Historic Pontet-Canet Duo, Serious Raffaele Palma Rosato, and Dominus 2011

February 26, 2015 
A Note from Sergio

Whenever I turn the Spotlight section over to a producer who's not Italian, I do so because that producer and that wine is so exceptional that it warrants the extra attention. Today, I'm proud to present two vintages of Pontet Canet Pauillac, the 2009 and 2010. For the past few years, IWM's Bordeaux expert has been Robin Kelley O'Connor, and he has done a stellar job in upping IWM's Bordeaux game. Today's offer of these two recent releases from this historic Pauillac estate, one of the rare biodynamic growers in Bordeaux, is merely the most recent.

Along with these great Bordeaux wines, I'm delighted to offer a Bordeaux-style blend from Napa Valley's Dominus Estate; this 2011 bottling is a delicious wine, and it shows why the reach of Bordeaux is so long and so deep. Finally, I can't go without presenting any Italian wine, so I've chosen a bottle of Rosato from Raffaele Palma, who makes extraordinary organic wines on the Amalfi Coast. This is one rosé you can drink any time of year--it's just that complex, interesting, and powerful.


Today's Featured Sections Include:


1. Spotlight on Excellence: Château Pontet-Canet 2009 and 2010, Direct from Négotiant
2. Only At IWM:
Serious, Steely, Intense Raffaele Palma Salicerchi 2011
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Pétrus in Napa, Dominus 2011
4. Our Experts Suggest: 
Two Extraordinary Burgundies, Both Under $50
5. Wine Events: February/March Wine Tastings

My Best, 


Sergio Esposito



Ask Bordeaux connoisseurs the names of the great Pauillac wines, and they will invariably invoke the hallowed names of Mouton, Latour, and Lafite. These three Premier Cru châteaux of Bordeaux undoubtedly have earned their status, but today we'd like to shine a spotlight on a strong contender, Château Pontet-Canet.

Makers of some of the most beloved, most sought-after Pauillac Bordeaux, Château Pontet Canet has a well-earned reputation for crafting powerful, full bodied yet balanced and charming wines. However, the two vintages we offer today--the flamboyant yet delineated 2009 and the sophisticated yet seductive 2010--suggest that this Cinquièmes Cru (Fifth Growth) château is poised to give those bigger names a run for their money.

Founded in 1725, Pontet Canet modern era began when it was purchased by cognac merchant Guy Tesseron, and it's currently owned and operated by Alfred Tesseron, who is helped by director Jean-Michel Comme. Pontet Canet's philosophy is that its wines are made in its gravel-rich vineyards, and the château chooses to grow biodynamically and with minimal intervention. The estate's 192 acres, which adjoin those of Mouton Rothschild, are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and a small percentage of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Pontet Canet vinifies its wine in large concrete vats, and ages it in barriques, 60% new, for between 16 and 20 months. Pontet Canet's painstaking human labor and a hands-off approach lead to wines that are finessed evocations of their unique Pauillac terroir.

The two vintages we present today are perfect complements to one another. The '09 is dark as night, smooth as velvet, and surprisingly nimble. Its nose explodes with brambly dark berries, juicy black fruit, graphite, smoke, wildflowers, leather, and licorice, and the weighty, textured palate fills the mouth with an almost chewy texture. In stark contrast, the '10 is defined, restrained, elegant and sophisticated. Offering a textbook beautiful Pauillac nose, this wine wafts juicy red and black fruit, purple wildflowers, pencil lead, cedar, and herbs, and its classy, refined palate manages to be both rich and laser precise.

Sourced directly from the négociant, both of these collector Pauillac Bordeaux need time in the cellar before true enjoyment, but each of these bottles will amply reward your patience. While IWM has never put much belief behind wine scores for Italian wines, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that both the 2009 and 2010 Château Pontet-Canet bottlings have received high scores and high praise from critics. It's a dilemma choosing between the exuberant yet ethereal '09 and the pure yet mineral-laden '10; the only real solution is to secure them both!



Château Pontet-Canet 2009

(France, Bordeaux - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot)

$285.00 Regular Price

$250.00 Special Price/btl

Château Pontet-Canet 2010*

(France, Bordeaux - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot)

$285.00 Regular Price

$250.00 Special Price/btl


*Pre-Arrival, Summer 2015



We believe that a great rosé knows no season. Rich, mineral-laden, and a little savory, the '11 Salicerchi by Raffaele Palma is undoubtedly a great rosé--and it's as delicious now as it will be this summer. While the Amalfi Coast is a difficult place to grow grapes, Raffaele Palma recognized the singularity of the landscape, and he founded his estate in 2005. In 2007, Raffaele replanted the vines, growing the indigenous grapes Biancolella, Piedirosso, Falanghina, Tintore, and Aglianico, among others. Nurturing the biosphere, Raffaele tends the land organically, and the estate makes wine with as little intervention as possible, retaining the land's unique terroir. IWM is proud to be the sole US retailer for Raffaele Palma, and today, we're delighted to present the Raffaele Palma 2011 Salicerchi, a serious Rosato that deserves a place on your table, whether with a roasted chicken or seafood stew this winter or with a grilled fish this summer.

Why Buy This Wine:

- A blend of Piedirosso, Tintore and Aglianico, this dry, lean and almost steely rosato offers a burst of fruit, a peppering of licorice and cloves, and a long, savory finish replete with tannins; it's a serious wine for serious wine lovers.

- Working with agronomist Giuseppe Coppola and enologist Vincenzo Mercurio, estate owner Raffaele Palma has come a long way in a few years, and IWM puts this Amalfi Coast winery on its short list of up-and-coming estates.

- Raffaele Palma's acres shoot up from 50 meters above sea level to 450 meters above sea level, requiring that all agriculture be done by hand at this organic estate.

- Rather than traditional rows, Raffaele and his team cultivate their winding maze of terraces with grapes trained to grow around a pole, in the Greek method of viticulture.

- Fresh as its Amalfi Coast home, this '11 Salicerchi presents a structured, complex side to Italian rosés and suggests that its maker will be one Campanian estate to watch.

- Only IWM can offer the refreshing, dry, weighty and complex Raffaele Palma 2011 Salicerchi; contact your portfolio manager to secure yours at the BEST PRICE in the States.


Raffaele Palma 2011 Salicerchi

(Italy, Campania - Piedirosso, Aglianco, Tintore)
$74.99 Regular Price
$67.49 Case Price/btl


Located in the foothills of Napa Valley's Mayacamas, the historic Napanook vineyard was first planted in 1838. Today, nearly two hundred years later, this important 124-acre vineyard (103 acres under vine) is the home to Christian Moueix's Dominus Estate. President of Établissements Jean-Pierre Moueix--négociant, owner, and manager of legendary Pomerol properties including La Fleur Pétrus and Trontanoy--first fell in love with Napa Valley while a student at UC Davis. After becoming a partner in the vineyard in 1982, Moueix assumed control in 1995. Today, this estate makes two Bordeaux-inspired blends, and we're delighted to present the Dominus 2011 Dominus at special time-sensitive debut pricing. An approachable, savory, graceful bottling, the 2011 Dominus is the wine to drink as you wait for your more austere 2010 to age, and IWM is happy to present it at extremely competitive pricing.

Why Buy This Wine:

- Dominus shares its owner with Pomerol's La Fleur Pétrus and Trontanoy, making it no surprise that this Napa Valley estate privileges terroir above all else, conscientiously growing its grapes with exacting sustainable agriculture and estate-bottling its wines with classic Bordeaux protocol.

- Deriving from the historic Napanook vineyard, the 2011 Dominus is a Bordeaux-style blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, and 5% Cabernet Franc; Dominus vinifies each block of the 124-acre Napanook vineyard separately, blending before bottling for the perfect balance.

- Owner-winemaker Christian Mouiex utilizes sustainable agriculture in the vineyard, including protocol like dry farming, a unique method that not only eschews irrigation but also relies on careful planting of ground cover to ensure grapes that speak evocatively of their terrior.

- The volcanic Napanook shows three different soil types--loam, clay and gravel; to make the best possible wine, each parcel is planted with the best grape type for its soil, helping to give life to Mouiex's tenet that "A wine is only as good as the grapes from which it is produced."

- The 2011 Dominus presents an approachable, open-knit profile that's extremely drinkable; succulent fruit persists from nose to close, but the wine offers savory notes like grilled herbs, smoke and exotic spices to create a complex symphony of flavors.

- IWM's allocations of the approachable Dominus 2011 are in stock and ready to ship; please contact your portfolio manager to secure yours.

Dominus 2011 Estate
(United States, California - Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot)
$189.99 Regular Price
$123.49 Half-Case Price/btl
This offer will expire in 48 hours on February 28th at 5:00 pm EST.


At just 16, Justin Kowalsky was quite possibly one of the youngest wine enthusiasts when he started. Today, Justin, Exec. Vice President of Sales and Director of IWM Holding's Burgundy Portfolio, has been in the wine world almost 25 years.


Drinking Today: Bachey-Legros 2012 Santenay 1er Cru Clos Rousseau VV
(France, Burgundy - Pinot Noir)
$36.99 Regular Price
$34.06 Case Price/btl
For the Cellar: François Raquillet 2013 Mercurey Les Veleys 1er Cru
(France, Burgundy - Chardonnay)
$44.99 Regular Price
$41.39 Case Price/btl


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

Saturday, February 28, 1-3 pm

A Walk-Around Tasting


Regular Ticket Price $95.00


IWM Hosts:

John Camacho Vidal - Senior Portfolio Manager  

It's a return of one of IWM's favorite tastings, the Mini Grand, featuring wines from around the world. This mini grand tasting of global wines features wines from our best-loved countries, Italy and France. Join us and let IWM's team of sommeliers will fill your glass with wine and your mind with knowledge as you walk around sampling wines from some of the finest producers on the face of the planet. Complemented by meats and cheeses, and sweetened by preferential pricing on the featured wines, this tasting is a rare treat. Join us and travel the world of wine, without ever leaving glamorous New York City.


Casa Vinicola Bruno Giacosa Spumante Extra Brut 2006
Ferrando La Torrazza Erbaluce di Caluso 2012 
Raffaele Palma Puntacroce 2011
Poderi Aldo Conterno Langhe Chardonnay Bussiador 2011
Quinto Chionetti San Luigi Dolcetto di Dogliani 2010
Raffaele Palma Montecorvo 2011
Ada Nada Barbaresco Cichin 2009 
Renzo Seghesio Barolo Pajana Riserva 2006
Cupano Brunello di Montalcino 2003
Nicolis Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2008 

Alfred Gratien Rosé Classique NV 
Rijckaert Macon Monbellet en Pottes Vielles Vignes 2008 
Dagueneau Didier Pouilly Fumé Buisson Renard 2011 
Patrick Javillier Meursault Cuvée Tête de Murger 2012
Chavy Chouet Puligny-Montrachet Enseignéres 2012 
Joseph Drouhin Côte de Beaune 2011
Domaine Trapet Gevrey-Chambertin 2012
Domaine Gallois Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru 2012 
Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St Jacques 2011
Chateau de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2012


*Wines may be subject to change.


Saturday, March 14, 1-3 pm

A Sit-Down Tasting


Regular Ticket Price $120.00

Early Bird Special $100.00 (Expires Mar 9, 2015, 5pm EST) 


IWM Hosts:
Robin Kelley O'Connor - Certified Wine Educator
John Camacho Vidal - Senior Portfolio Manager

From the top of the Boot to the tip of its heel, Italy has more than 2,000 different indigenous grapes, the most of any country in the world (though Portugal may beg to differ). Join us as our knowledgeable IWM sommelier lead you through a tour of nine of the most emblematic, delicious, and outrageous expressions. We'll be pouring wines from Italy's North to its South, helping you understand the full panorama of Italy's terroir, traditions, and grapes. Accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, this sit-down tasting offers aficionados or Italian wine newbies the most delicious education in authentic wine that you can get outside of Italy. Toe to tip, IWM is where Italian wine lovers come for fine Italian wine.


*Wine List to be announced. 


Saturday, March 21, 1-3 pm

A Sit-Down Tasting


Regular Ticket Price $150.00

Early Bird Special $125.00 (Expires Mar 16, 2015, 5pm EST) 


IWM Hosts:
Robin Kelley O'Connor - Certified Wine Educator
John Camacho Vidal - Senior Portfolio Manager  

Two legendary regions meet for a special Saturday tasting when we match Barolos up with Burgundies. This sit-down tasting, complemented by meats and regional cheeses, will feature inimitable red Burgundies from cult producers poured with artisanal Barolos from some of our very favorite producers. Led by a knowledgeable IWM sommelier and accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, this is the must-go event for everyone who is a fine wine aficionado--or who wants to become one. Spend a Saturday with us and see how excellent a very good year can be, especially when it's enjoyed by a group of wine-lovers like you.


*Wine List to be announced.


Saturday, March 28, 1-3 pm

A Sit-Down Tasting


Regular Ticket Price $140.00

Early Bird Special $115.00 (Expires Mar 23, 2015, 5pm EST) 


IWM Hosts:

John Camacho Vidal - Senior Portfolio Manager


American wine-lovers love Brunello--in fact, we drink more than a quarter of the Brunello produced. After World War II, the medieval hamlet of Montalcino was one of the poorest towns in Toscana; today, it is one of the wealthiest, and it's all owing to one grape: Sangiovese. In this region, the grape expresses unparalleled power, concentration, and personality. No matter how much we think we know and love about Sangiovese Grosso, there is always much more to discover in Rosso di Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino, and Brunello di Montalcino Riserva. Join us for a three-hour immersive tour of Brunello, and let our knowledgeable wine expert guide you through the region, teach you about Brunello styles, offer insights into producers' interpretations, and help you understand the ways that terroir, vintage and aging requirements affect the wine. Accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, this sit-down tasting will pour wines from Montalcino's icons, as well as its under-the-radar producers. Let IWM help you fall even more deeply in love with Brunello, one of our most beloved collectable Tuscan red wines.

*Wine List to be announced.


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