The vineyards growing at Porta del Vento trace the shape of their Valdibella hills with the organic whorls of a fingerprint. The vines face north, like long green compass hands in the summer; this direction shades them from the merciless, pounding Sicilian sun. The decades-old vines grow short, gnarled and stunted. They look like rows of old men dancing, shaking shaggy vinous heads in the summer or in the winter scraggly heads black as a fire escape in the rain. It's an old land, one so long used to grow things that you can feel the antediluvian mystery in the air.
Sicilia used to be the home of wine that made up in quantity what it lacked in quality, but those days are long behind winemakers like Porta del Vento (or COS, Valle dell'Acate, or any of this region's producers who line IWM's shelves). Sicilia has extraordinary terroir. It's volcanic. It's sunny. It's windswept. It's dry. And it makes wines that crackle with acidity and wake your palate with wildness. Today, I'm delighted to shine a spotlight on Porta del Vento 2012 Maquè Perricone, a terrific under $30 wine that's perfect for hot summer nights. You're going to love this unusual red; it's saturated with bitter fruits and iron, and it's just delicious.
Along with this fine value wine, I'm proud to present a vintage gem from Bartolo Mascarello. This 1952 Barolo Riserva predates the estate's name change, so its label reads "Cantina Mascarello," but it was made by Bartolo and his father Giulio, who taught him everything. A long time ago, I made a commitment to the "IWM Difference"--selling only wine that has a direct, straight-line provenance and perfect storage--a commitment that's imperative to selling vintage wines. This '52 Cantina Mascarello Barolo Riserva epitomizes my dedication to the IWM Difference and to you, IWM's clients.
Finally, Burgheads should rejoice at the 2014 Château de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet offered below--it's outrageous!