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Gaja's Radiant, Crisp 2017 Chardonnay Rossj-Bass Debuts!

February 15, 2019
A Note from Sergio

By the early 1970s, when Angelo Gaja had taken complete control of his father's estate, Angelo was already well into his winemaking rebellion. He'd already instituted a green harvest and begun bottling his cru Barbaresco wines--practices that were anathema to traditional Piemonte. But in the mid-to-late 1970s, Gaja began using barriques to age his wines, he started experimenting with malolactic fermentation, and he planted international grapes. Angelo made these changes in order to woo international palates, and he ended up making outrageously good wines, like his Chardonnay Gaia & Rey, which he poured for collectors and critics in order to seduce them into drinking his Barbaresco. It worked, to say the least.

Angelo was so delighted with the response to his Chardonnay Gaia & Rey that he began crafting a second Chardonnay, his Rossj-Bass. Just as he had named his first Chardonnay after his elder daughter, Gaia, Angelo named his second Chardonnay after his youngest daughter, Rossana, or Rossj for short. Angelo sourced the grapes from a low-lying vineyard, thus christening the wine Rossj-Bass. A clearly defined, graceful Chardonnay (which, in typical Angelo style, he tweaked by adding a touch of Sauvignon Blanc), Rossj-Bass spends less time in barrique than the Gaia & Rey, making it earlier drinking, sprightlier, and altogether charming.

Today, I'm very proud to debut Gaja's new 2017 Rossj-Bass, a knockout embodiment of this ripe yet lively year. Angelo grows close to retirement and he's stepping back from the winemaking duties. This '17 Rossj-Bass shows the hands of his children, Gaia, Rossana and Giovanni, in its luster, its freshness, and its seductive nose. Maybe you've never given a Gaja Chardonnay a try--if so, give this debut a whirl. It just about leaps from the glass, and you're going to love it.


Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Only at IWM: Glorious Now, Superb Later, Gaja 2017 Chardonnay Rossj-Bass
2. Wine Events: Upcoming February Wine Tasting Events

My Best,

Sergio Esposito

Masterful, idiosyncratic and divisive, Angelo Gaja is known best for his Barbaresco, Barolo and other red wines. However, this Piemonte producer also crafts an array of world-class wines, including the white we're spotlighting today, Gaja's elegant and accessible Rossj-Bass. While rooted in the tradition of the Langhe, Angelo long ago recognized the region's inherent flexibility that allows it to bend to Nebbiolo-based reds, Chardonnay-based whites and international grapes, and as this winemaking titan turns the winemaking reins over to his children, the Gaja estate continues its tradition of crafting vibrant, prismatic white wines. Gaja's penchant for innovation once had its detractors, but the estate has proven Angelo's visionary moves, for Gaja's wines are among the world's most acclaimed and sought-after bottlings, whether reds or whites. While Gaja's more famous white is his renowned Chardonnay Gaia & Rey, his Rossj-Bass, Chardonnay with a kiss of Sauvignon Blanc, is a delicious, complex, and approachable bottling that could only come from the lands of Gaja. Today, we're delighted to announce the release of the lush, crisp, and radiant 2017 Rossj-Bass, a perennial IWM favorite presented at the BEST PRICE in the States.

Why Buy This Wine:

- 2017 saw a hot, low production growing year in Piemonte, but harvest time was tempered by cool, crystalline nights; the upshot is that the 2017 Rossj-Bass marries succulent, sweet fruits with bright, fresh acidity for a wine that's enjoyable right off the bat (but has the structure to age over the medium term).

- Richly perfumed, the '17 Rossj-Bass bursts from the glass in a shower of tropical and orchard fruits, white wildflowers, exotic spices, toasted nuts and a touch of honeyed ginger.

- This Rossj-Bass vintage manages to feel luscious and bracing, complementing its sappy fruits with a core of nervy acidity as it glides across the palate to a sustained, creamy finish--it's utterly captivating!

- A blend of mostly Chardonnay kissed with Sauvignon Blanc, Rossj-Bass comes from the Rossj vineyard, as well as several other estate-owned vineyards, blending to create a wine with an enchanting golden color, surprising depth and mouth-watering acidity.

- Rossj Bass named after one of Angelo's daughters, Rossana, and the Piemontese word for "low," bass, a nod to the vineyard's position; it ferments in temperature-controlled stainless steel and then ages for six to seven months in barriques.

- IWM is delighted to debut this 2017 Gaja release at the BEST PRICE in the country; please contact your portfolio manager to secure yours.

Gaja 2017 Chardonnay Rossj Bass**
(Italy, Piemonte - Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc)
$99.00 Regular Price/btl
$91.08 Case Price/btl

*Pre-Arrival, Late Spring

Saturday, February 23 | 1:00-4:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Lunch Tasting

Regular Ticket Price: $179.00/person

Guest Host: Oscar Arrivabene, Owner, Winemaker
IWM Host: Will Di Nunzio, President

One of the renegade band of winemakers known as the "Barolo Boys," Domenico Clerico started his career as a progressive winemaker, breaking from traditional Barolo protocol to follow his muse in making terroir-driven, long-aging yet approachable Barolo wines. Clerico, who passed away in 2017, never quit changing, never ceased tinkering with his wines, and never stopped surprising his fans with his wines' ever-evolving, captivating palates. These days, the Clerico estate is helmed by his wife, Giuliana, and his protégé, Oscar Arrivabene, a talented, trained enologist. IWM invites you to our very special Domenico Clerico Winemaker Lunch, cohosted by IWM President Will Di Nunzio and Oscar Arrivabene, the estate's winemaker. Dine on handcrafted meals from IWM's own Chef Michael Marcelli, drink Clerico's world-famous wines, and learn about the past--and the future--of this groundbreaking Barolo estate!

Featured Wines & Menu:

Welcome Reception
Cantine Monfort Brut Metodo Classico NV

Antipasti di stagione
Assorted Seasonal Antipasti
Domenico Clerico Dolcetto Langhe Visadi 2015
Domenico Clerico Barbera d'Alba Trevigne 2015

Risotto, Oxtail Ragu, Cocoa & Blood Orange
Domenico Clerico Arte 2015
Domenico Clerico Barolo 2014

Grilled Quail, La Tur Fonduta & Romanesco
Domenico Clerico Barolo Pajana 2012
Domenico Clerico Barolo Pajana 2008

Dry-aged Ribeye, Black Truffle, Lion's Mane Mushroom & Alba Hazelnut
Domenico Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin 2012
Domenico Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin 2006

Domenico Clerico Barolo Aeroplan Servaj 2013

*Wines may be subject to change.
IWM will do our best to accommodate guests' dietary restrictions with advanced notice.

Saturday, March 2 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Regular Ticket Price: $129.00/person
Early Bird Price: $109.00/person

IWM Host: Michael Adler, Portfolio Manager

From the top of the Boot to the tip of its heel, Italy sports more than 2,000 different indigenous grapes, possibly more than any other country in the world. One way to make sense of this delicious cacophony is to zero in on specific wine regions, and this event does just that! Let our knowledgeable IWM sommelier lead you through a tour of nine of the most emblematic, delicious, and outrageous expressions from Italy's North and its South, while helping you understand the full panorama of Italy's terroir, traditions, and grapes. Accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, this sit-down tasting offers aficionados or Italian wine newbies the tastiest education in authentic wine that you can get outside of Italy. Toe to tip, IWM is where Italian wine lovers come to discover, enjoy and indulge in fine Italian wine.

*Wines to be announced.

Saturday, March 9 | 1:00-4:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Lunch Tasting

Regular Ticket Price: $149.00/person
Early Bird Price: $129.00/person

Guest Host: Gaetana Jacono, Owner, Winemaker
IWM Host: Morgan Howard, Portfolio Manager

IWM celebrates women winemakers with a special three-course lunch featuring Gaetana Jacono from Valle dell'Acate in Sicilia! While the Jacono family of Valle dell'Acate estate has been making wine in Sicilia for generations, in 2001, Gaetana Jacono, the current winemaker-owner of Valle dell'Acate, revitalized the estate with a substantive replanting of the vineyards with Sicilia's indigenous varietals, specifically Nero d'Avola, Inzolia, and Frappato, and taking the estate fully organic. The wine world has woken to the fruits of Gaetana's labors with Valle dell'Acate's outstanding, terroir-driven wines. Join IWM for this special March lunch event that's cohosted with Gaetana Jacono, enjoy delicious dishes created by IWM's own Chef Michael Marcelli and his in-house staff, and learn about Sicilian traditions with one of the region's finest winemakers. It'll be a wonderful, delicious and educational event, perfect for wine-lovers, whether women or not!

*Wines to be announced.

Saturday, March 16 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Regular Ticket Price: $129.00/person
Early Bird Price: $109.00/person

IWM Host: Will Di Nunzio, President

Barolo and Burgundy are perhaps the greatest wines to come from Italy and France, respectively, and despite their national differences, these two wine regions invite comparisons. Both are responsible for highly nuanced, terroir-specific, and age-worthy wines; both are prized around the globe for their distinctive palates; and both have garnered diehard fans who define their cellars by their beloved Barolo or Burgundy bottlings. Join IWM as we take a deep dive into Barolo and Burgundy, pouring wines from both regions to celebrate the convergence of these iconic winemaking areas. This special event, led by a knowledgeable IWM sommelier and accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, will explore the magic that happens when a specific grape meets its ideal soil, microclimate, regional traditions and producers--and how the love of one great wine can lead to another. Wine is a life-long love affair, and there's always room for more in your glass!

*Wines to be announced.

Saturday, March 23 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Regular Ticket Price: $199.00/person
Early Bird Price: $179.00/person

IWM Host: Francescp Vigorito, Vice President of Sales

Wine is a living thing, and like all living things, it changes with age. While everyone knows that wines mature, not everyone knows exactly what "maturity" means. This special tasting, led by a knowledgeable IWM sommelier and accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, focuses on the same wine--but years apart! We'll pour vintage wine pairs so that you can experience the ways that differing growing years, bottle age, and other factors affect the wines in your glass. Appreciating mature wines requires palate education, but it offers a rich payoff in terms of your understanding, knowledge and enjoyment. This tasting will help wine newbies come to recognize the nuances of maturity, and it will help deepen wine connoisseurs' knowledge. Wine is time in a bottle, and this tasting will let you see the many ways that maturity is magic!

*Wines to be announced.

Saturday, March 30 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Walk-Around Tasting

Regular Ticket Price: $99.00/person
Early Bird Price: $49.00/person

Join us for the return of our favorite tastings, the Mini Grand! IWM's team of knowledgeable sommelier will choose delicious, emblematic wines from Italy, along with select bottles around the world. Featuring about twenty wines--red, white and rosé--IWM's Mini-Grand Tasting is the ideal event for wine-lovers to fill their glasses with wine and their minds with knowledge. Past guests have enjoyed the Mini-Grand's walk-around format that allows you to sample wines from some of the finest producers on the face of the planet, concentrating on your favorite regions, while leaving space for joyful exploration. Complemented by meats and cheeses, and sweetened by preferential pricing on the featured wines, this tasting is a rare treat. Come to IWM's Mini-Grand Tasting, and travel the world of wine, without ever leaving glamorous New York City.

*Wines to be announced.

For more information, please visit our website Wine Events Page.

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