From Italy's South to Its North--Wines from Graci, Poggio di Sotto and Sandrone!

February 15, 2018
A Note from Sergio

If you're anything like me, you've been enjoying the 2018 PyeongChang winter Olympics--and they have been exciting. Watching the skiers power down those mountains, those skaters glide across the ice, and the snowboarders flip those incredible tricks, I'm reminded how twelve years ago, the winter Olympics were in Torino, in Piemonte, Italy, and I'm thinking about how loving wine can be a lot like rooting for your home team.

Let me put it this way: the Piemontese are obsessive about their regional wines. They're so loyal and so convinced of the superior quality of their own wines that they often refuse to consider the value of a wine from a different locale. Like most Italians, the Piemontese regard their wines as their pride and joy; unlike most Italians, they probably won't ever keep a bottle of wine from Toscana, Umbria, or Lombardia in their cellars; you won't find a Brunello di Montalcino or a Montepulciano in one of their restaurants. Then again, why should you? Piemontese wines are complex and spectacular, both in scope and quality, so it could seem as if you need look no further than your own region to slake your thirst for fine wines.

In this way, Piemontese wine-lovers are being provincial, choosing to enjoy only what's close to home. Similarly, when we watch the Olympics and root only for American athletes--or only Italians--we're missing out on the full spectrum of athletic magnificence, power, and grace that's open to us. Today, I've chosen a bottle of wine that would make a Piemontese very happy, Luciano Sandrone's brilliant 2013 Barolo Aleste, but I've also chosen bottles from Italy's South--a trio of Graci's outstanding recent releases--and Italy's middle--some beautiful magnums of Poggio di Sotto Brunello Riserva. Choosing these wines is a reminder to experience a range of wines (and root for athletes from other countries). There is beauty in diversity!


Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence:
Explosive, Mineral-Laden, and Delicious Graci Trio
2. Only At IWM:
Benchmark 2010 Poggio di Sotto Brunello Riserva Magnums
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Historic, Brilliant Sandrone 2013 Barolo Aleste
4. Wine Events: Upcoming February Wine Tasting Events

My Best,

Sergio Esposito


Estate owner Alberto Graci comes from a long line of Sicilian winemakers, but he turned his back on the family history, choosing to become an investment banker in Milan. In 2004, his grandfather died, and Alberto returned to Sicilia. He sold his family's lands located in the center of the island, and he bought property in Passopisciaro, on the slopes of Etna, an ancient winemaking site. The Graci estate now ranges across 52 acres, 36 planted to vine and the remainder dotted with olive and apple trees. Today we're proud to present three recent Graci releases, the estate's delicious 2016 Etna Bianco, its complex 2015 Etna Rosso, and its superb Graci 2015 Etna Bianco Arcurìa, a cru white that explodes with volcanic terroir.

Graci's entry-level Etna Bianco lays its succulent stone and citrus fruits on a bed of crushed rocks, white flowers, olives and savory herbs. The Etna Bianco, a 70% Carricante and 30% Cataratto blend, matches its sweet citrus fruits with saline minerality in an energetic, harmonious body. Like the Etna Bianco, Graci's Etna Rosso is unapologetically Sicilian. This mono-varietal Nerello Mascalese wine bursts from the glass with notes of cassis and blackberry fruits, tarry earth, and savory herbs, and it feels silky yet substantial as it builds to a mineral-laden, lip-smacking finish. Finally, Graci's '15 Bianco Arcurìa bewitches with its tropical and citrus fruits, crushed river rocks, wildflower petals, spices, and a touch of petrol. At once fleshy and vibrant, this mono-varietal Carricante coats your palate with a creamy texture and shows a captivating balance between sweet fruits and stony minerality.

IWM's portfolio managers have long loved Graci's wines, and these recent releases show why. They're a perfect marriage of Graci's high-altitude, volcanic terroir, the estate's traditional winemaking protocol, and its indigenous Sicilian grapes. Making the choice to grow and vinify its grapes without intervention, Graci mindfully crafts wines that are layered, evocative and site specific. There's only one place they could come from--and that is Sicilia. Today's Graci trio gives you a panoramic view of this very special organic estate and of the traditions of Sicilian winemaking. They're outstanding Sicilian wines that you'll want to enjoy again and again--contact your portfolio manager to secure yours!

Graci 2015 Etna Rosso
(Italy, Sicilia - Nerello Mascalese)
$27.99 Regular Price
$25.75 Case Price/btl

Graci 2016 Etna Bianco
(Italy, Sicilia - Carricante, Cataratto)
$27.99 Regular Price
$25.75 Case Price/btl

Graci 2015 Etna Bianco Arcurìa
(Italy, Sicilia - Carricante)
$52.99 Regular Price
$48.75 Case Price/btl


Today, we're delighted to present a big wine in a big bottle: Poggio di Sotto's outstanding 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva in magnum! The past few years have seen two major changes at Poggio di Sotto--Piero Palmucci's selling the estate to ColleMassari, and the passing of consulting enologist Giulio Gambelli--yet Poggio di Sotto continues to craft intense, pristine, and detailed wines. ColleMassari made a good choice in securing consulting winemaker Federico Staderini, whose team employs scrupulous protocol in the vineyards and maintains prime conditions in the cellar. Poggio di Sotto's latest Brunello releases show all the estate's hallmarks; they're aromatic, transparent evocations of the estate's unique terroir. IWM has long claimed that Poggio di Sotto's Brunellos are a league apart, and this '10 Brunello Riserva has more of everything that you've come to love from this estate: more complex aromatics, more velvety texture, more energy, and more staying power in the cellar, making it ideal for large format bottles.

Why Buy This Wine:

- By now, you probably know that the 2010 vintage in Montalcino wasn't merely a benchmark year; it reset the entire scale, and Poggio di Sotto's '10 Brunello Riserva reflects the greatness of the vintage.

- Dense, intense and powerful, this '10 Brunello Riserva nearly explodes from the glass in pyrotechnics of juicy blue and black fruits, warm saddle leather, cigar wrapper, licorice, crushed wildflowers, menthol and minerals.

- This wine balances its sheer power with its precision, and while rather full-bodied, a lively vein of acidity keeps it nimble.

- Crossing the palate with considerable energy, this Brunello Riserva releases a sweet inner perfume and builds to a lingering, complex finish.

- Beautifully representative of its benchmark vintage, this '10 Brunello Riserva needs some time in the cellar before true approachability, making these magnum bottles ideal for wine enthusiasts with room in their cellars.

- Poggio di Sotto's Brunello Riserva is a collector favorite, and every new release further cements the wine's reputation as a cult favorite; contact your portfolio manager to secure your 2010 magnums at the BEST PRICE in the States.

Poggio di Sotto 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva (1.5L)
(Italy, Toscana - Sangiovese Grosso)
$995.00 Regular Price


Since he was a teen, Luciano Sandrone wanted to be a winemaker. Sandrone began his career as a cellar-man working in the historic Marchesi di Barolo estate, saving his money until he could afford to buy his first parcel of land, 2.5 acres in Cannubi Boschis in 1977. A master winemaker with holdings in some of the most legendary plots in Barolo, Sandrone's highly sought-after Barolos sit among the elite wines of Piemonte, if not the world. For these reasons, Luciano can afford to be sentimental--and to take risks. In 2013, Luciano decided to rename his renowned Barolo Cannubi Boschis to honor his two grandchildren, Alessia and Stefano, a surprising rebranding, but when you have about forty years of winemaking behind you, you can make these kinds of changes without fear. Today, we're very proud to present a new allocation of Luciano Sandrone's cru Barolo Aleste from the radiant 2013 vintage.

Why Buy This Wine:

- Sandrone chose a good vintage to launch a new name for its flagship Barolo--2013 is shaping up to be a benchmark vintage, and the '13 Barolo Aleste brilliantly evokes its classic, brilliant vintage!

- Formerly called "Barolo Cannubi Boschis" for its famed cru in Barolo, Sandrone's Barolo Aleste is the same wine, made the same way, just renamed in honor of Luciano Sandrone's two grandchildren, Alessia and Stefano.

- At once succulent and savory, the luminous '13 Barolo Aleste layers its sweet, pure Nebbiolo fruit with warm saddle leather, saline minerals, crushed rose petals, baking spices, licorice and earth.

- This ethereal, silky wine feels electric in the mouth, but its polished, fine-grained tannins and sturdy core of minerality give it a sense of power and weight--it's a terrific embodiment of its benchmark vintage!

- The grapes for this cru Barolo derive from a five-acre plot at the top of the Cannubi hill, and, though this wine has a new name, this powerful, full-bodied Barolo is a perennial IWM client favorite; contact your portfolio manager to secure yours.

Sandrone 2013 Barolo Aleste
(Italy, Piemonte - Nebbiolo)
$159.00 Regular Price
$149.00 Case Price/btl

This offer will expire in 48 hours on February 17th at 11:59pm EST.


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

Regular Ticket Price: $129.00/person

IWM Host: Will Di Nunzio, President

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

*Wines to be announced.

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

Regular Ticket Price: $129.00/person

IWM Host: Francesco Vigorito, Vice President of Sales

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

*Wines to be announced.

Monday, February 26 | 7:00-10:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Dinner Tasting

Regular Ticket Price: $399.00/person
Early Bird Ticket Price: $299.00/person (Expires: Sunday, February 18)

The wine world lost one of its greats when Bruno Giacosa passed away at the end of January at the age of 88. It's hard to overstate the importance of Bruno Giacosa. He stands as one of the most respected producers of traditionally styled Barolo and Barbaresco, crafting long-aging wines that are beloved by aficionados and coveted by collectors. Working with his father, Bruno became fascinated by traditional Piemonte grapes, particularly Nebbiolo, and this training formed the basis of the Giacosa philosophy that brought us wines like his iconic Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto and Barbaresco Asili, as well as his beloved Barbarasco Rabajá, Barolo Falletto, and other fine bottlings. Join IWM as we celebrate the life, the work, and the passion of Bruno Giacosa with a special dinner featuring Giacosa's wines. IWM's own Chef Michael Marcelli and his in-house kitchen staff will create a unique three-course menu, with each dish designed to pair with celebrated Giacosa wines. An exceptional experience for lovers of Bruno's inimitable wines, this intimate evening will be filled with delicious food, great wines, terrific conversation and love for the late, great Bruno Giacosa, the "Genius of Neive."

Featured Wines & Menu:

Bruno Giacosa Dolcetto d'Alba 2015
Bruno Giacosa Barbera d'Alba 2015
Bruno Giacosa Spumante 2007

Dunderet di Patate
Gnocchi Piedmontese, Ragu of Wagyu Beef, Parmigiano & Sage

Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco 2014
Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Asili 2012
Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Santo Stefano 2011

Carne I
Maiale con Funghi e Castagne
Mangalitsa Pork Shoulder, Maitake Mushroom & Chestnut

Bruno Giacosa Barolo Rocche 2013
Bruno Giacosa Barolo 2012
Bruno Giacosa Barolo 2008

Carne II
Coda di Bue Brasata
Braised Oxtail, Red Onion, Fontina Val d'Aosta

Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Asili Riserva 2011
Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Asili Riserva (3L) 2007
Bruno Giacosa Barolo Rocche Riserva 2008

To Be Announced

*Wines may be subject to change.
IWM will do our best to accommodate guests' dietary restrictions with advanced notice.

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

IWM Gift Cards