for everything, from work to family, from hobbies to sports, from shopping for t-shirts to driving your kids to ballet and soccer. But if there's a person who has that drive, it's Renzo Cotarella, the lead enologist at Antinori for the past thirty years.
October 15, 2013
Exceptional Dal Forno '06 Amarone, Giacosa '09 Barolo Falleto, and Burgundy Legend Armand Rousseau
October 14, 2013
Four Beautiful Faces of the "Sassicaia of the South," Montevetrano
Enthusiasts and collectors often divide themselves into camps: the diehard Mascarello fans, the Biondi-Santi obsessives, those who worship at the altar of Valentini, for example. People who understand the inherent quality in a Giacosa Barolo may not quite be able to comprehend the '01 Masseto.
Fourteen years ago on Columbus Day, I opened the doors to Italian Wine Merchants. In those days, it was just a few guys and me in the first floor of the 108 E. 16th Street location we still occupy. Perry, the Zen Master of IWM, and Gilardo, the man who keeps the cellar humming, are two people who have been with me since the beginning.
October 10, 2013
Fall Weather Wines: Nicolis Valpolicella and Amarone, Meo Camuzet, and Ferrari Il Barone
October 9, 2013
Is 2010 the Best Masseto Yet? Intense Alain Gras and Great $50 Cru Barbaresco!
Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara and Croatina. Valpolicella, Amarone, and Appassimento. The grapes, the wines and the methods of the Veneto look strange to Americans. It's little wonder that people in a culture saturated by talk of Merlots and Cabs feel intimidated when they gaze at so these exotic terms.
It's true: Merlot is not the first grape you usually think of when you think of Italian wine. "Italian wine" probably calls to mind Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Barbera or even Grignolino and Dolcetto, the grapes we featured yesterday. Still, Merlot, a French grape, stands at the center of one the most formative moments in my life in Italian wine.
October 8, 2013
Great Piemonte Natives, Grignolino and Dolcetto! Benchmark Vintage Gaja Brunello!
October 7, 2013
Soldera's Extraordinary 2004 Brunello Riserva, Great Old-Vine Voillot, and Affordable Italian Merlot
The wine world looks to Piemonte for the greatest interpretations of one major grape: Nebbiolo. The King of Wines, Barolo, and the Queen of Wines, Barbaresco, rule the region, while the People's Wine, Barbera, happily gets drunk by those of us waiting for those Nebbiolo wines to age. But Piemonte grows more grapes than these three.
I remember the first time I ever encountered the wine that I'm featuring today, Gianfranco Soldera's 2004 Brunello Riserva. I had met Gianfranco a few hours after he'd finished his 2010 harvest, and his cellar was already as clean and orderly as if it were January. We went out to dinner, and Gianfranco brought along a couple of bottles, including the '04 Riserva.
October 3, 2013
38-Year-Old Giacosa Barolo! 67-Year-Old Sherry! And Great Gavi for $20!
October 2, 2013
Under $75 Artisanal Amarone, Gaia & Rey Halves, and Puglia's Forgotten Treasure
Every palate is different. The differences don't just stem from preferring one style, type or bunch of flavors over another; the differences also rest in experience. A new, inexperienced palate simply isn't prepared to understand mature wines the way a sophisticated palate can. That's not to say that a wine newbie won't enjoy drinking a mature wine,
Yesterday, I wrote about the connection between wine and music, especially the literal connections, the ways that some producers use music as a muse for their winemaking. Today, I want to talk a little about poetry and wine.

Nobel Prize winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda writes eloquently and abundantly about love. It's therefore not surprising that he also writes about wine. He begins his "Ode to Wine" like this:
October 1, 2013
The Nebbiolo of the South, Historic Montevertine Offer, and 20-Year-Old Gaja Brunello
September 30, 2013
Debuting 2009 Aldo Conterno and 2011 Emmanuel Rouget! Under $90 Vintage Sandrone!
"Wine is bottled poetry," said nineteenth-century British author Robert Louis Stevenson. You can also make a strong argument that it's also bottled music. More than rock-star turned winemaker Sting, who has an estate in Toscana, there are Italian winemakers whose love of music is as integral a part of their winemaking protocol as their botti. There's Le Marche's Terrazze, for example, whose Antonio Terni takes inspiration from Bob Dylan songs,
Today, I'm proud to debut the 2009 Barolos of Aldo Conterno. This vintage was warm, but it was also fairly perfect for all its heat. Put this kind of ripe vintage in the hands of winemakers like those at Poderi Aldo Conterno, and you get wines with power, verve, and muscle
September 26, 2013
The Sassicaia of Sardinia, Great Veitliner Value and Artisanal Barbaresco for Under $50!
September 25, 2013
Vintage Galardi Terra di Lavoro, Vintage Pomerol, and Sicilia's Under-the-Radar Gem
Wine is no stranger to the South. Some of Italy's best and strongest grapes--Aglianico, Nero d'Avola, and Primitivo--grow in the South's arid climate, making for millennia of powerful wine. But you'd never know it; until recently, Southerners lacked both the economic structure and the good name necessary to successfully market wine themselves.
Platters of antipasto--a tomato bruschetta over roasted mortadella; folds of prosciutto; a large white scallop shell filled with slices of sepia, raw scallions, crunchy peppers, rucola, and radicchio; balls of milky bufala mozzarella breaded, fried, and topped with soft ricotta and tomato sauce; and deep, fatty slabs of wild boar sausage. Plates of thick pappardelle pasta mixed with pheasant ragout; short
September 24, 2013
2010 Silvia Imparato Montevetrano Debut! Vintage Mascarello and Great Gravains!
September 23, 2013
Rinaldi Barolo, Old and New! Four Flaccianello Tasting Cases and One Great Burgundy!
By this time in September, Italy's winemakers are preoccupied with harvest. They're picking their grapes, they're just about to pick their grapes, or they've just picked them. Weighing the decision of when to pick is a delicate balance involving not merely which day but when during the day or night. From the moment the grapes turn ripe, rapid-fire decisions slam producers,
The word "maverick" comes from nineteenth-century rancher Samuel Maverick who flew in the face of convention and didn't brand his cattle. Unbranded cattle were hence called "mavericks," and the word has come to mean anyone who resists following the madding herd. This idea encapsulates Giuseppe Rinaldi, a winemaker who has devoted himself to bucking trends and blazing new trails
September 19, 2013
Best $50 Barolo Yet? Ponsot Chambolle-Musigny, and Debuting Querciabella '09 Chianti!
September 18, 2013
Cerbaiona Rosso di Montalcino, Betts and Scholl Hermitage, and Le Pupille Poggio Valente
In the morning, there's a little bite to the air, and the sky seems to be a slightly starker shade of blue. I've reached for a sweater twice in the past week. The foods I crave have begun their subtle shift from lightly grilled fish, ripe tomatoes still warm from the sun, and corn on the cob to slightly heavier fare--Branzino Arrosto, Trenette Genovese, or even Brasato al Barolo
First, we're spotlighting the 2010 Cerbaiona Rosso di Montalcino. It's so good that it redefines its genre. Cerbaiona, one of IWM's favorite producers, consistently makes excellent wine, but this vintage bumps it up to a stellar level. Priced at just under $50, this wine lets you experience the skill and care Cerbaiona takes with its Brunello--and to do it sooner and at a fraction of the price.
September 17, 2013
Exceptional Rioja Reserva, Bouchard Pere & Fils Magnum, and '99 Brunello for $80!
September 16, 2013
Best Redigaffi Yet? The Last Carillon Clos St. Jean, and Sassicaia Gifts for Wine-Lovers
Last week, Rafael Nadal won his thirteenth Grand Slam title when he took the men's final at the US Open. Spain is hot in tennis--and soccer, for that matter--and the same can be said about wine and food. I love visiting Spain; outside of Italy and the States, it's my favorite place. It's tough to come up with a more vibrant, exciting, delicious city than Barcelona.
The word "gift" is surprisingly fluid. The first meaning that usually comes to mind is what you give or get on birthdays, holidays and anniversaries--that mysterious box with the gilt paper and the big bow. But it also means attributes, talents and skills that certain lucky people, places or things have. And, of course, it's also the act of giving, of offering up to someone a token of your respect, love and appreciation.
September 12, 2013
Under $17 Valpolicella, Outstanding Vosne Romanee, and Rare Quintarelli!
September 11, 2013
Giacomo Conterno's Stunning Barbera, Bodegas Emilio Moro Debut, and Vintage Granbussia
I've always believed that you can drink great wine at all price points, and today's offer that begins and ends with two classic Veneto wines proves this truth. I'm delighted to debut the 2011 Valpolicella from Venturini Massimino today.
Simplify wines to their essences, and there are two kinds. Not red and white, not still and sparkling, not sweet and dry, not Old World and Modern, not even the ones you love and the ones that you loathe. There are blends, and there are wines made from one single grape.
September 10, 2013
A Return to 2002, Lucien Boillot Pommard, and Rare Voerzio Riserva Mags!
September 9, 2013
Debuting 2010 Solaia, Standout Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet, and Cervaro Magnums!
I remember hearing from my winemaker friends during the summer of 2002. There was hail in Piemonte, torrential rains in Montalcino, monsoons in Chianti. They weren't painting a pretty picture, and I felt for them. When the weather doesn't cooperate, winemakers sound like farmers.
Drive along the highway that leads to Bargino, a small town sitting between Siena and Florence, and your eye might catch two horizontal slashes in the hillside--but then again, it might not. Two umber and steel undulating parallel lines in the earth are all that mark the new Antinori headquarters in Toscana, opened a year ago next month.
September 5, 2013
Cascina Francia Debut, Under $90 Pousse d'Or, and Rare Quintarelli Valpolicella
September 4, 2013
Benchmark Cru Brunello Riserva, Vintage Scrio and Gruaud Larose Magnums!
This past Tuesday, I was proud to debut the 2006 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfortino Riserva. We have almost four more months left in 2013, but this wine just may be the new release of the year. Today, I'm just as pleased to debut the estate's 2009 Barolo Cascina Francia. It's the ideal closure to a week that began with Monfortino,
Technically, when you see "Riserva" on a Brunello label that means the wine has aged a year longer than regular Brunello. As with most things in the increasingly complicated world of wine, a Riserva is not always what it seems. Indeed, making a Riserva presents a financial problem for many producers because its presence takes up valuable cellar space.
September 3, 2013
Debut of Monfortino 2006, Under $60 Château Bélair-Monange, and Rare Vintage Soldera
August 29, 2013
Giacosa Asili Barbaresco, 43-Year-Old Biondi-Santi, 15-Year-Old Cascina Francia
Twice in my life, I've drunk the best bottle of wine I've ever had. This sentence might seem to be contradictory, but it's really not--at least not if you understand the situations and the wines as I do.
Today, I'm proud to offer you one bottling, each from an iconic producer of each of these three "B" wines: Bruno Giacosa 2009 Barbaresco Asili, Biondi-Santi 1970 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, and Giacomo Conterno 1998 Barolo Cascina Francia. Collector's items all, these aren't the first Italian wines that newbies are going to pick up.
August 28, 2013
Burgundy Meets Bussia, Historic Louis Jadot and Legendary Le Pergole Torte
August 27, 2013
Under $50 Brunello, Maltroye's Unexpected Chassagne Rouge, and Miani's Cult Sauvignon
The late, great Aldo Conterno had patience; he was a man who was fully absorbed in his winemaking--open a bottle of his Barolo, and you could taste his dedication, something that's true to this day. This single-mindedness wasn't constrained to just his Nebbiolo wines, either.
Almost more than any other region in Italy with the exception of maybe Barolo, Brunello is a crazy-quilt rollercoaster of zones, elevations, exposures, terroirs and soils. Just 3,000 acres, the DOCG of Brunello di Montalcino offers a breathtaking breadth of conditions for its more than 200 producers.
August 26, 2013
14-Vintage Streak of Montevetrano, Rare Large Format Monfortino and New Release Pegau
August 22, 2013
Burgundy’s Best Under-the-Radar? Great Value Champagne and Under $55 Sammarco
It's hard to find one or two vintages of Montevetrano. I worked very hard to secure fourteen. This Campanian beauty is an age-worthy wine; it's like Sophia Lauren in a bottle--fully Italian, even if it speaks several languages. I'm very happy to complement these wines with two other greats: large format bottlings of 2002 Giacomo Conterno Monfortino and the 2011 Pegau Cuvée Reservée.
You’re not going to find much about Burgundy’s Domaine Bachey-Legros on Parker or the Wine Spectator; it’s an under-the-radar estate that makes consistently beautiful, genuine Cote de Beaune Burgundy. This family-owned-and-operated estate, run by Christiane Bachey and her two sons, has been an overwhelming client favorite at IWM.
August 21, 2013
Great Sangiovese: 2009 Le Pergole Torte and Cult Classic Cerbiaona. And 2011 Chavy-Chouet!
August 20, 2013
Is Rosso di Montalcino Your Baby Brunello? Also, Francois Gay and Under $60 Brunello
When most people think of Sangiovese, they think of Brunello. But that thinking is short sighted. Sangiovese has been pushing its way through the rocky Italian soil since Etruscan times. It's the key to Chianti Classico, many Super Tuscans, Carmignano, Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, and Morellino di Scansano, among others, and it's spawned two major clones,
Rosso di Montalcino often gets called a "baby Brunello." Some people take exception to this name, arguing that Rosso di Montalcino is its own wine, and Brunello is its own wine, and never confuse the two. But the facts of the situation argue for an inextricable relationship.
August 19, 2013
2006 Biondi-Santi Riserva, Under $50 San Polo Brunello, and Vintage Masseto in OWC
August 15, 2013
Giacosa La Rocche Falletto Debut, Under $55 Antinori Brunello, and Lord of the Vines!
Almost six years ago, I had lunch with Franco Biondi Santi. We drank a 1970 and a 1971 Il Greppo Brunello di Montalcino, and he opened a 1998, but we didn't drink much of it. We took a sip of it, but not more than a sip. Franco then made a surprising suggestion, one that runs counter to the conventional wisdom that a wine that has been open more than a couple of days should be thrown away.
Bruno Giacosa stands as one of Piemonte's great winemakers. The Langhe is a very traditional place, and like most of the region's important producers, Bruno trained at the knees of his father and his grandfather. They brought him up to revere his roots, those both literal and metaphorical. And while Bruno's choices in the cellar reflect the technological advances of a modern age, he's never
August 14, 2013
Quintarelli Amarone Riserva, Ferrari's Undiscovered Gem, and Best Cervaro Yet?
August 13, 2013
Movia's Engaging Puro Rosé, Emmanuel Rouget's 2010 Achievement, Rare Sandrone Magnum
No one knows how Giuseppe Quintarelli made his wine--or, I should say, no one outside of his family who assisted him in the vineyard and in the cantina and who have taken over the winery after Beppe's passing last year. I'm not being hyperbolic when I say that Quintarelli's skills eluded the wine industry.
I've known Ales Kristancic longer than I want to admit, and so I can say with certainty that there is no one like him. Ales has been called a magician, a madman, and a mystic. All of these terms are correct. Ales is completely unpredictable, a philosopher-poet with the tinkling bells of a jester,
August 12, 2013
A Return to 2001's Exceptional Wines, and 500 Wines Up To 25% Off
August 8, 2013
Guado al Tasso 1990-2009, Gravner 2005 Anfora, and Last Chance on Paolo Bea!
In addition to this list of '01 wines, my staff has assembled two lists of wines with very limited allocations--one of global wines and one of Italian wines, and both with special pricing. As fall comes, IWM's cellars need to make room for new releases, and this means parting with some spectacular bottles at really attractive pricing. We're featuring more than 500 wines, so you're sure to find a bottle that's on your wish list.
I feel lucky to have the kind of relationship that I do with Piero, and with his three daughters, so that I can source these vintage bottles carefully and present them with clear, direct provenance.
August 7, 2013
The Historic 2010 Bordeaux, Il Palazzone's Stellar Super Tuscan, Bodega Chacra Pinot
August 6, 2013
Baricci 2008 Brunello Debut, 2008 La Forge de Tart and Aldo Conterno Mags!
The truism goes that no man is an island. What's true in humankind is equally true in winemaking: it's all connected. Just as no human exists without relationships to other people, all wine and winemakers have ties to other wines, other winemakers. Today's offer is an example of this inextricability, and if you look at these ties, you see less a straight line than an infinite and complex spider web of connections.
Today, I'm very proud to debut the new releases from Baricci, the 2008 Brunello and the 2011 Rosso di Montalcino. I first tasted Baricci's wines almost a decade ago. They were hard to find and impossible to secure. Nello Baricci, who founded the estate, and Pietro, who took it over, sold most of their tiny output in Italy, exporting a few cases to Germany. For a long time, none made it to the States.
August 5, 2013
$99 for the Best Antinori Brunello Yet, and Ten Rare Bottlings from Edoardo Valentini
August 1, 2013
The Passion of 2010 Tignanello, Great Meursault Value, and $20 Artisanal Pinot Grigio
I'm proud to be able to offer the Pian Delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Ferrovia 2007 for just $99 a bottle. It's a great deal on an excellent vintage of Brunello.
Renzo Cotarella looks like the leading man from a Federico Fellini movie. His face holds that Marcello Mastrioianni rough-hewn handsomeness. He's more charismatic than forthrightly good-looking, and his strong unabashed mustaches make him look like he's living in the '70s. Renzo,
July 31, 2013
$60 Super Super-Tuscan, Fontodi Does It Again, and Château Léoville-Las Cases 2008 Triumph
July 30, 2013
New Release Redigaffi, Benchmark Sandrone Barolo, Great Vintage Gaja Brunello
It's not unusual to be a winemaker who crafts Bordeaux-style wines in the Maremma hills of Toscana--the makers of Ornellaia, Sassicaia and Messorio all settled in what was then considered Maremma to make their wines (since that time borders have shifted a bit). What's unusual about Fattoria Le Pupille is less the estate's choice to make the Super-Tuscan Saffredi,
The wines from Tua Rita wrap you in a warm, strong embrace. It is, actually, their dominant feature. But as big and powerful as they may be, they also have a natural beauty that comforts you from the inside and gives you this feeling of invincibility and heat. This week, I'm happy to announce the release of the new vintage of Redigaffi, the estate's extraordinary mono-varietal cult-making Merlot. It's a big, beautiful wine, and one that could only come from the very heart of Italy.
July 29, 2013
Large Format Cascina Francia Barolo, Antinori's Answer to Meursault, and Domaine Leroy's Meursault les Perrieres
July 25, 2013
$23 Spectacular Sicilian Red, Matrot Does It Again, and Muffato in Magnum!
I'm delighted to complement this masterful red with three glorious white wines: two vintages of Piero Antinori's Umbrian beauty, Cervaro della Sala, and one Meursault from one of Burgundy's most exacting, infuriating and formidable winemakers, Madame Lalou Bize Leroy. As different as these wines may be, they all evince the complexity that comes from holding the Chardonnay grape up to rigorous standards. These are glorious white wines--and wines that, like the Barolos of Giacomo Conterno, would be understood by their makers' ancestors.
Today, I'm proud to highlight the estate's entry-level red, a Nerello Mascalese Rosso that's wild, dark, and flecked with Etna minerals. It's a wine that sings of thousands of years of Sicilian history--and promises a rosy future for this island. You'll drink it up, I assure you.
July 24, 2013
Solaia from Debut to Current Release, and Gaja’s Wine of the Vintage!
July 23, 2013
$20 Biodynamic Verdicchio, 31-Year-Old Biondi Santi Riserva, and Six Vintage Sperss Sampler!
Today, I'm proud to shine a spotlight on Antinori's Solaia, the wine known as "the sunny one" that derives from a 50-acre vineyard adjacent to Tignanello, its sibling. I'm featuring the most recent release of Solaia, the balanced, classic 2009. But I'm also offering a rare historic vertical of every vintage of Solaia: 31 years and 27 vintages.
Today, I’m happy to bring you a biodynamically grown and carefully made wine from the heart of Verdicchio country: Pievalta Verdicchio Castello di Jesi Superiore 2011. It’s a fresh, thrilling wine that packs a deeply satisfying punch for less than $20. Not every wine needs to be complex and demanding; sometimes you want to open a bottle that feels like a fresh breeze from the Adriatic. This wine is for those moments, all summer long.
July 22, 2013
Tignanello Triumph, Rare Tignanello 26-Vintage Vertical, Under $30 Rijckaert!
July 18, 2013
The Perfect Hot Weather Red, Classic Fontodi Flaccianello, and Bonneau du Martray's Best Yet?
Today, I'm delighted to offer you a new allocation of the 2009 Tignanello, a wine we sold out of twice before. A wine that blends Old World elegance with Italian style, Tignanello has always been an IWM client favorite, but this vintage is a standout. You don’t want to miss it. I’m also proud to offer collectors an IWM exclusive: a 26-vintage Tignanello vertical that spans 29 years. It’s an extraordinary testament to this iconic wine.
When the weather's as hot as it is right now across the Eastern Seaboard, it's hard to make decisions. I thought I'd narrow the field for you and choose three beautiful wines, any one of which would be perfect to drink tonight--or any night.
July 17, 2013
Domenico Clerico New Releases, Rare Giacosa Riservas, and Valdicava's Best Brunello Yet?
July 16, 2013
Pre-Arrival 2006 Sammarco for Under $60, Vintage Gaja, and Fiorano Whites
In the mid-1970s, Domenico Clerico traded in a sales briefcase for a shovel in the Langhe Hills of Piedmont. He didn't adhere to the practices of his neighbors or to his family's mantra; he quickly took to innovation and purchased single-vineyard plots. Following his own singular beliefs, he unabashedly created modern Barolo using tools that would make the local traditionalist winemakers cringe:
So often we get so focused on looking for the new and better that we forget about the usual suspects. The thing is, though, when I think back to the wines that the industry said were "new and better" ten, five, even a couple of years ago, not many of them have stuck--most of them have been weeded out by the market.
July 15, 2013
Latour Giraud’s 2011 Triumph, Miani’s Cult Calvari and the Best ‘10 Chateauneuf-du-Pape?
July 11, 2013
$20 Barbera, $27 Le Macchiole, and Gaja's Best Brunello Yet?
When IWM first started promoting our Burgundies in our e-Letter offers, it surprised some of our clients. After all, Italian wines are more than a part of this company’s name; they’re our first, greatest passion. And yet, when I chose to expand and carry non-Italian wines, it felt like an organic move. I had always picked the wines and the producers according to their own merits; to expand this process beyond Italy’s borders felt right.
It's time to salute the "People's Wine," Barbera. Like Barolo and Barbaresco, Barbera is a signature wine of Piemonte--in fact, most Barbera comes from producers who also make either Barolo or Barbaresco, or both. Barbera is like the fun, friendly kid next door. It's the grape that's always up for anything, a smile on its face, a bit of mischief in its heart.
July 10, 2013
Pieces of Poggio di Sotto History, Giacosa Falletto for $149, and Great Everyday Trapet!
July 9, 2013
Under $30 Biodynamic Sicilian, $35 Valdicava "Baby Brunello," 1967 Barolo!
Some estates surprise you with their very ordinariness. Montevertine, for example, uses a repurposed horse barn as its cellar. It’s phenomenally unprepossessing in its physicality, this easily overlooked building that serves as the birthplace for some of the world’s great wines. Other estates gleam or sprawl, a strange counterpart to the deeply intimate experience of drinking their wines.
I've spent thousands of days in Italian vineyards. I've travelled from from the Alps of Alto Adige to the volcanoes of Sicilia, meeting the people who make the wines, looking at the grapes they grow, touching their vineyards' soils, tasting out of countless barriques, botti, amphorae and tanks. One thing I can say for certain is that Italy has an astounding range of wines.
July 8, 2013
The Last of Quintarelli '04 Valpolicella? Collectable Sassicaia Cases, and More!
July 3, 2013
A Return to 2000, $99 Brunello Riserva, Biodynamic Chardonnay
I hope you and your family enjoyed a wonderful 4th of July weekend! I'm going to keep this introduction short. The wines I'm featuring today will be familiar to my clients--they're some of IWM's and my own personal favorites.
About a month ago, we took a look back at 1999. I wrote about the warmth of the vintage, and how the challenge of a warm vintage rests not in getting ripe grapes--heat essentially promises ripeness--but in harvesting balanced grapes. I talked about how the flesh of a grape can ripen while the seeds remain green, and that this disparity can lead to the creation of unbalanced wines, wines that may taste great upon release
July 2, 2013
$20 Go-To Summer Whites, One Storybook Semillon, and Maltroye's 2011 Triumph
July 1, 2013
Two Brunello Samplers, Great Big Bottles for the 4th, and Under $100 Brunello Riserva
Let's take a moment to celebrate white wines. So much of Italy's wine reputation stems from its reds, the famous Amarones and Brunellos and Barolos and Super Tuscans, the indigenous Sangiovese and Aglianico and Sagrantino, the lesser known yet greatly beloved regional reds like Frappato, Teroldego, and Refosco. But Italy is home to great white wines.
The beauty of excellent Brunello is in its astounding diversity--well, its diversity, its age-worthiness, its ability to carry its terroir like a song, and its exceptional deliciousness. Montalcino isn't big, but it offers 24 distinct microclimates. Today, I've selected two six-pack samplers that pull from all the major winemaking areas, and that represent the wide stylistic swath cut by this beloved wine.
June 27, 2013
Delicious Talenti Brunello, $24 Burgundy, Affordable Cult Tuscan Wines
June 26, 2013
Delicious Talenti Brunello, $24 Burgundy, Affordable Cult Tuscan Wines
It's true that the pinnacle experience of a great meal is matching the wine and the food together so that each bite, each sip creates this synchronous event of food and wine. But most people just think about the food and the wine and they don't take into account the other factors--the totality of the experience, if you will.
Delicious" might be the most underused word in wine vocabulary. When I read wine reviews, I see a lot of words that kind of apply to wine. For example, I notice lots of analogies that liken the taste of wine to something else: berries, cherries, citrus, leather, tar, roses, nettles, cloves, cinnamon, smoke, chocolate, espresso or less savory similes.
June 25, 2013
Cult Quintarelli Alzero, Large Format Classic Sassicaia, and Historic Ornellaia Vertical
June 24, 2013
Under $55 Montevertine, Rare Granbussia in Magnum, and Francois Gay's Triumph
It's hard to think of a more all-star offer than today's: a new release of Quintarelli's cult Alzero, Sassicaia in magnum from the extraordinary vintage of 2004, and a straight vertical of Ornellaia that spans the wine's whole 25-year history.
Of all the producers making wine in Toscana, only a handful master Sangiovese, the region's most emblematic grape. And of that handful, only a couple make a Sangiovese-based wine that truly tastes only of Toscana. Montevertine is one of those producers; their Sangiovese wines simply sing with the taste of Toscana.
June 20, 2013
Paolo Bea's Full-Bodied Beauty, Vintage Cru Fontodi Chianti, and Grattamacco Six-Pack
June 19, 2013
Italy's Merlot Contender, Under-the-Radar Soldera, and Under $23 Baby Brunello
Today, I'm delighted to debut the Paolo Bea Santa Chiara 2010, the sister orange wine to the Arboreus Bianca I highlighted last week. I'm complementing it with wines from two of my favorite Tuscan producers: Fontodi and Grattamacco. The former producer gives us a classic aged Chianti Classico, organically grown and beautifully mature; the latter a six-pack of its understated, elegant Bolgheri Rosso Superiore from two complementary vintages.
Talk to just about any winemaker and he or she will tell you, "Wine is made on the vines." It's a phrase that's become commonplace in the wine industry, one that kowtows to the current fashion that suggests that wine is just a natural product. It is, of course--and it isn't.
June 18, 2013
IWM's Most Historic Biondi-Santi Offer to Date!
June 17, 2013
Historic Rioja, Vega Sicilia's Toro Sensation, and Collectable Sagrantino
The Biondi-Santi estate, Il Greppo, looms large in the landscape of wine. It's the birthplace of Brunello di Montalcino, first and foremost, but it's so much more than that. Clemente Santi might have isolated the Sangiovese clone that has come to be known as BBS11, and his son Ferrucio might have used it to create the Brunello we know and love, but Tancredi Biondi-Santi realized the wine's ability to age.
I founded IWM in 1999 with the idea of bringing the best Italian wine to the US, educating people to understand and appreciate them, and helping my clients build a balanced collection. Those were interesting times. Lots of wine-lovers had yet to branch beyond California or France, and Italy was still a vastly uncharted territory for many people,
June 13, 2013
Paolo Bea's Transcendent White, Two Valdicava Brunellos at the Country's Best Pricing
June 12, 2013
World History in a COS Wine, Burgundy's Philippe Colin Does It Again, Benchmark Gaja Sperss
Whenever I taste through the range of Paolo Bea's wines, I am struck by how each one is so beautiful, so unique, so different, and yet each is a progression. There's a line that strings Bea's unique wines together, almost like a coda in a song. These are wines that defy understanding; wines that are made without temperature control or sulfur aren't supposed to be stable, consistent or reliable.
Sitting pretty in the center of Mediterranean trade routes, Sicilia has a long and complicated history. Greeks, Byzantines, Goths, Spaniards, French, British have conquered the island repeatedly. But beyond its hotly contested political ground, Sicilia has a rich history when it comes to wine.
June 11, 2013
Gaja's Maremma Triumph, Rare Large Format Le Pergole Torte and Cult Miani Rosso
June 10, 2013
Hofstätter's Amazing Gewürztraminer, Bodega Chacra for Under $20, and Collectable Soldera Riserva
To taste is to distinguish flavors, to experience, to enjoy, and to perceive. In other words, taste is necessarily personal and deeply subjective. It's also the most underdeveloped sense. Sure, there are truly talented tasters, but most people are products of their environments. If you grew up eating processed cheese slices, it's hard to comprehend the beauty of a chunk of Parmigiano the first time you try it.
Wines of the fall and winter are intellectual. Brooding Barolos and thoughtful Amarones take concentration, patience and devotion. I love them, but they're not the wines I reach for in June, when all I want to do is be outside playing soccer with my kids or lounging in a hammock with nothing on my mind but the clouds scudding across the sky.
June 6, 2013
Debuting Another Great from the Quintarelli of Umbria, Le Macchiole for Under $35, and Great Vosnee Romanee
June 5, 2013
A Return to 1999, Timeless Giacomo Conterno, and Dominique Gallois Does It Again
"I don't go this way because of the advantage," Giampiero Bea, winemaker at Paolo Bea and Paolo's son, says about making his natural wines. "I go this way because of conviction." When Giampiero talks about why he makes his wines the way he does--without additives, yeasts, or temperature control--his speech speeds up and his voice grows more emphatic.
When you've got a glass of Rinaldi Barolo, Quintarelli Amarone or Biondi-Santi Brunello in front of you and you're drinking it--smelling all the rustling fall leaves, blowing chestnuts and sun-warmed fruit, feeling it move with grace across your tongue, scattering more flavors in its wake,
June 4, 2013
Gaja Barbaresco Retrospective, Under $80 Gruaud Larose, and René Leclerc's Best Wines Yet?
June 3, 2013
New Release from the "Master of the Vines," Quintarelli's Favorite, and Vintage Sammarco
"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large -- I contain multitudes." Walt Whitman wrote these lines in his poem "Song of Myself," his renowned poem about identity. While Whitman's poem explores in a broad context what it means to be human, the poet could've been writing it about Angelo Gaja.
Central Italy has brought us great men and ideas throughout history: Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals whose convictions were in part a product of his home region of Umbria; the great Renaissance master Raphael of Urbino, whose and brush rendered the skillful portraits of Agnolo and Maddalena Doni and the inspiring frescoes of the Vatican's Stanza della Segnatura;
May 30, 2013
Classic Mascarello Barolo, Benchmark Sassicaia, and Under $30 Louis Jadot
May 29, 2013
The Best Antinori Cervaro Yet? Extremely Rare Giacosa and Amazing Méo-Camuzet 2011
Barolo is not the wine of instant gratification that changing palates are demanding. "No Barrique, No Berlusconi" was Bartolo Mascarello's anthem. This man of unyielding conviction, who inherited his father's passion for both the grape and politics, passed away in March, 2005.
The past few days, I've been announcing an upcoming event featuring Marchese Piero Antinori. I'm always proud of our winemaker dinners. These events let IWM's clients get to know the people who made the wines they love, to hear them tell stories and to ask questions.
May 28, 2013
Four Powerful Vintages of Vigna d'Alceo, Collectable Soldera Riserva, and 2010 Baby Brunello
May 27, 2013
Historic Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Retrospective and More!
Brother and sister Luca and Maurizia di Napoli run the Super-Tuscan estate Castello dei Rampolla. They resemble intellectual, aristocratic Italian versions of the farmers you see in upstate New York. They're serious people who are serious about their biodynamic farming. Ask Luca about why he chose to take the estate biodynamic in the '90s and his face lights up, his voice grows animated, and his passion crackles.
Happy Memorial Day to all of you! It's the official start of summer, and I wish you a long one full of memories with friends and family, good food and great wine, sunny days and starry nights.
May 23, 2013
Debuting 2011 Guidalberto and Pavelot 2011 Burgundies, and Sandrone Benchmark Six-Pack
May 22, 2013
Antinori's Value White, Benchmark Gaja Brunello, Seghesio "Baby Brunello"
This week, our eLetters have been a celebration of Bolgheri Super Tuscans. We began with a historical offer of Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia, the wine that ignited the Super-Tuscan revolution in 1968. Then we debuted the 25th anniversary release of Ornellaia, an estate that's so close to Tenuta San Guido that they're related by blood--Lodovico Antinori, the original owner of the Ornellaia estate,
The land of Brunello, Chianti and Super-Tuscans, Toscana isn't known for its White wines. It's true that the vast majority of grapes that grow well in Toscana are Red wine grapes: Sangiovese, primarily, but also Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc, Syrah, and Petit Verdot.
May 21, 2013
25th Anniversary Ornellaia, Striking Merlot from Galatrona, and Rare Gravner Retrospective
May 20, 2013
Sassicaia 1982-2006, Outstanding Under-the-Radar Brunello for $63, and Francois Gaunoux Elite Burgundies
Tenuta dell'Ornellaia is a fascinating place. It's a big estate. Though founded by Ludovico Antinori, it's now owned by Frescobaldi, and it sprawls across almost 475 acres, and every bit of it looks as if it was tended to just minutes ago.
Like most Italian aristocrats, Mario Incisa della Rocchetta grew up drinking the best of Bordeaux and Burgundy. When he settled with his wife at the Tenuta San Guido estate, he noticed that the Bolgheri soil looked like the soil in the vineyards of the Graves appellation in Bordeaux--rocky, as the name Graves, or "gravel" in French, suggests.
May 16, 2013
Debut of the "Best Le Volte" Yet, A Historic List of Monfortino, and One Special Gaia & Rey
May 15, 2013
The Great Guado al Tasso, Debut of a 100-Point Bordeaux, and 27 Years of Gaia & Rey
Ornellaia is a press darling and an international superstar, no question about it. Currently owned by the Frescobaldi family, Tenuta dell'Ornellaia is one of the most well known Super-Tuscan estates, and it makes the kind of wine that has fanatics counting the days until a new vintage comes on the market.
While tradition is Italy's undisputed strength, Italy's winemakers have always welcomed change, and Italians' taste preferences have always evolved. For example, until the 1840s when Louis Oudart changed winemaking protocol, Barolo makers used their Nebbiolo to create a sweeter wine.
May 14, 2013
Benchmark Brunello for Under $50, Bruno Giacosa Cru Sampler, Collectable Antinori Cabernet Franc
May 13, 2013
Vintage Greats from Antinori, Domaine Clape Does It Again, and IWM Exclusive San Polo Brunello
In wine, as in life, timing is everything. Wine is a living thing, and it has stages of life just as we humans do. In the botti or the vat, it's a kid, a wild thing without any discipline. It can act like a poorly behaved toddler, a bunch of gangly teens at a forbidden house party, or even like a bunch of little girls having tea.
Why do mature Italian wines taste better in Italy? Aside from the influence of ambiance and less disturbance due to travel, the answer is clear: while the wines of Italy lay in the shadows, collectors in the U.S. pampered their big name Bordeaux wines, tucking them away in climate-controlled cellars where they would sleep peacefully until reaching maturity.
May 9, 2013
Surprising Gaja Retrospective, Cerbaiona "Baby Brunello," and the $59 World-Class Super Tusca
May 8, 2013
Pinot Grigios to Get Excited About, Benchmark Aldo Conterno Six-Pack, And Mature Paolo Scavino Cru Barolo for $149
Ever since Angelo Gaja took over his family estate in 1962, his wines have divided oenophiles into two impassioned camps. There are the Gaja lovers--those collectors who believe his wines constitute the DRC of Italy; who argue that the wines age beautifully and seemingly forever;
Summer on the Italian Riviera is hot. The sky turns a Technicolor shade of blue that seems to have originated in Saturday afternoon cartoons, and when the sun is out and the sky is clear--which happens often--the ocean becomes a kaleidoscope of subtle blues and greens.
May 7, 2013
Sergio's European Gems, Vintage Batàr for $69, Sammarco for Under $60
May 6, 2013
New Release Fontodi, Groundbreaking Super-Tuscan Saffredi, and What May Be the Port of the Century
This past February, I wrote an introduction for an offer of more than ninety Quintarelli wines that talked bout how IWM does things differently than other wine merchants. In many ways, this Quintarelli offer was a continuation of everything I've always done here at IWM: work hard to bring you the best wines with impeccable provenance.
When Fontodi's Giovanni Manetti chose to expand the estate by building an addition to its cellar, he chose to do it in a way that gives honor to the Conca d'Oro, the golden crescent in Chianti where this estate rests. The addition is a very large, lofty room with cathedral ceilings, warm wood, a tile floor, and a giant skylight. Most remarkable is that in the middle of this addition grows a towering tree whose branches reach toward the ceiling.
May 2, 2013
Return to 1998, Giant Soldera Offer, and Free Ground Shipping!
May 1, 2013
Terra di Lavoro 2009, the Biggest List of Rinaldi Barolo Ever, and Claude Dugat's Affordable Burgundy
The ability to age well is the greatest indicator of quality--in life and in wine. Just as you can't label a boxer great if he wins his first three matches, you can't label a wine great if it tastes good a year or two after release. But if you open a bottle from 1961 and the juice still tastes gorgeous--which doesn't necessarily imply that it tastes young--you know you've stumbled upon a fantastic product.
I look at the wines we're offering today and feel a lot of pride. In the spotlight is Galardi's new release of its one wine, Terra de Lavoro. Galardi comes from Campania, and though my family and I live near Genoa, in many ways Napoli will always be my home. I have great affection, feelings that glow with childhood's golden aureole, for Italy's South.
April 30, 2013
IWM's First Brunello 2008 Round-Up, Vintage Flaccianello, and Under-$30 Delicious Burgundy
April 29, 2013
Revisiting Old Favorites: Collectable Quintarelli Baby Amarone, Benchmark Cerbaiona, and the Nebbiolo of the South
The beauty of Brunello is in its astounding diversity. It's the grape that made Montalcino, dragging it from dusty obscurity into gleaming fame, and growing in that region's 24 distinct microclimates, it makes for a breathtaking range of wines. As diverse as Brunello is, the wine it makes is marked by typicity, great taste and ageability.
The wines of Giuseppe Quintarelli demand the fervor of Masseto, embody the magic of Fiorano's forgotten wines, and merit the respect of Bartolo Mascarello. They have always sat among IWM's fastest selling wines--which, when you consider the price that Quintarelli Amarone command, is saying something.
April 25, 2013
Two World-Class Rosé Samplers, a Piece of Barolo History, and Lush Gevrey-Chambertin
April 24, 2013
Faiveley 2011 Triumphs, Rare Ponsot Vertical, and a "Secret" Super Barbera
I'm in New York City right now, and I seem to have timed my visit just right. The trees are all blooming, creating a pastel bower on side streets, scattering pink and white petals everywhere. The tulips show lemon yellow, tomato red, and carrot orange. The air smells like sun-warmed dirt and hyacinths.
As many of you know, IWM has expanded into carrying global wines in the past couple of years, and I'm especially proud of the Burgundy collection that we've secured. In fact, we're now one of the leading retailers of Burgundy in the States. The way we choose our Burgundy is exactly the way we choose our Italian wines:
April 23, 2013
Revisiting Solaia 2008, Vintage Sammarco for $55, A Pair of Great Friuli Reds
April 22, 2013
Celebrating Earth Day with Bea's Entry Level Beauty, Radikon Merlot, and Perfectly Aged Sassicaia
Even after hundreds of years of great wines, the Antinori family still tends its vines as if they were infants, making improvements each year. You glance down from Fonte di Medici, the Antinori agriturismo--worth a stay on your next visit to Toscana--into the vineyard, and you notice the work.
Today, 22 April 2013, all the peoples of the world come together to celebrate Earth Day, a day to appreciate our natural environment and to raise awareness of how our choices impact the Earth. I can't think of a better producer to celebrate Earth Day than Paolo Bea.
April 18, 2013
Fuligni New Releases and Old Favorites, Debut of Bordeaux En Primeur, Artisanal Italian Rosés For Spring
April 17, 2013
Affordable, Approchable Monteverine, SQN's Cult California Gems, and Paul Belicard's Under-The-Radar Burgundies
Writing about wine is difficult--you're moving from a sensual experience to a critical expression, and that's always hard. Simplicities are made. Nuances get lost. And in building a lexicon of "useful" wine terms, people have lost sight of what's really important about wine.
Sangiovese is a special grape. It's the emblematic grape of Toscana, sure, but it's more than that. It's a grape that has overcome its own bad reputation, and it has done so in no small part because of producers like Montevertine. In these days of frenzied Brunello releases and great mono-varietal Sangiovese wines like Montevertine's Le Pergone Torte and Fontodi's Flaccianello, it's easy to forget that just a few decades ago Sangiovese was, by and large, plonk.
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Per Linda Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Cerasuolo 2009 750ml Per Linda Cerasuolo 2011 750ml
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Per Linda Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Cerasuolo 2009 Per Linda Cerasuolo 2011
Adam Pinot Grigio 2011 750ml Quattro Mani Toh-Kai 2010 750ml
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Adam Pinot Grigio 2011 750ml Quattro Mani Toh-Kai 2010
Fantinel Prosecco Brut Extra Dry NV 750ml Domaine Barat Chablis 1er Cru Cote de Lechet 2010 375ml
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Fantinel Prosecco Brut Extra Dry NV Domaine Barat Chablis 1er Cru Cote de Lechet 2010 375ml
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Serafini & Vidotto Bollicine Di Prosecco NV 750ml Frecciarossa Riesling Frizzante NAI 2008
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Il Conventino Rosato del Conventino 2011 750ml Fontodi Chianti Classico 2010 375ml
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Il Conventino Rosato del Conventino 2011 750ml Fontodi Chianti Classico 2010 375ml
Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Vermentino 2012 750ml Le Pupille Poggio Valente 2004 750ml
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Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Vermentino 2012 750ml Le Pupille Poggio Valente 2004 750ml
Querciabella Chianti Classico 2009 750ml Cappellano Barolo Chinato NV 500mll
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Querciabella Chianti Classico 2009 750ml Cappellano Barolo Chinato NV 500ml
Domaine Barat Chablis 2010 750ml Frecciarossa Riesling Gli Orti 2008 750ml
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Domaine Barat Chablis 2010 Frecciarossa Riesling Gli Orti 2008
Frecciarossa Riesling Gli Orti 2009 750ml Ca dei Mandorli Brachetto d'Acqui 2012 500ml
Price: $22.00
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Frecciarossa Riesling Gli Orti 2009 750ml Ca dei Mandorli Brachetto d'Acqui 2012 500ml
   
 
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