The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: De Forville and Ada Nada

Posted on | August 21, 2014 | Written by Francesco Vigorito | No Comments

Francesco 2014Nebbiolo—who doesn’t love it? With its firm structure, enchanting aromatics, and long-lived personality, Nebbiolo makes some of the best wines Italy can offer. Most people think Barolo when they think Nebbiolo, but that’s not the limit of this Italian indigenous grape. Today I have two different examples showing two of the many faces and price points that Nebbiolo can offer up.

De Forville Langhe Nebbiolo 2012 $19.99

At its core, this wine is actually a “baby” Barbaresco because it derives from fruits from around the area of Barbaresco. This wine is gorgeously red fruited with classic notes of licorice and flowers.  You can pair this ’12 Nebbiolo with just about anything under the sun. Because of its lighter structure you can even pair up this wine with herb grilled chicken.

Ada Nada Barbaresco Elisa 2008 $47.55

Exceptional Barbaresco under $50 is very hard to come by; in fact, it’s nearly impossible.   We have just two wines that fit these criteria at IWM, and the Ada Nada offers one of the best quality-to-price ratios we’ve ever seen. The Ada Nada Elisa is not a Barbaresco that you have to wait fifteen years to drink; it’s deliciously approachable now and will drink for the next decade.


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Savoring Summer Favorites: Lobster Rolls and Rosé

Posted on | August 20, 2014 | Written by Jessica Catelli | No Comments

pic2With summer nearly at an end, this past Friday I headed off to Cape Cod with some friends. Cape Cod is known for its breathtaking coastline, quaint harbors, windswept beaches, glorious dunes, blinking lighthouses—and its seafood. Full of architecture and culinary gems—weathered shingles, whaling captains’ mansions, chowder shacks and unique wine selections—Cape Cod offers a lot to enjoy in August.

You can’t turn around without hearing or reading about great lobster rolls, and many people debating where to find the “best lobster roll” and “best chowder” so with all this chatter, we decided to try some for ourselves. I opted out on the chowder, but indulged in everything else. We first headed to Martha’s Vineyard via boat where we walked around in the sunshine, Of course, what better way to enjoy the perfect August day other than a glass of rosé? We first selected a rosé from Spain, and it was delicious.

Inspired by this first afternoon, my friends decided we would order one lobster roll from each place all to taste then determine which one was the best, and what qualifications make it the best. While the two places we tried were good, we had yet to discover the best. The next day when we ventured to an area called the Popponesset Marketplace New Seabury, where we found the best lobster roll at Bob’s Seafood and Raw Bar, and enjoyed another day of refreshing rosé. It was low-key and relaxed, just the most perfect atmosphere for an easy Sunday afternoon.

To my thinking, two summer classics, lobster rolls and rosé, make a nontraditional but inspired pairing to wrap up the summer. I decided to put together my own recipe of what I think makes the best lobster roll as well as a nice clean and crisp rosé to pair it with.


  • kosher salt
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 3 1 1/4-pound live lobsters
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 pinch parsley (If you prefer: dried basil, or tarragon)
  • 2–3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 6 New England–style split-top hot dog buns
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature


  • Pour water into a large pot to a depth of 1 inch; bring to a boil and salt generously. Add lobsters, cover, and cook until bright red, 8–10 minutes. Transfer lobsters to a rimmed baking sheet and let cool.
  • Crack lobster shells, pick meat from tail and claws, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Mix lobster, celery, lemon juice, chives, parsley and 2 tablespoons mayonnaise in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper and add more mayonnaise, if desired.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spread flat sides of buns with butter. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side; place the lettuce on either side then fill with lobster mixture.

I’m fond of these rosé wines that are in stock, ready for you to enjoy as summer ends:

Fantinel Brut Rosé NV: This lovely sparkler crafted from Pinot Nero and Chardonnay blushes a bewitching pink. A charming perlage, a palate of berries and cherries, and hints of vanilla, biscuits and marmalade make this bubbly brim with fun.

Mas de Gourgonnier Rose 2012: Fragrant red berry and floral scents are lifted by chalky mineral and white pepper notes and pick up a deeper cherry pit quality with air. Juicy and smooth in texture, this wine offers tangy acidity adding bite to ripe raspberry and cherry flavors. The peppery note gives cut to the finish, which clings with good persistence and gentle sweetness.

Lucien Crochet Sancerre Rosé 2012: Crochet is one of Sancerre’s very best. Known for whites, this famed property makes killer pink and red wines from 100% Pinot Noir. This rosé is made using the direct press method with the whole berries entering the pressoir. Frankly, this rosé is one of my favorites; it’s a summertime treat with strawberry and cherry fruit notes and a hint of savory Provence herbs. Lip smacking delicious, this Sancerre rosé is definitely a great selection to wrap up the summer with a perfect rosé bow.


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Expert Picks: Château Plince and Château Lynch Bages

Posted on | August 20, 2014 | Written by Robin Kelley OConnor | No Comments

Robin_B_8.6.14_72dpiThere is nothing more exciting than to be able to offer a pair of wonderful wines from two of the world’s great communal wine regions. Bordeaux, a large wine-growing area, has two AOCs, Pomerol and Pauillac, that just may epitomize the finest viticultural zones for the growing and making of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon blends. Pauillac has been at the tip of the iceberg producing internationally famous Cabernet Sauvignon blended wines since the late seventeenth century, though vine plantings began in Pauillac in the 1300s. Pomerol’s history is a more modern story. While the wines of Pomerol were well known among the cognoscenti and connoisseurs of Europe in the 1920s and ‘30s, only in the late’50s and ‘60s did these Merlot-based gems become a true global phenomena.

Today’s picks are a reflection of these two great viticultural appellations of Pomerol and Pauillac with Château Plince 2007 of Pomerol and Château Lynch Bages 2010 of Pauillac.

Château Plince is a wonderful estate in the middle of Pomerol, the home of the famed Merlot grape. Pomerol is known for producing some of the world’s most sought after, rare and expensive wines, like Pétrus and Le Pin priced at thousands of dollars a bottle. A stone’s throw away is Château Plince, and this savory 2007 at $36 a bottle base line brings a lot of pleasure and joy at a most reasonable price.

Château Lynch Bages Grand Cru Classé en 1855 is one of the most popular names coming out of Bordeaux today. Thanks to proprietors Jean Michel Cazes and his son Jean-Charles Cazes, this estate’s relentless pursuit of quality and worldwide brand recognition has made Lynch-Bages one of the most sought-after wines anywhere on the planet.

Château Plince 2007 Pomerol $ 36.00

Located next to Château Nenin with soils of sand mixed with iron and clay, Château Plince Pomerol 2007 is a blend of 72% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Built in the nineteenth century, the château itself is one of the most beautiful in the entire appellation of Pomerol. This ’07 Pomerol has a mature ruby color with bouquets of red fruits, plums, grilled meat and great expression of terroir or earth. On the palate it is fresh, flavorful and vibrant, and it offers a lovely long finish with good concentration. A small production of only 3,500 cases. At under $40, Château Plince belongs in your cellar for beautiful everyday drinking.

Château Lynch Bages 2010 189.00

Château Lynch Bages 2010 is a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot. After the outstanding 2009, it was hard to imagine that the 2010 vintage would compare, but this vintage is every bit the rival and qualitative equal of ‘09. The ’10 is deep in color with a dark ruby hue. Its aromatics are powerful, with concentrated dark berry fruits of black currants, blackberry, crème de cassis, touched with floral notes, and perfumed with lovely scents of the native terroir. On the palate it is dense, complex, full bodied, and loaded with ripe, robust tannins that are balanced by a purity of fruit with a seductive texture. The finish is immense and long. This is a wine for the ages that needs 15-20 years in the cellar before proper drinking can commence.


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Go-To-Wine: Tenute Rubino 2011 Oltreme

Posted on | August 19, 2014 | Written by Crystal Edgar | No Comments

RD8594-2Geographically speaking, Italy’s Puglia (or Apulia as it’s known to some English speakers) is an easy place to locate as it is nestled in the heel of Italy. Tourists flock to the area to enjoy glorious sandy beaches, admire the trulli, dance the pizzica, dine on orechiette pasta and take in the 60 million olive trees carpet the region (which roughly calculates to one tree for every Italian man, woman and child). Puglia currently produces 40% of Italy’s olive oil and, similar to its wine, has 4 Denomination of Origin production areas. It’s a region that is steeped in history and trellised with a plethora of indigenous grape varieties.

While Primitivo is the most recognized Puglian grape, I would like to highlight another lesser-known indigenous variety producers are striving to revive and promote—Susumaniello (say that ten times fast–this video should help). No, it is not the name of a Dr Seuss character; rather, it’s an ancient indigenous grape from the Salento designation. The name is derived from the black donkeys used to carry grape baskets during harvest. Interestingly, young Susumaniello vines reap a generous amount of grapes (hence the need for the donkeys); however, after 10 years, the yields fall significantly. Young Susumaniello translates into wine with little personality and structure while older vines lend for wines with further depth and complexity. With a push from passionate producers, this endangered grape is now making a comeback.

Recently I had the opportunity to enjoy the vinous talents of Luigi Rubino (of Tenute Rubino) and his ways with Susumaniello, and in his bottling of Tenute Rubino 2011 Oltreme, this obscure variety is nothing short of impressive. The mono-varietal Susumaniello 2011 Oltreme offers bold flavors of black fruits and earth with hints of dried roses and tobacco. It’s a big, big red with a small price tag; it’s less than $19! One warning, the wine screams for food! I recommend grabbing a bottle to enjoy with barbecued pork or beef, Lamb kebabs, steak au poivre or hearty Italian pasta. Sante!


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Expert Picks: De Conciliis and Domaine Pernot-Belicard

Posted on | August 19, 2014 | Written by Garrett Kowalsky | No Comments

Garrett_8.6.14_72dpiThis past weekend I was lucky enough to get away for a few days on a golf trip with my father. It has become an August ritual for us to find a concentration of exceptional courses and hotels in the Northeast and to take four days or so to explore them. This past Sunday, the final day of the trip, I was sitting on the porch of the Leatherstocking Golf Course clubhouse in Cooperstown, NY, and I was struck with inspiration for these selections. Relaxing post-round and enjoying a crab and shrimp roll, I gazed out over the “glimmerglass” surface (just ask James Fenimore Cooper) of Otsego Lake with the sun smiling as far as my eye could see, and found myself dreaming of some refreshment. I wish I had these wines at the time, but the truth is that they’re good almost all the time.

De Conciliis Donnaluna Fiano 2012  $28.99

This wine marks the return of an IWM staff favorite. The fruit comes from vines with an average age of about 20 years, something quite remarkable for the Fiano grape. Pale straw in color, this Fiano’s nose and its palate are dynamic in the wide array of flavor and sensations they provide. I often liken this bottling to pure energy. If summer could be bottled, this would likely be the result. Drink now and for two-to-four years.

Domaine Pernot Belicard Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Perrieres 2011 $77.99

When it comes to great white Burgundy, the first three villages that often come to a wine lover’s mind are Meursault, Chassagne Montrachet and Puligny Montrachet. Of the three, Puligny has the reputation for having the most precise and mineral -riven flavors, combined with a racy acidity that can cut through most anything. These characteristics also make for an extremely refreshing wine. One of my favorite stops in Burgundy last year was Pernot Belicard and experiencing the magic of this domaine’s vineyards. The Perrieres is a personal favorite. Drink now and for five-to-ten years.

The site of Garrett's inspiration

The site of Garrett’s inspiration


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