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Debut 2009 Vigna d'Alceo, Great Brunello Values from Gaja and Canalicchio de Sopra!
January 28, 2014
A Note from Sergio

This time of year, I begin my annual obligatory trek to Italian wine festivals and expositions--Benvenuto Brunello, focused on just Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino; ViniVeri, the wine show dedicated to natural wines and non-interventionist winemakers; and the great Mother of All Wine Festivals, VinItaly. I go to some because they're small, intimate, important and quality-driven fairs, and I go to others because they're sort of one-stop shopping for all wines across Italy. Mostly, however, I attend because there's that nagging anxiety that if I don't go, I'll miss out on the next big thing, the new thing, the new great wine outlier.

I've been attending these things for so long that I have a strategy; it's easy to get overwhelmed, and I don't have the time or the attention span for that to happen. Almost always, I find that there are a lot of not-so-great wines, a few really good wines, and even a few surprise great ones, but mostly what I notice isn't the new stuff, the outliers and the unknown. It's the wines that I've known over the years, and somehow they've gotten better.

So often we wine-lovers get so focused on looking for the new and better that we forget about the usual suspects. The thing is, however, when I think back to the wines that the industry said were new or better ten, five, even a couple of years ago, not many of them have stuck--most of them have been weeded out by the market. Going to events, I'm reminded that as much as I like discovering something I've never tasted before, I really love rediscovering the wines I've known and loved for a long time.

Today, I'm proud to debut one of the best usual suspects I know: Castello dei Rampolla's Vigna d'Alceo, a superb biodynamically made Super Tuscan. The '08 vintage of this wine was all the rage, but the '09 makes a perfect bookend to that vintage--the wines of this ancient estate seem to get better and better. Along with this debut, I'm proud to spotlight two wines you should know, if you don't already, a Brunello from Angelo Gaja's Pieve Santa Restituta estate and one from Montalcino patriarch Canalicchio di Sopra. These bottles may be known entities, but you can still enjoy them like it's the very first time.

Finally, I want to invite you to a very special dinner that IWM is hosting with Riccardo Talenti, Brunello maker extraordinaire, tomorrow night. Unlike many of our events, this is a very intimate dinner--just a handful of guests--in our Vintage Tasting Room. It's a rare opportunity to eat delicious food, drink remarkable wines, and enjoy conversation with the man who made them. Memories will be made, and I hope you're one of the few making them.

Today's Featured Sections Include:


1. Spotlight on Excellence: The Perfect Complement to the "Perfect" '08, Vigna d'Alceo '09  

2. Time Sensitive Offer: 18 Years, Impeccable Provenance, and Under $90 Brunello

3. Our Experts Suggest: A Taste of Toscana in Two 2006 Sangiovese Wines

4. Only At IWM: Stand Out '08 Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello Under $65!  

5. Wine Events: An Intimate Winemaker Dinner with Riccardo Talenti, Winemak

My Best, 



Sergio Esposito