June 24, 2015
A Note from Sergio
Sangiovese week continues--it began with the release of Fontodi 2012 Flaccianello, which led to the Podere Le Boncie 2011 La Trame. Today, I'm very pleased to present the 2013 Pian del Ciampolo, the entry-level wine from Sangiovese powerhouse Montevertine. Sangiovese has overcome its own bad reputation in no small part because of producers like Montevertine. In these days of frenzied Brunello releases and great mono-varietal Sangiovese wines like Montevertine's Le Pergone Torte and Fontodi's Flaccianello, it's easy to forget that just a few decades ago Sangiovese was, by and large, plonk. It was the grape that made bad wine in bad bottles, and its badness was so extraordinarily very bad that it forced producers like Montevertine's Sergio Manetti to leave the Chianti Consorzio and make wines his own way.
By the late 1970s, Manetti had grown weary of his neighboring winemakers' adding international grapes like Merlot and Syrah to their Sangiovese-based wines. He decided to make a wine that was 100% Sangiovese, something that no one else in the region was doing at the time. He believed that a wine of Toscana should be evocative of Toscana, and not of California or France. When Sangiovese gets blended, it often becomes overshadowed--that is, unless it's blended with two other grapes from Toscana, specifically Colorino and Canaiolo. These grapes help to make Sangiovese sing, taming its acidity and making it softer, more approachable and more delicious early in its wine life.
Montevertine's Pian del Ciampolo is both Montevertine's calling card and a wine that puts Sangiovese in the company of those two indigenous grapes. You can't drink Le Pergole Torte every day, but Pian del Ciampolo fills that any-old-Wednesday-night niche. It holds all of Montevertine's passion and all of Toscana's beauty in its friendly hands. You're going to love it, especially this retrained, elegant 2013 bottling. And just to make sure that this wine has very special company, I'm delighted to offer new allocations of one of IWM's favorite under $100 cru Amarone, the Begali 2009 Amarone Monte Ca' Bianca, and a sherry from Bodegas Toro Albalá that's almost seventy years old! These are three extraordinary wines, and I hope you share them with people you love.
Today's Featured Sections Include:
1. Spotlight on Excellence: Elegant, Polished Entry-Level Montevertine 2013 Pian del Ciampolo
2. Only At IWM:
Under $80 Begali 2009 Amarone Monte Ca' Bianca
3. Time Sensitive Offer: The Last of the Bodegas Toro Albalá 1946 Don Px Convento Seleccion?
4. Our Experts Suggest:
Domaine François Lamarche, a Burgundy Legend
5. Wine Events: Upcoming New York & Aspen Wine Tastings: June-July 2015