All my clients know how much I love Barolo. But a serious Barolo usually requires serious time in the cellar, and I can’t always be patient. The balance is finding Barolos to enjoy now as you wait for them to age and to grow even more beautiful. I wanted to share a pair of recent wines I’ve enjoyed, both one you can drink now and one that needs to age. Don’t be mistaken, though, even the one you can drink now will happily live a decade or more in your cellar!
I am always looking for a drinkable Barolo without dipping into too deep into our older vintages—something that’s easily affordable and delicious at the same time. Only a few producers can pull off this combination and Seghesio is one of them. Although this wine would rest for ten more years in the cellar with a little decanting (one or two hours should do it), this ’04 drinks remarkably well. Beautiful wild cherry fruits with a touch meatiness and earthiness. This Riserva has an elegance to it that allows the wine to glide easily across the palate–just as a more mature Barolo should. This wine is definitely a short cut to a drink-me-now Barolo.
Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne 2008 $149.99
I have had older vintages of this wine recently and they really blew me away. It’s just a top-of-the-line Nebbiolo full of power and grace. I decided to try a younger vintage that we just received just to see where it stood, and I was not surprised. It had all the makings of an almost perfect Barolo—all it needs is time. With five more years of aging, this wine will be drinkable practically right out of the bottle! This ’08 can easily age fifteen or twenty years for sure.
This Thursday, like many families across the US, my family will celebrate Thanksgiving and the first night of Hanukkah. Along with the turkey and the cranberry relish, the oyster stuffing and the brussel sprouts, the dressing and the gravy, my parents’ table will be loaded with fragrant, crisp latkes and dotted with dishes of applesauce and sour cream.
For the latkes, I know need a little something sweet to balance out that applesauce and something a little acidic to work with the sour cream. Maybe this Frecciarossa Riesling Gli Orti, a Riesling from Oltrepo Pavese that has good complexity and nice heft. This wine sounds like it would also go really nicely with my mom’s sweet potato kugel.
To work with my turkey, I’m thinking Bodega Chacra Cinquenta y Cinco 2011. I very much appreciate Piero Incisa della Rocchetta’s biodynamic approach—as well as his style that prefers low alcohol levels. This Patagonian Pinot Noir has the sweet fruit and the slight funk to make turkey sing.
My mom, who has grown an organic garden for over three decades, is devoted to veggies. Usually, she placates my dad with his beloved green beans sautéed with almonds, but she also likes to make roasted root vegetables, grilled portabello mushrooms, or collard greens with caramelized onions. I like the sound of Sartarelli Verdicchio Tralivio 2011, which is an unusually yummy Verdicchio; it’d also go well with the latkes.
For dessert, usually a honey cake and traditional apple pie. Clearly it’s a case for Massolino Moscato d’Asti. There’s nothing like ending a meal with a gentle sparkler, especially when you’re celebrating two holidays in one.
Thanksgiving week has arrived and I have two outstanding picks that will light up your Thanksgiving feast. The first is Primaterra Primitivo 2011, which comes from Puglia in southern Italy and is the Italian version of the American Zinfandel. Only recently did enologists discover that Primitivo and Zinfandel have the same DNA—this link, made in 1990, brought Primitivo out of relative obscurity. I love having a good Zinfandel on the Thanksgiving table.
From one of our favorite producers, Louis Jadot, I propose Domaine J. A. Ferret’s ‘Tournant de Pouilly,’ a wine that comes from fifty-year-old vines from east of the village of Pouilly. Louis Jadot acquired Domaine J. A. Ferret in 2008, and this is a wine that will be your Thanksgiving turkey’s best friend. One of the oldest estates still in business today, Domaine J. A. Ferret, founded in 1840, manages some of the most historic and cherished vineyards in the heart of Fuisse. Robert Parker has hailed this wine as the “Montrachet” of Pouilly-Fuisse.
Primaterra Primitivo 2011 $10.99
I’m excited to be serving this wonderful under priced Primaterra Primitivo 2011. Primitivo translates as the “early one,” and this dark-skinned grape variety makes a wine with a beautiful bright ruby color. On the nose, it has fresh fruit berry aromas of blackberry, blueberry and red currants. On the palate, this wine delivers twice the value impact with an easy flow of dark fruit flavors, some tannins to give it style and structure, and a nod to its Italian heritage. The finish is pleasing and refreshing. This is a wine for large or small groups that will bring a lot of pleasure to the gathering of family and friends.
This Thanksgiving palate-pleaser from the incredible 2010 vintage has a day-bright straw yellow color that entices the senses. This classic Pouilly Fuisse has a floral nose—notes of acacia, minerality with aromas of citrus, peach, apple and pear with hints of a baking baguette. On the palate, the wine is deep, full-bodied with all the requisite flavors of stone fruit, spice, vibrant acidity, perfect balance and weight. On the finish. all the component parts gel together for a refreshing intense finish. A wine of nobility, it will be the perfect companion to light up the Thanksgiving celebration.
Probably the most helpful post this week was Camacho Vidal’s thoughtful choice of three extraordinary value wines for your Thanksgiving Day table. Not only are these selections delicious and deeply affordable, but also they were chosen with flexibility in mind. Camacho embraces the melting pot tradition of this American holiday in a post that offers wines to complement cuisines from any number of cultures.
Featured in Camacho’s post was Cornarea Roero Arneis 2012, which just happens to be the focus of Francesco’s go-to-wine Tuesday post. It’s a lovely artisanal wine made from an indigenous Piemonte grape rescued from the bring of extinction by the folks who made this wine, making it a great story as well as a great drinking wine.
Along with these two posts, we also shined a light on Nebbiolo, Piemonte’s most emblematic grape and the source of all our Barolo and Barbaresco joy. It may get its name from the Italian word for “fog,” but Nebbiolo takes its place in the sun.
IWM’s Experts were similarly helpful. Will Di Nunzio chose a wine to impress and a delicious wallet-friendly Italian sparkler to drink with dessert, thus alleviating two pressing holiday concerns. Robin Kelley O’Connor wants you to celebrate Paulée de Meursault in style, offering a pair of iconic Burgundies to match this fine Burgundy tradition. Perry Porricelli was motivated by a pair of wines whose sheer yumminess knocked him–and his clients–out: San Polo Brunello di Montalcino and Antinori Guado al Tasso. And Justin Kowalsky needed to share his two favorite new arrivals to IWM, a pair of value-intense Burgundies from Francois Gay and Bachey-Legros.
It’s our pleasure to help you drink better!
Given the arrival of the delicious 2011 Burgundies that I have been enjoying over the past month, I’m very excited to introduce two new 2011 releases from estates that have become “must haves” at IWM, Francois Gay and Bachey-Legros. They may be two small estates among giants, but their wines speak volumes!
Over the past four years of growing our Burgundy portfolio, nothing has remained more important to us than bringing in estates whose wines are authentic representations of their appellations. Francois Gay and Bachey-Legros have been outright enormous hits with our clients. Unfortunately, these growers literally produce a few hundred cases of each their wines, so although we get a handsome allocation, it’s still not much, and the wines unfortunately sell out rapidly. Beyond producing simply gorgeous wines, these two estates have a sense of place and they refuse to charge astronomical prices. And with IWM buying wines directly, we can offer them to you for about a third less than other retailers. There is no better value.
Under guidance of their mother, Christiane, Samuel and Lenaic Bachey-Legros have turned this tiny family estate into one of the most thrilling in Chassagne-Montrachet. With an average vine age of close to 80 years (and well tended vines) across all their vineyards, Bachey-Legros has a wonderful source for their fruit. When it comes to a superb white Burgundy 1er Cru these days, you can spend a $80-$100 bottle before you find something that really strikes a chord. However, Bachey-Legros Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot VV turns that idea on its head. Made from 70-100 year old vines, this Morgeot comes from the prized “Vignes Blanches” portion of Morgeot where the heavy limestone adds amazing vibrancy and detail. The 2011 Bachey-Legros Morgeot VV is more than a worthy follow up to the striking ’10. Loaded with notes of apples, acacia blossoms, pears and citrus, all wrapped in a core of wonderful minerality, this is a rich and powerful Morgeot that has a sense of refinement that will make this wine a favorite among whiter Burgundy lovers. As with most 2011s, the wine is tantalizing and more than enjoyable now, but it’ll get better with 5-7 years of bottle age. Only 350 cases of this beauty were made in 2011
The wines of Francois Gay have been with us since 2009, earning a cult following like no other estate in our Burgundy portfolio. Francois’ wines are known for their propensity to rival those two or three times their price. The 2011 Francois Gay Aloxe-Corton VV is made from two prime situated mid-slope parcels in Aloxe that sport vines averaging 65 years in age. The wine simply explodes form the glass upon opening, showing off its kaleidoscopic array of olfactory notes of violet, fresh raspberry compote, with hints of red berry liqueur. On the palate this beauty shows off its palate-drenching flavors with a finish that goes one for a minute, made even more appealing with the finely grained and ripe tannins that make the wine move like silk in the mouth. This is one sophisticated effort that easily rivals any top Aloxe 1er Cru and surpasses many. This is a perfect complement to cold weather fare, or simply by itself. Either way, this is one superb 2011 that can be enjoyed now for cellared for another 6-8 years. Monsieur Gay has done it yet again.
« go back — keep looking »