Some great winemakers make a wine and it's etched in stone. They make the way they make it, and they're never going to revise their process. Other winemakers are ceaseless, restless tinkerers. Today's eLetter features wines from Antinori and Josko Gravner, two of these beautiful, restless souls. Antinori's winemakers never leave well enough alone, constantly playing with protocol and blends, outdoing themselves every new vintage. Gravner, however, turned his back on temperature control and barriques, now making just two wines in amphorae, the oldest winemaking method on earth.
Piero Antinori's family of estates is large, sprawling across continents and, indeed, the world; the Antinori family makes a wide range of wines, and this family's gorgeous bottles have been a part of the IWM lineup since I opened the store's doors almost two decades ago. Josko Gravner, on the other hand, is modest; I'd call it a boutique estate but Gravner is too grounded in philosophy for that word. Today, I'm very pleased to feature Antinori's 2008 Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Superiore, a very elegant bottling of this flagship wine. I'm also proud to present a rare vintage Gravner bottling, his 1985 Rujno, a Merlot blend that dates from Gravner's "modern" period.
It feels right to round out this offer with a wine from Piemonte's great innovator, Angelo Gaja. Always one to play fast and loose with tradition, Gaja makes wines that change lives, and the 2010 Costa Russi, a beautiful bottling of one of his cru "Barbaresco" trio, is one such wine. If you're a real Italian wine aficionado, you can't do better than one of the bottles in today's offers--unless, of course, you get all three.
Here's to the innovators and to the passion that drives them to making ever more incredible wine!