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A Note from Sergio

 

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to spend a week cruising the Mediterranean as the wine expert on a cruise organized by Napa Valley Wine Reserve, a company whose sole purpose is to help people who love wine grow to love it even more. It was a remarkable week of pristine blue skies, a gorgeous cerulean ocean, fantastic food, amazing wines and wonderful people. Sometimes my life strains credulity with how great it gets.

I was really fortunate to have the opportunity to float along on this big beautiful boat all while meeting new friends and reconnecting with people I hadn't seen in a while. We stopped at tremendous destinations, places like Positano, Porto Ercole, Portofino and Capri--locations that have the glamour of movie sets--and we visited with some of my very favorite producers.

Since I've been back, everyone keeps asking what we drank. It's only natural. Napa Valley Wine Reserve has a well-deserved reputation for providing the highest quality wine experience, and when you're talking about drinking wines from producers like Giacomo Conterno, Bruno Giacosa, Biondi-Santi, Soldera, Movia, and Castello dei Rampolla, among others, it's not hard to see why. It was a star-studded wine list, and it's my pleasure to offer it to you today.

Every once in a while, the fates conspire to make our lives really fantastic. This offering is a reminder of that, and how when it happens, we need to celebrate it. Life is grand. Drink to it, my friends.


My Best,    

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Case Basse di Soldera Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2002 750ml
Case Basse di Soldera Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2002 750ml
Price: $899.00

Soldera's 2002 Brunello Riserva has an unusual history. Bad weather caused Soldera to make hard choices, and thus he used only a small portion of his vines' grapes, picking only the very best fruit. The resulting wine is exquisite, age-worthy, and extremely limited. Upon release, this wine was hailed for its finesse and elegance, and its Sangiovese purity; the past decade and a half have only worked to cement the legendary status of this Soldera Brunello Riserva. Sophisticated and ethereal, this ’02 Brunello Riserva unspools from the glass with scents of red and blue fruits, pressed violet petals, earthy spices, and developing tertiary notes of black tea and truffles. This wine shows Soldera’s Burgundian profile, layering its myriad notes on a weightless frame, and filling the mouth with ever-changing sensations. Still very young, this ’02 Brunello Riserva will drink for decades! While Soldera usually crafts 22,000 cases in a year, he only made 6,000 cases of the 2002 Brunello Riserva. Soldera's estate has two plots, Case Basse and Intistieti, both Edenic wonderlands of plants and flowers; a blend of the two vineyards, this wine aged in large Slavonian oak barrels for around five years, before being bottled without any fining or filtration. more info
Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia 2006 750ml
Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia 2006 750ml
Price: $279.00
Currently Unavailable.

If 2007 offers a warm, welcoming embrace, 2006 Cascina Francia turns a classic profile; the two vintages perform perfectly complementary halves: two great back-to-back vintages that will remind collectors of the legendary 1989 and 1990. Roberto Conterno proudly told us that his 2006 may be one of the best Barolos he has ever produced, and the enticing ‘06 Cascina Francia shows gorgeous ripe dark fruit, a waft of incense and saddle leather, and chewy tannins that need some time to integrate. Cascina Francia 2006 gives a complex kaleidoscope nose--it’s like a deep breath of a year’s worth of fresh Piemonte air. While this wine is definitely austere in its youth, some time in the cellar will bring its roses, violets, tar and star anise into stunning harmony. Cellar for a couple of years and drink for the next three or four decades. more info
Castello dei Rampolla Vigna d'Alceo 2006 750ml
Castello dei Rampolla Vigna d'Alceo 2006 750ml
Price: $175.00

The 2006 Vigna d’Alceo 2006 is a Super-Tuscan masterpiece. Dark, deep and opaque, this ’06 is showing few signs of age--only a kiss of tertiary notes appear and the wine is almost kinetic with energy. The stylish, juicy nose bursts with scents of wild herbs, dark black currants, and a touch of leather. This wine crosses the palate full throttle with gobs of black fruits, a fabulous texture that’s deep, thick and velvety with an amazingly long. concentrated finish. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon with 15% Petit Verdot, this biodynamic Super Tuscan ferments with only natural yeasts and ages for a year in barrique before release. more info
Gaja Chardonnay Gaia & Rey 2009 750ml
Gaja Chardonnay Gaia & Rey 2009 750ml
Price: $269.00
Currently Unavailable.

This may be not only the best Chardonnay in Italy, but the best white wine to come out of the Boot. Gaia & Rey derives from Angelo's first Chardonnay vineyard and is named for his oldest daughter, Gaia Gaja, and his grandmother, Clotilde Rey, a marketing mastermind who taught Angelo the importance of promotional efforts (making Gaja's tribute particularly apropos).   The grapes for Gaia & Rey are from a 3.6 ha plot in calcareous clays on slopes facing west at 350 meters altitude at the village of Treiso in the Barbaresco zone. The vines were planted in 1979, with the 1994 marking its debut release. The grapes are stemmed and soft crushed and fermented with naturally occurring yeasts found on the grape skins for about 4 weeks in stainless steel tanks. The wine is then aged for 6-8 months in small oak barrels from France, Austria, Poland, Russia, and Hungary.  Gaia & Rey is fermented with naturally occurring yeasts found on the grape skins and in the winery, endowing the wine with a touch of exoticism. It is a hedonistic wine, delivering lusciously ripe flavors of guava, tangerine, honey, marzipan, and oak spice. Impressively chewy in the mouth, the concentrated, ripe fruit is perfectly balanced by a lively acidity that persists through the long, lingering finish. more info
Gaja Barbaresco 2008 750ml
Gaja Barbaresco 2008 750ml
Price: $199.00
Currently Unavailable.

A Barbaresco that honors Angelo Gaja’s winemaking heritage, this pure mono-varietal Nebbiolo Barbaresco constitutes the sole “proper” Barbaresco in Gaja’s wine portfolio. Silky, sensuous, and unabashedly earthy, this Barbaresco blends Nebbio grapes from fourteen vineyards to create a traditional, dense, age-worthy and elegant expression with the kind of balance and finish to make you swoon. Figs, smoke, licorice, underbrush and super-saturated fruit make the Gaja Barbaresco a wine for all seasons, and all connoisseurs’ cellars. more info
Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2000 750ml
Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2000 750ml
Price: $375.00

Deep purple in color, the ’00 vintage offers a complex bouquet of ripe dark fruit, tobacco, and pepper. This rich and intense, velveteen-palate wine offers black currant jam, cocoa, truffles, and spice, with a strong backbone and tannins that provide for a marathon finish. This Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is one of Italy's most sought-after wines and a cellar trophy for the collector. The late, great Lord of the Vines, Edoardo Valentini, put this wine on the global map with his elegantly rustic, unfiltered red produced from late harvest grapes grown on vines of 25-35 years of ages. The production varies by vintage, but one thing is certain: the wine's ability to deliver concentration and agebility. more info
Biondi-Santi Il Greppo Brunello di Montalcino 2008 750ml
Biondi-Santi Il Greppo Brunello di Montalcino 2008 750ml
Price: $139.00
Currently Unavailable.

A year that Franco Biondi-Santi pronounced “exceptional,” 2008 provided for a Brunello wafting with scents of juicy cherries, crushed flower petals, licorice, cigar wrapper, forest floor, and earth; these notes of berries and briar reappear on the palate, where they’re joined by spice, earth and smoke. More accessible than the typical Biondi-Santi Brunello, the ’08 Brunello shows its aristocratic breeding in its marriage of succulent fruit and nervy acidity; this wine unfurls on the palate with silky, fine-grained tannins, revealing its myriad layers with time in the glass. Biondi-Santi crafts its "Annata," or normale bottlings, from fruit grown on vines between 10-25 years old in marl soil. Vinified in temperature-controlled cement tanks and aged in Slovenian oak casks, Biondi-Santi Brunello is extraordinarily age-worthy, balanced and beautiful, akin to Brunello's answer to Burgundy. The classic, aromatic, pure and aristocratic 2008 Brunello is entering its drinking window. more info
   
 

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Italian Wine Merchants will be delivering to the New York City area's summer hotspots, from the Hamptons to the Jersey Shore. We'll ship your wine for you so you'll get it in time for your weekend festivities via UPS or our own delivery service. Requests for Saturday deliveries need to be received by Thursday at 4:00 in order to process your request in a timely manner. Should you have questions on deliveries or shipping, please contact an IWM Portfolio Manager at (212) 473 2323.