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Brunello di Montalcino
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Maculan Dindarello Moscato Passito 2017 375ml
Acacia honey, orange blossoms, grapefruit spritz, and wax frame the succulent stone and crisp orchard fruits in this delectable ’17 Dindarello. An expressive, lively dessert wine, the Dindarello fills the mouth with texture and energy as it explodes with sweet-tart fruits and sneaky minerality--it’s a perfect accompaniment to cream-based or fruit desserts! Deriving from a six-acre vineyard that sports volcanic, mineral-rich soils, the Moscato grapes partially dry for about a month before fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel; the wine rests in bottle for three months before release.
Maculan Torcolato Vespaiola Passito 2013 375ml
Maculan’s Torcolato Vespaiola Passito is a delicious, electric, and nutty-sweet “vino di meditazione,” or wine of meditation, that encourages you to slow down, sip leisurely, and contemplate the sweetness your life has gifted you. Luscious tropical fruits, honeyed citrus, and juicy orchard fruits mingle with ginger, pressed herbs, white flower petals and spicy fruit jam in this full-bodied, mineral-laden ’13 Torcolato. Deep and profound, the Torcolato is nonetheless lively, matching its fruits with nutty minerality, and its lush body with a skein of bright acidity--it’s outstanding. A mono-varietal Vespaiola that derives from Maculan’s limestone-rich, volcanic vineyards, grapes dry for four months to concentrate flavors and sugar before fermentation; the wine ages for a year in barrique, one-third new.
Collemattoni Brunello di Montalcino 2011 375ml
Opulent, energetic, and finessed, this concentrated wine from Collemattoni might be the standout Brunello of the 2011 vintage. Reflecting its warm growing year, this is a brooding Brunello that bursts from the glass with a delicious perfume: sweet red and black fruits, toasted cigar wrapper, sun-warmed earth, licorice, potpourri and baking spices mingle seductively. Vibrant acidity keeps this rich wine nimble as it wraps the palate with a textured mouth-feel full of chewy tannins and builds to a very satisfying finish. Collemattoni handpicks its grapes and they undergo fermentation and maceration in stainless steel tanks for 30 days; the wine then ages in Slovenian oak casks for at least thirty months and in bottle for four months before release. A wine for enthusiasts who appreciate ripe, juicy Brunello, this ’11 Collemattoni bottling can be approachable now with decanting, but it’ll be even better a few years down the road.
COS Aestas Siciliae NV 375ml
This sweet non-vintage wine marries its weighty texture with lively acidity, and weds its honeyed fruits with saline minerals--it’s a dessert wine that will appeal even to sweet wine skeptics! Luscious tropical and stone fruits dance with caramel, crushed white flower petals, hazelnuts and sea spray in this unique Sicilian dessert wine. As mouth-filling and intense as the Aestas Siciliae is, the wine feels energetic, powered by intense acidity and a sturdy core of minerals. Deriving from late ripening Moscato grapes that are organically grown about 820 feet above sea level, this wine ferments on the skins with natural yeasts, and the wine ages in steel to preserve its unique terroir.
La Roncaia Picolit 2015 375ml
A monovarietal Picolit, this luscious dessert wine is a tradition in Friuli. Succulent orchard, tropical and stone fruits dance on a bed of potpourri, baking spices, crushed river rocks, acacia honey and wild herbs in this enchanting, lively ’15 Picolit. For all its unabashed richness, this dessert wine shows remarkable balance, melding its intense dry extract with keen acidity in a complex palate that effortlessly marries its sweet fruits with savory minerality and herbs. Deriving from vineyards with marly soils in the hills of Attimis, the Picolit grapes dry for two months and then one half ferments in temperature-controlled stainless steel and the other half in barrel; after assembling the final blend, the wine ages for a year in barrique and rests in bottle for six months prior to release.
Graham's Vintage Port 2016 375ml
Framing its sweet red and blue fruits with burned sugar, marmalade, violet petals, mocha, herbs and pencil lead, Graham’s 2016 Vintage Port is a stunner. Chewy tannins find their complement in racy acidity, while the wine’s hefty, silky feel is matched by elegant minerality. A showstopping wine, this Port enthralls you with its structure, balance and sheer decadence. In 2016, Graham’s Vintage Port was a blend of 37% Touriga Nacional, 42% Touriga Franca and the remainder various other traditional grapes; Graham’s crafts its Vintage Ports using traditional methods, releasing the wine just two or three times a decade. For best enjoyment, cellar this wine for a few years and then enjoy for decades.
Canalicchio di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino 2015 375ml
2015 saw a remarkable, ripe vintage that ended in lush, rich wines with both keen, fresh acidity and high alcohol--Canalicchio di Sopra’s ’15 Brunello embodies its banner vintage with verve, intensity, and depth. Juicy black cherries and sumptuous blackberries dance against a savory backdrop of warm earth, cedar, smoky minerals, and wild herbs, all offset by subtle wildflowers and sweet baking spices. This entrancing Brunello unspools with a creamy, rich mouthfeel as it reveals layer after layer of flavors that are supported on a framework of fine-grained tannins, vibrant acidity, and elegant minerality. The spicy finish lingers in the mouth for minutes! A blend deriving from the estate’s high altitude vineyards, grapes ferment in temperature-controlled vats, and the wine ages for 36 months in barrels, followed by a year in bottle before release. Canalicchio Brunello consistently offers a tremendous price-to-quality ratio, and the 2015 bottling is an outstanding evocation of its banner vintage!
Antinori Tignanello 2016 375ml
2016 saw an even, dry, yet healthy growing year at the Antinori family’s Tignanello estate, and the ’16 Tignanello reflects its climate in its intensity, balance, and precision. Juicy red and blue fruits dance on a foundation of dusty earth, new leather, cigar wrapper, pressed violets, and dustings of spice and wood in this sneakily powerful Tig. Chewy tannins cling to the cheeks, while kinetic acidity propels this wine to a lingering, delineated, and muscular finish. 2016 gifted the Antinori team with ideal conditions for Sangiovese, and this Tignanello showcases the grape’s lush yet nervy profile. An ideal blend of mostly Sangiovese blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and some Cabernet Franc, Tignanello changed the Super-Tuscan game, offering an indigenous spin on Bordeaux-style Super Tuscans. Tignanello derives from a single 140-acre southwestern-facing vineyard of limestone-rich soils; Antinori separately ferments each plot in temperature-controlled stainless steel, ages each plot’s wine in barrels, some new and some used, for about a year, and only then makes the final blend.
Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino 2015 375ml
With its cold weather followed by a hot summer and its extraordinarily long hang-time for grapes, 2015 saw a five-star Brunello vintage, and Valdicava’s superb Brunello gleams with the vintage’s beauty and thrills with its depth. Deeply perfumed, this wine leaps from the glass with a profusion of notes--super-ripe red and blue fruits, violet petals, fresh espresso, warm loam, truffles and new leather, to name a few. Wedding its luscious fruits, chewy tannins, and vivid acidity with impeccable balance, this Brunello shows tremendous finesse and aging potential. You’ll want to drink this wine right away, but a few years in the cellar will reveal the potential of this superstar bottling. Vincenzo Abbruzzese, owner and operator of Valdicava, works passionately, growing his grapes without pesticides, coaxing very high quality, very low yielding berries from his vines, which he then vinifies very traditionally with minimal use of barriques and almost entirely in large neutral oak botti.
Giuseppe Quintarelli Recioto della Valpolicella Classico 2004 375ml
Arguably Italy's greatest sweet red wine, Quintarelli Recioto is one of IWM's fastest-selling dessert wines; the 2004 saw a benchmark vintage for the Veneto, and this Recioto vintage is a decadent delight that doesn’t sacrifice detail for power. Quintarelli’s '04 Recioto reflects its ideal growing season in its kaleidoscopic layers, velvety texture, and mind-blowing complexity. This wine layers its sweet black cherries and juicy figs with mentholated herbs, Christmas spices, roasted coffee, worn leather, and dark chocolate in a Port-like palate that marries lively acidity with intense dry extract. Velvety tannins provide a sensual backdrop, while savory earthy notes complement the wine’s sweet fruits into its lingering, extended finish. Rarely produced, this bottling appears only three to four times a decade because it requires thirty pounds of grapes (it’s a blend of mostly Corvina and Corvinone, with Rondinella, Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo, Croatina, and Sangiovese) and at least ten years of aging to create one standard bottle. This hedonistic drink will recalibrate everything you thought you knew about dessert wine.