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25 Years of Gravner, Must-Have Cupano Brunello, and Classic Cathiard Nuits-Saint-Georges
April 30, 2015 
A Note from Sergio

When you walk into Josko Gravner's cantina, all you see is a dirt floor. It's pretty bare--just rows of wooden rounds dotting the floor, and in the center of the rows, a raised wooden dais with a simple wooden chair. The walls are painted a serene off-white and the lighting is subdued and elegant, but it's essentially a dirt room that's punctuated by wood. The wooden rounds cover the mouths of the anfora, which is where his wine ferments, and the dais and the chair are where Josko goes to sit and to think. It feels like nothing as much as a temple.

Josko says, "Making wine is philosophy." Sitting on that wooden chair in the middle of his dirt room, Joko thinks about who he is, and he does it honestly, forthrightly, carefully. To Josko, his wine--which rests undisturbed in huge clay vats buried in the dirt floor--is a product of this thought, and it's necessary to challenge who you are and what you think in order to make good wine. It's hard for me to adequately express my admiration for Josko. He is like a sage to me, and he is who I visit when I most need guidance.

There are two ways to make wine, Josko says. The first is to see what the market wants and make wine that fits it. The second is to look inside yourself. For years, he did the former; coming out of trade school, Josko threw himself full-throttle into modern winemaking, throwing away his forebears' botti and using nothing but stainless steel. But then he suffered an epiphany, and he realized that the wine was soulless, and the way he was making it was hurting the earth. So he slowly returned not just to the tradition of his Friuli forebears but to the ways of the ancient Romans. He rediscovered anfora, the giant clay pots, and he began to make his wine in them, slowly paring away all the vestiges of modernity.

Today, I'm very proud to present nine beautiful Josko Gravner wines that span 25 years in his career. It's rare to see this kind of stylistic range from one producer, but to drink these wines is to see Josko becoming more authentically himself. Each bottle is purer, more vital, more thrilling, deeper, and more mystical than the last. Each bottle is a thing of beauty, something to treasure and to share, to wonder in and to meditate upon. Most of all, each bottle is something to drink slowly, maybe while sitting on a simple wooden chair, maybe while challenging who you think you are.


Today's Featured Sections Include:


1. Spotlight on Excellence: 9 Bottles, 25 Years, One Iconic Winemaker
2. Only At IWM: 
Must-Have 2008 Cupano Brunello
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Classic Cult Sylvain Cathiard 2009 Nuits-Saint-Georges
4. Our Experts Suggest: 
Two Vintage Gems from Luciano Sandrone
5. Wine Events: May Wine Tastings

My Best, 



Sergio Esposito