Revisiting '04 and '05 Sassicaia, Large Format Sandrone, and Aldo's Millennium Collection

May 27, 2015
A Note from Sergio

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. This is because with time a wine's mask falls away. It's no longer overwhelmed by spice, wood, or dense, concentrated fruit. It unravels, relaxes. The drink's true spirit--its most authentic, hidden character--shines through. The ability to age well is the greatest indicator of quality, both in life and in wine, and as much as we celebrate youth, there is nothing like maturity.


Drinking a vintage wine, you're experiencing history in liquid form. It's the best way to fully understand a wine--free of the distraction of fads or fashion. Today, I'm very pleased to present a pair of wines that are just entering their drinking window, the 2004 and 2005 Sassicaia. Too often, my clients drink their wines, especially their Super Tuscans, too young. I get the impulse; I feel that excitement too, and I've certainly been guilty of drinking a bottle years before it would be at its best. You can drink this pair now, or you can wait years and years, and you will see how they change and become better, more authentic, more mellow versions of themselves.

Along with this dynamic Sassicaia duo, I'm very happy to offer double magnums of the 2000 Luciano Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne and the Aldo Conterno Millennium Collections. All wines from the time we turned the corner into the twenty-first century, these bottles also represent some of the best Barolo vintages of all time. I can't pretend that today's offer is anything but a special treat to serious enthusiasts and collectors, but those of you who will experience these wines are in for a life-changing treat.



Today's Featured Sections Include:


1. Spotlight on Excellence: Perfect Complements, '04 and '05 Sassicaia
2. Only At IWM: 
Jeroboams of 2000 Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Aldo Conterno's Historic Millennium Collection
4. Our Experts Suggest:
Two Great White Burgundies from Louis Jadot
5. Wine Events: May/June Wine Tastings   

My Best, 


Sergio Esposito


Sassicaia is more than merely the very first Super-Tuscan wine, more than a wine whose pedigree, elegance and synchronicity of site and grape varietal changed history, and more than one of the world's best-known, most-revered wines; it's a wine that year in and year out lives up to its intense reputation. Today, we're proud to revisit Sassicaia's history with a set of complementary vintages, the benchmark, opulent 2004 and the restrained, elegant 2005. Sergio Esposito worked with our European sources to secure these wines that offer impeccable provenance and unparalleled care.


When Sassicaia is good, it's very, very good and when it's great, it's legendary. 2004 is one of those legendary Sassicaia vintages. A textbook perfect growing season with nice rainfall, moderate weather, lovely sun, and a hot August meant that the biggest challenge in 2004 was meticulous green harvests, and the payoff was an ideal crop of perfect berries. The most structured Sassicaia to be released in decades, the '04 surpasses the highly lauded 2001; now with more than a decade of maturity, this vintage is just entering its drinking window, though it'll age for years.


Following up a vintage like '04 was particularly challenging for Sassicaia's makers; on the short list of Sassicaia benchmarks that includes 1985, 1988, and 1990, 2004 wasn't just any vintage. Even an ideal year would have a hard time acting as a follow up to a vintage like that, but 2005 presented some unusual challenges. Cool, breezy, temperate and sunny, the weather stimulated the growth of the vegetation, but not the grapes--the 2005 growing seasone made this a winemaker vintage and a source of rare value in this classic, structured, polished bottling.


A historic blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc, Sassicaia is the wine that set in motion the Super-Tuscan revolution. It's also a wine that reflects its vintage variation in nuanced, unexpected and complex ways, making it a bottling that seduces collectors anew with each bottle. Exploding with aromas of succulent red and blue fruits, mocha, exotic spices, warm saddle leather, incense and smoke, the '04 Sassicaia complements its opulence with terrific freshness and builds to a lush, lingering crescendo of silky tannins. Restrained, elegant and seamless, the '05 Sassicaia is a classic bottling that complements its opulent predecessor, the '04, with a perfect sophistication.


It's difficult to choose between these two Sassicaia bottlings, and that's why we'd suggest you secure both. Too often enthusiasts drink their Super-Tuscan bottlings before they're fully mature. Each of these vintages arrives with perfect maturity and impeccable provenance, making these bottles of Bolgheri's premier Super Tuscan enjoyable now--or years from now. One bottle of Sassicaia, and you'll see why it changed the world, and to drink one of these vintage gems is to experience history itself.


Tenuta San Guido 2004 Sassicaia

(Italy, Toscana - Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc)

$319.00 Regular Price

$287.10 Case Price/btl


Tenuta San Guido 2005 Sassicaia

(Italy, Toscana - Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc)

$269.00 Regular Price

$242.10 Case Price/btl



Alongside the hotly sought-after Barolo of Giacomo Conterno sit the prized Barolo of Luciano Sandrone. Luciano is a master winemaker with holdings in some of the most legendary plots in Barolo, including Cannubi Boschis. Since he was a teen, Luciano Sandrone wanted to be a winemaker, beginning his career as a cellar-man working in the historic Marchesi di Barolo estate and buying his first parcel of land in Cannubi Boschis in 1977. Sandrone employs extreme green harvests, uses only wild yeasts in fermentation, and sometimes employs extended maceration; however, he also uses some new oak, ages his wines less time than is traditional, and he uses 500-liter French barrels, bigger than barriques but smaller than botti, all in the effort of making Barolo that blends approachability with age-worthiness. Today, we're delighted to present large format bottles of Sandrone's cuvée Barolo, Le Vigne, from the benchmark vintage of 2000 at the BEST PRICE in the country.

Why Buy This Wine:

- While Sandrone's more famous cru bottling of Cannubi Boschis most often captures the attention of collectors, the cuvée Le Vigne manages to take the spotlight in the eyes of Luciano himself, as well as those of Barolo connoisseurs. 


- Sandrone makes his Le Vigne is traditionally minded cuvée blended from the Ceretta (Monforte), Vignane (Barolo), Merli (Novello) and Conterni (Barolo) vineyards, lending structure and balance to the wine, as well as age-worthiness.


- Large format bottlings allow wine to mature at a slower rate with much greater integration, and while this Sandrone Barolo, now with 15 years of maturity, sits in its drinking window, it still has years ahead of it.


- Elegant, rich and polished, Le Vigne shows the classic Sandrone core of succulent red fruit, accented by some green notes of mint and eucalyptus, spice and roses.


- The accessible yet textured 2000 Le Vigne now has more than a decade of maturity, offering tertiary notes to complement its freshness.


- IWM is pleased to present these large format bottlings of 2000 Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne at the BEST PRICE in the States; contact your portfolio manager to secure yours.



Sandrone 2000 Barolo Le Vigne (3L)

(Italy, Piemonte - Nebbiolo)
$575.00 Regular Price
$525 Special Price/btl



It's both very large and very small, both very great and very rare, simultaneously a temptation that's hard to resist and one that requires shelving. It sounds like a child's riddle, but it indulges an adult's pleasure: it's the Aldo Conterno Millennium Collection. The Millennium Collection brings together three years of Conterno's Granbussia--1999, 2000, and 2001--to create an unparalleled offering from the "King of Barolos." Poderi Aldo Conterno is situated in Monforte d'Alba on the prized Bussia Soprano vineyard in the heart of the Barolo region, where the Conterno family has been producing and aging the great Piemontese wines for more than five generations. Today, IWM presents the rare opportunity to experience large format Barolo from the hands of Aldo Conterno and the benchmark trio of Granbussia Riserva vintages known as the Millennium Collection, a rare collector trio that will be the crown jewel in any serious connoisseur's cellar.

Why Buy This Wine:

- Produced only in exceptional vintages, the very limited production Granbussia Riserva derives from grapes grown in the prime Bussia plots of 70% Romirasco and the remainder split between Cicala and Colonnello, three of Monforte's most highly reputed vineyards that produce the region's most long-lived wines.


- The Millennium Collection provides two magnum bottles of Granbussia 1999, a 5L-bottling of 2000, and a double magnum of 2001, a trio of wines that are pinnacles of Barolo achievement.

- The past three years saw the passing of three titans of Italian wine--Giuseppe Quintarelli, Franco Biondi-Santi, and Aldo Conterno; the Millennium Collection stands as a monument to its maker, Aldo Conterno, the "King of Barolos."

- Aldo Conterno himself has identified these three vintages as his favorites: 1999's Granbussia boasts a classic, tight Barolo structure with a velvety palate of fruit, tobacco, and minerals; the 2000 shines with a palate of sweet, young fruit underlain by vanilla, spice and licorice; and the 2001 Granbussia stands as a voluptuous, fully balanced wine with flowers, Indian spice and strawberries to balance out its classic tannins.


- Limited to a count of just 900 packages, the Millennium Collection is extraordinarily rare, indisputable in quality, and appreciable in value; this trio from Aldo Conterno speaks emphatically to the serious wine collector.


- IWM has a very limited allocation of this historic wine collection; please contact your portfolio manager to secure yours at the BEST PRICE in the world.


(Italy, Piemonte - Nebbiolo)

$4,995 Regular Price 

$4,395.60 Special Price


Pack Includes:
2 x Aldo Conterno 1999 Barolo Granbussia (1.5L)
1 x Aldo Conterno
 2000 Barolo Granbussia (5L)

1 x Aldo Conterno 2001 Barolo Granbussia (3L) 

This offer will expire in 48 hours on May 29th at 5:00 pm EST.


A leading wine educator, writer, sommelier, international judge and lecturer, Robin Kelley O'Connor brings thirty years of experience with many professional certifications to IWM. Notably, RKO has visited the world's important wine regions and studied winemaking in Bordeaux and Champagne.


For the Cellar:
 Jadot 2010 Domaine des Heritiers Corton Charlemagne
(France, Burgundy - Chardonnay)
$149.00 Regular Price

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


Saturday, May 30, 1:00-3:00 pm

A Sit-Down Tasting


Regular Ticket Price $135.00


Founded in 1497, Raventós i Blanc didn't just make Cava; in 1872, the estate invented it. Thus it shocked the wine world when Raventós i Blanc, the standard bearer of Cava, Spain's most important sparkling wine, chose to leave the designation in 2012, designating its wines Conca Del Riu Anoia instead. IWM is delighted to announce another in our series of our historic, educational and delicious winemaker events with Pepe Raventós, the owner-winemaker at the legendary 200-acre Raventós i Blanc estate in the heart of Penedès. Learn about the history of this forward-minded organic estate, leaders in the region, drink special vintage bottlings available nowhere else in the States, dine on stellar courses created by our in-house chef, Mike Marcelli, and share the company of Pepe Raventós, who will guide us through the afternoon's selections of wines. Pepe will be pouring the estate's cru sparkling wines, as well as the special vintage bottlings named after and selected by his father, Manuel Raventós, and other special surprises. Join us for a lunch more than 500 hundred years in the making, and experience the future of fine Spanish winemaking.

Featured Wine List:
Raventos i Blanc Conca del Riu Anoia Brut Rosé 'de Nit' 2012

Andre Clouet Cuvée 1911

Raventos i Blanc Conca del Riu Anoia Brut 'De la Finca' 2011

Billecart-Salmon Vintage 2004

Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé

Krug Champagne Vintage Brut 2000

Enoteca Manuel Raventos 2000
Enoteca Manuel Raventos 1999
Enoteca Manuel Raventos 1998


*Wines may be subject to change.


Saturday, June 61:00-3:00 pm

A Sit-Down Tasting


Ticket Price: $65.00


IWM Host: Robin Kelley O'Connor

France does it. Italy loves it. Spain has a passion for it. Rosé and sparkling wines are a universal joy, and there's no time like the springtime to pop open bottles of Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, rosé and rosatos. Join us for this specialtasting and sample some of our very favorite Bandol rosés, Italian Rosato, and many others, all presented with complementary regional meats and cheeses. It's an event tailor made for those who love the finer things in life--and want to celebrate them with gusto.

*Wine list to be announced.


 Italy vs. France:
Chardonnay Shoot-Out 

Saturday, June 131:00-3:00 pm

A Sit-Down Tasting


Ticket Price: $75.00


IWM Host: Garrett Kowalsky

Chardonnay is one of the world's most-cultivated white grapes, and while it may have France to thank for its history and California for its celebrity, Chardonnay has a firm root in Italy. Chardonnay happily reflects the terroir in which it's grown, and Chardonnay also gleefully responds to a variety of vinification techniques. These two points make it perfect for this event, a Chardonnay shoot-out where we pair French and Italian evocations of this emblematic grape. There are no losers at this O-K Corral--just great wine, winners and you!

*Wine list to be announced. 


Saturday, June 20 1:00-3:00 pm

A Sit-Down Tasting


Ticket Price: $65.00


IWM Host: John Camacho Vidal

Join us as we celebrate solstice with this mini-grand tasting that features wines from around the world. 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 under the sun. 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.

*Wine list to be announced.


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