The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

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Go-To-Wine Tuesday: Casa Vinicola Bruno Giacosa 2014 Dolcetto d’Alba

A delicious, fresh everyday Giacosa bottle!











31TqXXO1wyLThis past weekend was Mothers Day,and we all honored our mothers for raising us, loving us, and supporting us. Honestly, is there a better way to show your appreciation than with a bottle of wine? You really can’t go wrong when the name Bruno Giacosa is on the bottle, so I chose the delicious, yet affordable Casa Vinicola Bruno Giacosa 2014 Dolcetto d’Alba.

Bruno Giacosa is one of the finest producers of Barolo and Barbaresco. His highly sought-after wines are often intense in character and rich in flavor. This Dolcetto, however, represents the more approachable side of Giacosa; it’s a balanced everyday wine that’s under $30 a bottle. Giacosa’s estates have been crafting high quality wine for decades, so it may surprise you that Giacosa once purchased all of his grapes from outside suppliers. This explains why the name Casa Vinicola appears before his name on this wine. The Giacosa estate does not own the vineyards in its Casa Vinicola bottlings; rather, it hand-selects the finest and most desirable grapes from farmers whom the Giacosa team trusts.

Dolcetto roughly translates to “little sweet one,” but this translation does not do the wine justice. This Dolcetto bursts with fruit, but it’s balanced by a bright acidity. The result is an easy, approachable wine that goes well with pretty much anything. I had mine with grilled chicken and vegetables, but, due to its versatility, it can just as easily be enjoyed with pasta or even pizza. This wine is an instant crowd-pleaser and an ideal wine to have on hand for any occasion.

Inside IWM, May 2 to May 5, 2016: Beautiful Wine Secrets

A look back at the week that was











photo-2-300x300This week, we took a peek under the hood of IWM and got a glimpse at the secret wine cellar where your IWM wines live, breathe, and age in temperature-controlled splendor. And Stephane Menard made a compelling case for enjoying the 2013 Le Volte, Tenuta dell’Ornellaia‘s “second” wine, early and often. This under-the-radar Super Tuscan is under $30 and completely delicious!

Garrett Kowalsky confessed that the first wine he fell in love with was a Bruno Giacosa Barolo, and he picked two wines to testify to the longevity of his passion. John Camacho Vidal explains the secrets of enjoying mature wines, selecting two beautifully aged Barolos for you to try. Michael Adler alerts you to a hard-to-find, little-known Burgundy producer, François Gay, by selecting a dynamic duo from this overlooked estate. And it’s no secret that Chablis is perfect for summer; Crystal Edgar picks a pair from William Fevre.

Cheers to your beautiful wine secrets–may you share them with the people you love!

Expert Picks: Casa Vinicola Bruno Giacosa and Bruno Giacosa!

Two expert selections from Garrett Kowalsky











Garrett_8.6.14_72dpiBruno Giacosa is where my love of wine started—and not just Italian wine, but the whole wide wine spectrum, wine from all corners of the earth. I grew up around wine; my parents owned a wine shop and my brother was a Burgundy fiend, but my love for it was not immediate. It took years of sweet drinks, bad beer, good beer and more before my palate finally came around. It was New Year’s Eve 2010 at La Pizza Fresca on 20th Street when a 1989 Barolo from Bruno Giacosa switched the wine light on. It’s been a love affair ever since and I see no signs of my passion slowing.

I’ve chosen two wines from the iconic Giacosa estate to celebrate my wine epiphany—and to deepen your wine love.

Casa Vinicola Bruno Giacosa 2013 Barbera d’Alba $32.99/btl

Barbera is one of the most widely planted grapes in Italy but it’s mostly known for being the little brother to Piemonte’s Nebbiolo-based Barolo and Barbaresco. Nearly all of the producers who make these great wines also grow and make a Barbera because, realistically, you can’t have a Barolo every night. This Giacosa Barbera is bursting with sweet fruits, a lively acidity, and a surprisingly long finish. Feel free to pair this with pasta, risotto, burgers, pizza—nearly any dish under the sun. You’ll end up smiling each and every time. Drink now to the end of the decade.

Bruno Giacosa 2008 Barolo Le Rocche Falletto Riserva $449.00

While the Barbera is all about sweet fruit and accessibility, the Barolo Riserva or “Red Label,” as it is known at the Giacosa estate, is an absolute powerhouse. In its youth this wine’s Nebbiolo fruit is tight and foreboding, but as time passes and the tannins integrate, this bottle becomes a wine of extraordinary elegance and remarkable complexity. This bottle will never hit you over the head with bombastic flavors; it would much rather seduce you over a long, long time. Drink 2018-2035.

Expert Picks: Pio Cesare and Bruno Giacosa

Two expert selections from Michael Adler











Michael Adler 5.29.15Today I’ve chosen two killer Barolos from the outstanding 2004 vintage that were crafted by two of the region’s most historic and influential producers, Bruno Giacosa and Pio Cesare. 2004 is a perfect vintage to drink over the next decade or longer, depending on your individual preferences when it comes to enjoying mature wines. While family-owned-and-operated Pio Cesare has been making wines in Barolo for more than 100 years, the estate continues to innovate, constantly striving to improve quality in both the vineyard and in the cellar. If you’ve been in the IWM client family for long, then you probably don’t need me to tell you how special Bruno Giacosa’s wines are. Located in the town of Neive in the heart of the Langhe region, Giacosa consistently crafts some of the very finest wines to come out of both Barolo and Barbaresco, and after a decade of aging in the bottle, this ’04  will knock your socks off.

Pio Cesare 2004 Barolo $79.99

Surprisingly youthful in the glass, this 2004 Barolo from the historic Pio Cesare estate will benefit from an hour or two of decanting. Black and red fruits lead the charge, supported by notes of black tea, tar, crushed flower petals and spicy oak. This wine can easily age another 10 years if you’re so inclined, and if you have the patience. Pair it with braised lamb, a hearty risotto or a rare rib-eye steak.

Bruno Giacosa 2004 Barolo Croera di La Morra $225.00

In a stellar vintage like 2004, Giacosa’s wine have the potential to age for many decades, and this ‘04 Barolo Croera di La Morra is shaping up to be a wine for the ages. Even after ten years in bottle, this Barolo is still somewhat tight and massive, with intense, muscular tannins that will benefit from a long decant prior to pouring the wine. Bright red cherries and berries are joined by notes of olive tapenade, dried roses, cigar tobacco and minerals, and the finish lingers for what seems an eternity. As it is still relatively early in its development, I’d suggest holding this one for another 5-8 years if you have the patience.

Expert Picks: Bruno Giacosa and Gaja

Two expert selections from Crystal Edgar











Crystal 2014Spring is officially upon us (at least that is what I am telling myself here in New York), and it is time to bring out the whites and rosé wines to welcome the warmth! Today I am excited to introduce a couple of my favorites, both of which dwell far off the beaten path. I do love crisp Chablis, Sancerre, Friulano, Gavi and other bright and refreshing whites, however I like to spice it up from time to time. Seeking a bit of adventure, I find myself reaching for unique producers, grapes or styles of wine. Here are two of my favorites, an Arneis that can be enjoyed anytime and Angelo Gaja’s Gaia & Rey Chardonnay, which requires more attention and contemplation as well as a few very good friends with whom to share the magic.

Arneis (pronounced are-NACE) is in my opinion a somewhat forgotten white grape, living in the shadows of its other Piemontese cousins. Its name translates to “little rascal” or “whimsy” in the local dialect and was so named due to its unpredictable nature and difficulty of cultivation. Although records of this grape date back to the 1400s in the Roero hills, it only gained traction in the late 1970s when winemakers began to realize its potential. Chardonnay, on the other hand, is more of a “household name” grape that’s produced in many countries throughout the world and shows different sides of its personality depending on where it is grown. Gaia & Rey might be not just Italy’s best Chardonnay, but the best white wine in any category to come out of the Boot. The grapes for this wine are sourced from Gaja’s first Chardonnay vineyard, and the wine is named for both his oldest daughter, Gaia Gaja, and his grandmother, Clotilde Rey, a marketing mastermind who taught Angelo the importance of promotional efforts.

Casa Vinicola Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis 2014 $29.99

Aromatic, surprisingly intense, and deeply enjoyable, this zesty 2014 Arneis is a fresh and pretty white that shows a nice weight on the palate. White peaches, lemons, pie crust and floral aromatics comprise the flavor profile, and a tangy acidity tempered with a creamy mouth-feel and piquant minerality complete the experience. This is a fantastic wine with fresh seafood or simply as an aperitif before the meal.

Gaja Chardonnay Gaia & Rey 2009 (375ml) $129.00

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, oak and spice. Impressively chewy in the mouth, the concentrated, ripe fruit is perfectly balanced by a lively acidity that persists through the long, lingering finish.

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