Benchmark Breakthrough Sandrone Barolo! Artisanal Barbera! And Seghesio's "Baby Barolo"

April 28, 2016
A Note from Sergio

Superior quality, highly limited production and extreme demand create the perfect storm of value. And in the world of wine, few producers meet the criteria of this perfect storm like Piemonte's Luciano Sandrone. Italy has more than its fair share of boutique producers, but within that elite class, Sandrone takes an unusual spot. Among other types of wine, Sandrone makes Barolo, the most iconic wine of Italy, and he makes it with a contemporary flair. While most Barolos feel strange and forbidding to the palates of modern wine drinkers, Sandrone's have a phenomenally accessible, easily knowable style. Let me use a literary analogy to explain: if traditionally crafted Barolos are Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum, a Sandrone Barolo is Eco's Name of the Rose: unmistakably a Barolo, but one created with a more populist audience in mind.
Sandrone's Barolo embodies a blazing image of what it means to be valuable, but a wine like his 1990 Barolo Cannubi Boschis entirely redefines that idea of value because it adds a gloss of winemaking history. Luciano started making his own wine after buying a plot of land in 1977, crafting his Barolos in his parents' garage, and he did it all while working at the Marchesi di Barolo estate, all the time tinkering with his own protocol to make Barolos that spoke to him. Luicano's first breakout vintage was the 1989, but the 1990 truly put him on the wine world's radar. It was a lush, powerful, finessed Barolo, and it caught everyone's imagination. Almost thirty years later, it's still a wine of incredible depth, nuance and intensity. I've managed to score a few bottles of Sandrone 1990 Barolo Cannubi Boschis, and you serious Barolo lovers need to experience this wine.

Two more Piemonte wines flesh out today's offer--a gorgeous artisanal Barbera from San Giuliano and a beautiful Langhe Nebbiolo from Renzo Seghesio. Both of these wines are meticulously made, each embodies its traditions, and neither with break the bank. If you love Piemonte wines, you should reward that passion with one or both of these bottles. You can't do much better for their price points.

Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence:
 The 1990 Barolo Cannubi Boschis That Made Luciano Sandrone
2. Only At IWM: 
Under $27 Cru Barbera from San Giuliano!
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Seghesio's Outrageous "Baby Barolo"
4. Our Experts Suggest: 
Roger Coulon's Anytime Champagnes
5. Wine Events: Upcoming April / May Wine Tasting Events

My Best, 

Sergio Esposito


Since he was a teen, Luciano Sandrone wanted to be a winemaker. He began his career as a cellar-man working in the historic Marchesi di Barolo estate, saving his money until he could afford to buy his first parcel of land in Cannubi Boschis in 1977. Because he cleaned out his savings to buy this land, Sandrone made his wines at home in his parents' garage, quietly working and revising his techniques until he caught the wine world's attention in 1989 and 1990 with great critical attention. Since then, nothing has slowed down for Sandrone, and it would seem that neither he nor his fans would want it to.

Today, we're very proud to present the 1990 Barolo Cannubi Boschis, the wine that solidified Sandrone's position on the wine world's map and the first bottle he released after leaving the Marchesi di Barolo estate. This is a historic bottle of wine; it signals the arrival of Sandrone, a shift to more modernist wine styling, and the memorialization of a truly great Barolo vintage. But even with all its historical significance, this Barolo Cannubi Boschis will impress for its sheer massive beauty. Although 1990 gave Sandrone a ripe year, this Barolo balances its freshness with its maturity, holding the drinker in tension between its luscious, sweet fruit and its tertiary notes; simply exquisite, this '90 Barolo Cannubi Boschis pushed Luciano Sandrone into the limelight, and almost three decades later, it illustrates how great this winemaker is.

The fruit of a warm vintage, this '90 Barolo Cannubi Boschis underpins its pure red berries and black cherries with brooding notes of tarry earth, crushed violets and rose petals, licorice, truffle, minerals, and warm saddle leather. Beautifully balanced, this wine swaddles the palate with a velvety feel, scattering fine-grained, polished tannins as it builds to a nearly infinite finish. The grapes for this cru Barolo derive from a five-acre plot at the top of the Cannubi hill and ferment in open-top steel tanks, and the wine ages in 500-liter oak casks, one-quarter new, followed by eighteen months in bottle before release. Sandrone crafted just fewer than 700 cases of this standout cru Barolo in 1990. It's a hard-to-find wine, and it is an extraordinary one.

Like Paolo Scavino, Luciano Sandrone straddles the line between traditional and modernist Barolo maker. It's always wonderful to enjoy a Barolo that is in its ideal drinking window; it's even better to do it without depleting your own cellar. This offer gives Barolo enthusiasts a rare opportunity to enjoy a Sandrone Barolo that is immediately enjoyable, and our Sandrone fans know how special that experience is in an ordinary vintage; in a historic vintage like 1990, Sandrone Barolo Cannubi Boschis is transcendent. Contact your portfolio manager to secure this perfectly mature Barolo Cannubi Boschis before our bottles fly out of our cellar doors!

(Italy, Piemonte - Nebbiolo)
$799.00 Regular Price
$699.00 Special Price/btl


Giulio Pastura carries on his grandfather's Piemontese legacy by crafting some of Piemonte's highest-quality bottlings. He and wife Mariella Stupino tend to the vineyard and cellar by themselves, producing wines from their Nebbiolo, Moscato, Barbera, Dolcetto, Arneis and Brachetto grapes. Owning 18 acres of vineyards within Roero, Asti, Neive and Barbaresco, San Giuliano wines reflect their makers' deep attentiveness. Opportunely placed, the estate's vineyards benefit from excellent exposure to southern sunlight and cooling breezes, producing robust vines ranging from fifteen to sixty years old. The wines of the San Giuliano estate are expressive of the passion and deep personal involvement that goes into each of their creations. Today, we're delighted to present San Giuliano 2013 Barbera Fiore di Marcorino, a gorgeous, artisanal Barbera that will thrill your palate. Priced at just over $25 a bottle, the BEST PRICE in the country, this delicious, food-friendly interpretation of the "People's Grape" might just be your new go-to red!

Why Buy This Wine:

- It's almost summertime and the drinking should be easy--and this Barbera from San Giuliano will make it easy, delicious, and thrilling. 

- At just over $25 a bottle, the BEST PRICE in the country, this cru Barbera crafted from partially dried grapes packs a distinctive, delicious punch. 

- The estate makes only 330 cases a year of this seriously high quality Barbera, making it not only artisanal but one of the wines with the best price-to-quality ratio that we carry!

- The vines range in age from fifteen to sixty years old and benefit from excellent southern sunlight exposure, giving them that robust character that is required to produce amazing Barbera.

- With a nose that's earthy and full of spice, this San Giuliano '13 Barbera is gorgeously fruit-forward with blackcurrant and black cherry notes, showing hints of earth and spice on the finish, and its dusty tannins are perfectly balanced with its sprightly acidity. 

- This food-and-wallet-friendly Barbera marries a tiny producer and an affordable price tag together in a fresh, delicious, compelling red that's as enjoyable now with your steak off the grill as it will be with pizza this fall.

- Contact your portfolio manager to secure this Barbera at the BEST PRICE in the country; it might be your new favorite food-friendly go-to wine!

(Italy, Piemonte - Barbera)
$26.99 Regular Price
$24.83 Case Price/btl


IWM can't get enough of this Langhe Nebbiolo wine from Renzo Seghesio, one of our favorite artisanal Barolisti. Known around the office as a "baby Barolo," Seghesio's Langhe Nebbiolo performs like an approachable, nimble Barolo at a fraction of its big sibling's price. For more than a century, the Seghesio estate has been crafting its wines in famed Monforte d'Alba; only the estate's tiny production numbers have kept it a relative secret. Though Renzo Seghesio may be new to you, it's a long established, small-production house, and today, we're delighted to present the estate's 2011 Ruri Langhe Nebbiolo, a wine that lets you immediately enjoy Nebbiolo both early and often. Seghesio Barolo can go for more than twice the price of its Ruri Langhe Nebbiolo, so this '11 Nebbiolo, priced at just over $36, the BEST PRICE in the country, offers an extraordinary value and makes the perfect introduction to the estate, to Nebbiolo and to Barolo.

Why Buy This Wine:
- The Seghesio family produces wines in Piemonte's first-rate district of Monforte d'Alba, and their fine Nebbiolo derives from Pajana della Ginestra, a vineyard made famous by Domenico Clerico, making this "baby Barolo" one terrific value.

- Made from grapes grown on the estate's more youthful vines, this bottle is driven by cherries, vibrant and tons of fun; this "Baby Barolo" offers telltale Nebbiolo aromatics, flavors and tannins but at a fraction of the price and with immediate gratification.

- A beautiful wine that can be drunk young (as opposed to most Barolos), the Ruri Langhe Nebbiolo offers classic aromatics of red cherry, dried roses, violets, mild spices and marjoram, with a hint of smokiness.

- Its palate balances cherry candy with brooding notes of leather and spices, and it finishes with grippy tannins that can only come from Nebbiolo.

- With its firm drying tannins and complimentary spice accents, Seghesio Ruri Langhe Nebbiolo is the perfect companion to grilled lamb in the summertime or wintertime beef stew.

- Only IWM can offer this exceptional "baby Barolo"; contact your portfolio manager to secure yours at the BEST PRICE in the country.

Renzo Seghesio 2011 Ruri Langhe Nebbiolo
(Italy, Piemonte - Nebbiolo)
$36.99 Regular Price
$34.03 Case Price/btl 

This offer will expire in 48 hours on April 30th at 5:00 pm EST.


After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Crystal worked in hotels, luxury resorts, and in sales and marketing with wine companies, including IWM's outpost in Hong Kong. She has returned to our New York team, bringing her experience, expertise and enthusiasm from her adventures and travels in Asia.
Drinking Today: Roger Coulon NV Brut Réserve de l'Hommée 1er Cru
(France, Champagne - Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay)
$52.99 Regular Price
$48.75 Case Price/btl
For the Cellar: Roger Coulon 2007 Brut Millesime Blanc de Noirs
(France, Champagne - Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir)
$67.99 Regular Price
$62.55 Case Price/btl

For complete descriptions of the wines and an explanation of why Crystal selected these wines, please visit our expert's post at Inside IWM.


Tuesday, May 3 | 7:00-10:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting Dinner

Ticket Price: $269.99
Early Bird Special: $219.99 
Offer Expires on 04/29/2015 at 5pm EST.
Hosted by: Emanuele Baldi, Prunotto Winemaker

The history of the Prunotto winery in Piemonte stretches back nearly 100 years, and IWM is thrilled to commemorate the outstanding achievements of this storied estate with an intimate and exclusive tasting dinner hosted by Prunotto's esteemed winemaker, Emanuele Baldi. Owned and operated by Alfredo Prunotto since 1923, Prunotto was purchased by Antinori in 1989, and within a decade, the Antinori team, led by Albieri Antinori, had expanded the estate's holdings and revamped its winemaking to create beautiful, terroir-driven wines. Join us for this special event that will look forward to Prunotto's future as it honors the estate's past; our knowledgeable team of sommeliers will pour a range of vintage Prunotto Barolos and Barberas that span 1998 and 2012, all paired with a spectacular special five-course dinner created by IWM's Chef Michael Marcelli and his staff. It's a unique evening of incredible Italian wine, delicious food, and terrific conversation, and it could only come from the world's leading authority in Italian wine, IWM.
Featured Wine List:
Antipasti Assortiti
Wines TBD
1st course - Primi
Casarecci al ragu d'agnello 
Bronze-cut short Pasta with Lamb Shank Ragu & Pecorino Primo Sale 
Prunotto Pian Romualdo Barbera d'Alba 2012  
Prunotto Pian Romualdo Barbera d'Alba 2005  
2nd course: Carne
Vitello brasato alla fontina
Braised Veal Cheek with Fontina Fonduta 
Prunotto Barolo 2010  
Prunotto Barolo 2001  
3rd course: Carne
Costata di manzo alle castagne
Short Ribs with Chestnut Polenta 
Prunotto Barolo Bussia 2009  
Prunotto Barolo Bussia 1998  
Dolci / Formaggi
Prunotto Barolo Bussia Riserva Colonnello 2009  
*Wines may be subject to change.

Saturday, April 30 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Ticket Price: $74.99 
The Italian "rosso" translates to "red," but it means so much more than that in Italian wines.  Most simply, a Rosso is a wine that you can drink early, often, and joyfully. It's what Italians open on a Tuesday night or a Sunday afternoon, and it can come from Italy's North (where it's often made with Nebbiolo), to its middle (where you'll find Rosso di Montalcino, Brunello's little brother), to its tip (where you'll find many mineral-laden interpretations). Join IWM for this Saturday tasting that explores the full range of Rosso bottlings; our knowledgeable IWM will guide you in the who, what, when and where of Italy's best-kept secret, all while you enjoy bottles of wine that redefine value. Accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, this tasting salute to Rosso will have you blushing red with love--for the greatest little reds in Italy.

Featured Wine List:

Valle Dell'Acate Il Frappato Vittoria 2014
San Giuliano Barbera Fiore di Marcorino 2013
Castello della Sala Pinot Nero 2013
Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Le Volte 2013
Collemattoni Rosso di Montalcino 2014
Pian Delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino 2010
Renzo Seghesio Ruri Langhe Nebbiolo 2011

*Wine list may be subject to change.

Saturday, May 7 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Ticket Price: $144.99 
Break out the bonnets and get ready for Mother's Day! Spring is here, summer is on its way, and celebration is in the air. Join IWM as we welcome spring's traditions, holidays, and warm weather with open arms at this tasting celebrating perfect pairings. We'll be pouring some of our favorite Champagnes, beautiful crisp white Burgundies, and elegant red wines, all specially paired with cheeses to create a terrific taste sensation. Bring your mother, your jockey, or your best friend to this event and celebrate life with style!

*Wine list to be announced.

Saturday, May 14 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Ticket Price: $124.99 
Italy and France may be rivals on the soccer pitch, but they're perfect complements at your table and in your wine glass. Join us as we explore some of the wines you should be drinking this spring, this summer and on into fall! Led by a knowledgeable IWM sommelier, this wine tasting event, complemented by regional meats and cheeses, will guide you through some of France's best loved white Burgundies, exploring their differences, nuances, and terroir; then we'll double down on your palate education by selecting Italian reds that work in concert with these French whites. Selecting from some of our favorite Italian producers, grapes, regions and styles, these red wines will give you pairing ideas for years to come!

*Wine list to be announced.

Saturday, May 21 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Hosted by: IWM Vice President, Crystal Edgar

Ticket Price: $99.99 
You might know of sake from enjoying Japanese restaurants and drinking it with your sushi or sashimi. You might also know sake from spending time in Japan and reveling in the local fare. Or you might know about the special beverages because they have become increasingly hip, exploding in American wine culture. But how much about sake do you really know? Join IWM at this very special tasting and learn about how this special beverage is made, its many designations and variations, and how protocol influences sake as much, or possibly more, than other wines. IWM's guest sake expert Haruke Black will pour eight different sakes, with bottles that are textured, dry, aromatic, complex, or elegant--all complemented by regional snacks. This sake tasting is going to be thrilling.

Featured Wine List:

Shochu Cocktail
Aoki Shuzo, Yuki Otoko Junmai (NV) 
Hamakawa Shoten, Bijofu Junmai The Gentleman (NV) 
Gochoda Shuzo, Azumaichi Junmai 
Isojiman Shuzo, Isojiman Junmai Ginjo 
Yamachu Honke Shuzo, Gikyo Junmai Ginjo 
Niizawa Shuzo, Hakurakusei Junmai Daiginjo (NV) 
Sakata Shuzo, Jokigen Junmai Daiginjo Kimoto (NV) 
Fukumitsuya, Kuroobi Do-Do
Chichibu Whiskey  
*Wine list may be subject to change.

Saturday, May 28 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Ticket Price: $94.99 
Summer is just around the corner, and with Labor Day on the horizon, it's not too soon to stock your cellar with the wines you'll want to enjoy all summer long. Italy's warm weather, coastal regions, and easy living make for natural summertime pairings. A knowledgeable IWM sommelier will guide you through some of our very favorite warm weather wines, help you learn what pairs with summertime's trickier dishes, and show you how Italy's Amalfi Coast, Tuscan hills, and off-the-beaten path wines make your summertime even more delicious. Pouring from a selection of red and white wines, this tasting event, complemented with regional meats and cheeses, will set you up in style to enjoy summer's heat--while keeping your cool.

*Wine list to be announced.

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