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The Wine That Inspired Sassicaia and What You Should Know....and More.
June 6, 2020

2019 Bordeaux Has Begun with New Releases from Pauillac – Pontet Canet to Lafite-Rothschild. Why Buy En Primeur? It Begins with the Under-the-Radar Fifth Growth at $36.99!

“Our gutfeel is that just as there will always be a discussion between 2009 and 2010, that we will have the same between 2018 and 2019; 2018 being closer to 2009, and 2019 being closer to 2010.” — Eric Kohler, Lafite-Rothschild

A decade ago, Sergio, the IWM team, and I made the decision to participate in the vaunted 2010 En Primeur Bordeaux campaign. We listened to the interests of our patrons, and we introduced select wines to an overwhelming response. Even at Italian Wine Merchants, it is difficult to ignore that Bordeaux belongs alongside the likes of our iconic Cabernet and Merlot blends of Sassicaia, Solaia, Ornellaia, and the Petrus of Tuscany, Masseto. Bordeaux was, as you know, a catalyst for the Super-Tuscan movement. The myth is that the late Mario Incisa della Rocchetta of Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia dreamed of emulating a fine red Bordeaux in Bolgheri, and in 1944, he planted Cabernet vines that were sourced from Château Lafite-Rothschild. Whether fact or fiction, the great Super-Tuscan patriarch was inspired by the wines of Bordeaux, and so are we. However, we would add that Bordeaux is not limited to First Growths and should not be stereotyped as expensive or cost prohibitive. The En Primeur campaign allows those who are willing to buy early and wait for the wines to arrive to obtain pricing and wines that can be agreeable to all levels of enthusiasts and collectors. Most of all, the En Primeur offerings represent some of the finest wines produced on the planet.

With that said, we are pleased to present the 2019 Bordeaux En Primeur campaign. As in 2015 and 2018, the 2019 vintage is another blockbuster year filled with explosive and ripe expressions. Thanks to our relationships with Bordeaux, we were among the first in the country to taste barrel samples in this unprecedented and difficult time. We were simply stunned by the fruit purity of the 2019 Ducru Beaucaillou; the wine begins where the jaw-dropping 2016 and 2018 left off. But the wines are striking well beyond the signature Super Second of Saint-Julien, and one place to begin is with two of my favorite, overachieving, value picks from Château Laroque and Tour Saint Christophe in Saint-Émilion.

But today, we want to draw your attention to Pauillac with the debut of the fabled First Growth Château Lafite-Rothschild and the biodynamic-driven wines of Alfred Tesseron at Pontet-Canet. To be able to secure this nearly perfect Pontet-Canet for $79.99 is unprecedented — and it is our MUST BUY recommendation. However, it does not end there. 2019 might just be the year of Château Pédesclaux, as it is not only one of the greatest values from Bordeaux, but in the world of wine. Here, you have an under-the-radar Fifth Growth from a Pauillac estate with vineyards positioned next to Château Lafite-Rothschild, d’Armailhac, and Lynch Bages, and a history dating back 200 years. This historic rising star is now making its finest wines since 1810 with Jacky Lorenzetti taking control of the property back in 2013. At $36.99, I cannot think of another Cabernet blend that can deliver this quality and longevity at this price in Bordeaux, Tuscany, or Napa. The barrel sample was stunning, and we cannot recommend the wines enough!

Featured Wine(s): Debuts from Pontet-Canet to Lafite-Rothschild (Click to Order)

Note: More sizes 1.5L, 3.0L, 6.0L available on request. Please note, for 2019 En Primeur selections, the wines will arrive by the end of 2022. As such, should tariffs exist at the time, the purchaser of the wines will be responsible for these additional tariffs at the time of importation. All wines subject to confirmation.

Now with the important releases of Ponet Canet, Palmer, Cos d’Estournel, and Lafite-Rothschild, the 2019 Bordeaux campaign has officially begun, yet the age-old question remains: Why buy from the somewhat archaic En Primeur system? First and foremost, Bordeaux has another incredible vintage on their hands with 2019. For buyers, En Primeur offers early access on several levels: first, key buying opportunities, which means buying releases at first tranche and lower pricing that can present investment opportunities because wines like Lafite Lafleur, and others will increase from their release price; second, access to limited production wines that will sell out — yes, wines like Palmer, Pontet Canet, Lafleur, Les Carmes Haut Brion and more will sell out in 2019; third, the chance to discover under-the-radar and value sleeper finds — wines like the overachieving Laroque at $29 are already selling out; and fourth, large formats and customized bottle sizes because this is the time of year to put in your special requests for halves (375ml) or for legendary Melchiors (18.0L) that can be ideal for birth year bottles for celebrations down the road.

Additional Notes and Reviews:

“[2019] was the first time that all the sorting and destemming has been done 100% by hand, no machines at all. Evenno pump used for pumping over, only gentle pushing down. It was funny because as there was no noise at all in the cellar, people were singing while sorting and destemming.” — Justine Tesseron, Pontet-Canet

2019 Château Pédesclaux, Pauillac, 5ème Cru Classé
Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: With a history dating back to 1810, Château Pédesclaux is a historic rising star of Pauillac, and this wine is one of the great values in all of Cabernet. Look for the recently arrived 2016; it’s another wine that wowed me from barrel and it’s worth seeing what is happening at this prized address with parcels next to Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, d’Amailhac, and Lynch Bages. For now, this unique 2019 tasting from barrel was stunning — we are talking energy, structure, concentration, and purity of fruit, all perfectly balanced. From the glass. the wine screams “Pauillac,” and you get a little of that crème de cassis and graphite on the nose. All these nuances transfer to the palate and you can expect more blackberries, wild berries, minerality, and a touch of that pencil lead note. There is more than 70% Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend, and this wine showcases unrivalled sophistication and nobility at $36.99. This is hand- down one of the great values in wine for those that are willing to wait. A MUST buy from 2019.”

2019 Château Pontet-Canet, Pauillac, 5ème Cru Classé
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate: The blend this year is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Very deep purple-black colored, the 2019 Pontet-Canet has the most gorgeous, lifted perfume of lilacs, dark chocolate, Morello cherries and rosehip tea over a core of crème de cassis, plum preserves, licorice and woodsmoke with a waft of fragrant soil. Full-bodied, rich and fantastically opulent, the palate offers layer upon layer of ripe, finely grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long and mineral laced. A real head-turner, this beauty is absolutely going to steal your heart!”

2019 Château Lafite-Rothschild, Pauillac, 1er Cru Classé
Jane Anson, Decanter: “Performs the trick of being immediately succulent and mouthwatering while simultaneously revving up and building power through the palate. You're getting sapidity and savoury black fruits that are both elegant and full of power. The spicy rosemary and black pepper, with slate-textured minerality, is almost unnoticeable until it closes in on the final stretch, helping to stretch things out, beat by beat, adding energy and lift. One half of the 5% Merlot in this blend is from plots that have never before been used in Lafite's 1st wine, because their drone and satellite research discovered three tiny areas that were similar in character and could be vinified together. They have worked on this for the past three years, successfully so for first time in 2019. It just holds on tight, with a creaminess that you don't always find in Lafite at this early stage. A brilliant wine, one that could be upscored from this when in bottle. Harvest September 19 to October 7.”

This is an email ONLY offer. Should you have any questions on these exciting wines, or would like to take advantage of this offer while supplies last we are asking that you email orders back to me at, connect with your portfolio manager, or mention receipt of this offer if calling the store. All orders are subject to confirmation.

All my best,