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Three Lustrous Valdicava New Releases! La Sala Chianti Classico! And Gratien Rosé Champagne!
January 11, 2018
A Note from Sergio

Tuesday's eLetter surprised you with new Brunello releases from Canalicchio di Sopra; today, I'm proud to follow that offer up with three new lustrous releases from Valdicava. Like Canalicchio di Sopra, Valdicava sits north of the Montalcino subzone--it's located in Montosoli, which along with Canalicchio, Pianelli makes up the northern Brunello Region. Here, you see that the elevated hills of the central Brunello zone begin to flatten out, forming a kind of plane. This region lends an entirely different profile to Brunello--the wines are riper yet structured, elegant yet powerful, and aromatic yet often savory. These traits come from the microclimate; the northern zone gets less of the warm, dry Mediterranean climate and they're visited less by cooling winds. These slight differences in temperature, humidity, and elevation make for very interesting Brunello wines.

Talking about microclimates can feel picayune and overly detailed, but Montalcino is a crazy quilt of tiny, important differences--and in a weird growing year like 2013, these infinitesimal differences add up. Some 2013 will be okay; others will be really good; and still others, like the Valdicava offered today, will be lustrous, shining wines that you will be able to drink, and drink again, and still want more. Valdicava's Vincenzo Abbruzzese is an exacting producer who makes the wines he wants to make in the vintages he believes in. For these reasons, he didn't make any Brunello in 2011, and he made very little in 2012. Abbruzzese's wines are outrageous, high-quality bottles, and you want to jump on the 2013 Brunello, 2012 Brunello Riserva and 2015 Rosso di Montalcino below. We're going to sell out--fast!

Along with these new releases, I'm delighted to present a new allocation of two beloved IWM staples, La Sala's silky and electric 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva and Alfred Gratien's food-friendly, ebullient Rosé Brut. Wine cellars are like groups of friends--you need some that'll relax you, some that will energize you, some that make you want to go dancing, others that make you think, and still others that will keep you company on a chilly Tuesday night. This combination of traditional Chianti Classico and sophisticated Champagne may feel like an odd pair, but each wine serves a different purpose in your varied life, and both are terrific, affordable luxuries. Share, drink and feel the love!

Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence:
Stock Your Cellar with These Three Must-Have Valdicava Wines
2. Only At IWM: Silky, Electric La Sala Chianti Classico Riserva
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Signature IWM Rosé Champagne!
4. Wine Events: Upcoming January Wine Tasting Events

My Best,
signature





Sergio Esposito
Owner/Founder
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La Sala Chianti Classico Riserva 2012 750ml
La Sala Chianti Classico Riserva 2012 750ml
Price: $44.99
Currently Unavailable.

Currants, berries and figs swirl with warm cigar wrapper, blood oranges, crushed wildflowers, balsamic herbs, loam, and baking spices in this intense, fleshy ’12 Chianti Classico Riserva. So energetic that it shimmers across the palate, this wine shows its warm vintage in its depth and concentration, filling the mouth with a satisfying texture. Food-friendly and delicious, this wine is a superb effort from La Sala. A blend of 85% Sangiovese and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, this Chianti Classico Riserva uses a selection of the estate’s best grapes; grapes macerate for three weeks in temperature-controlled stainless steel, and the wine ages for 18 months, with half aging in oak vats and half in barriques, and it rests in bottle for a year before release. more info
Valdicava Rosso di Montalcino 2015 750ml
Valdicava Rosso di Montalcino 2015 750ml
Price: $44.99
Currently Unavailable.

Reflecting its growing year that began cool and ended hot, this ’15 Rosso is a charming study in contrasts--it dances out of the glass, framing its succulent fruits with earth, spices, cigar wrapper and crushed flower petals, matching sweet notes with savory underpinnings. Deriving from fruit grown on the younger vines of Valdicava’s Filai Lunghi, Lago, Cipressi and Nova vineyards, this ‘15 Rosso di Montalcino shimmers across your palate, but its nice, sturdy tannic core keeps it grounded as it builds to a long, lingering finish. The biodynamically grown Sangiovese Grosso grapes ferment in temperature-controlled stainless steel, and the wine ages for 12 to 15 months in cask before bottling. Valdicava’s Rosso di Montalcino is a “baby Brunello” in any year, allowing Brunello enthusiasts to experience the beauty of the vintage years before the Brunello’s release. more info
Alfred Gratien Rose Brut NV 750ml
Alfred Gratien Rose Brut NV 750ml
Price: $59.00
Currently Unavailable.

Showing a beautiful pink salmon color, this food-friendly rosé bursts with tiny bubbles that stream endlessly. It has all the exciting aromas that one would expect in a rosé Champagne: rose petals, strawberries, raspberries, Bing cherries, brioche, and subtle spice. On the fruity yet elegant palate, this non-vintage Champagne shows great structure, and its effervescence tingles the senses all the way to its very long finish. Alfred Gratien crafts this wine from 45% Chardonnay from Côtes des Blancs, 15% Pinot Noir from Montagne de Reims and 40% Pinot Meunier from the Marne Valley, and it uses traditional methods to make this wine, including a first fermentation in small oak casks, no malolactic fermentation, and aging in oak for six months before release. more info
Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino 2013 750ml
Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino 2013 750ml
Price: $129.99

Vibrant, structured, and luminous, the ’13 Brunello from Valdicava is destined to become a hotly coveted vintage of this collector wine. Layering its pure red and blue fruits over a framework of telltale Montalcino terroir, this wine unfurls on the palate with silkiness, exquisite balance, and sheer sophistication--it’s a Brunello to buy by the case so that you can enjoy it for decades to come. 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. more info
Valdicava Brunello Di Montalcino Madonna del Piano 2012 750ml
Valdicava Brunello Di Montalcino Madonna del Piano 2012 750ml
Price: $225.00
Currently Unavailable.

Brambly berries and luscious plums dance on a bed of tarry earth, grilled herbs, black licorice, pencil lead and violet petals in the seductive ’12 Brunello Riserva Madonna del Piano. Dense and power-packed, this muscular wine glides across the palate with a velvety, super-silky feel; while enjoyable now with decanting, this Brunello Riserva will hit its stride after five years in the cellar. The first single-vineyard Brunello Riserva, the Valdicava Madonna del Piano very much set the standard for cru Brunello. Biodynamically grown and produced, Valdicava Brunello derives from very high quality, very low yields of berries, employs minimal use of barriques and is aged almost entirely in large neutral oak barrels. more info
Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino 2013 1.5L
Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino 2013 1.5L
Price: $299.00
Currently Unavailable.

Vibrant, structured, and luminous, the ’13 Brunello from Valdicava is destined to become a hotly coveted vintage of this collector wine. Layering its pure red and blue fruits over a framework of telltale Montalcino terroir, this wine unfurls on the palate with silkiness, exquisite balance, and sheer sophistication--it’s a Brunello to buy by the case so that you can enjoy it for decades to come. 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. more info