The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Inside IWM, February 16-18, 2016: Short but Intense Edition

A look back at the week that was

Growing Sangiovese Grosso vines

Growing Sangiovese Grosso vines

For Monday being a holiday, Inside IWM packed a lot into this week. Sean Collins told us how he wowed his friends with an unexpectedly delicious $19 bottle of Chianti Classico from La Maialina. We got an inside view of the IWM NYC showroom from John Camacho Vidal, who explained how what we do is different from every other wine shop. And we completed our series on Italian red wine grapes with a rousing post that details some of our favorites; from Refosco to Uva Rara, this exploration of red grapes expands your wine knowledge.

Our Experts were similarly intense. Crystal Edgar looks forward to summer with two fine Verdicchio wines from Sartarelli, one of our favorite Le Marche producers. Michael Adler looks at Meursault and “Meursault,” offering a pair of wines that will reward lovers of fine Chardonnay. And Will Di Nunzio picks a pair of under $35 quintessentially Italian wines, making sure that you can drink great wine any night of the week.

Here’s to making the most of your time–and enjoying it with terrific wine and even better people.

Expert Picks: Antinori and Latour-Giraud

Two expert selections from Michael Adler

Michael Adler 5.29.15One of the coolest things about Chardonnay is that it can take on myriad shapes and forms depending on where it grows and how it’s made. The first wine I’m writing about today, the 2013 Cervaro della Sala from Castello della Sala, the Antinori family’s estate in Umbria, comes from the heart of Italy. Produced by the country’s pre-eminent winemaking family, it’s made in the style of the beloved Burgundy subzone of Meursault, which happens to be the home of our second wine today, Domaine Latour-Giraud’s 2013 Meursault 1er Cru Genevrières. These two wines come from strikingly different backgrounds—Antinori is a massive, dynastic group of wineries while Latour-Giraud is a very young estate that farms less than one percent of Antinori’s total acreage. However, these two wines have much in common stylistically—and it’s not just being insanely delicious!

Antinori 2013 Cervaro della Sala Chardonnay $54.99

Last week we received our allocation of Antinori’s 2013 Cervaro della Sala Chardonnay, an IWM client favorite. Every vintage of Cervaro impresses us for its balance, structure and stunning evocation of Umbrian terroir. Made in a Burgundian style that is reminiscent of a traditional Meursault, the ‘13 Cervaro is texturally stunning; it’s crisp and clean while at the same time round, lush and luxurious. 2013 was a relatively cool growing season, ideal for Chardonnay grapes, and this beautiful wine coats the palate in waves of citrus, orchard fruits, herbs and stony minerals. While this Cervaro is immensely enjoyable in its youth, the 2013 will also benefit from some additional time in bottle and continue to evolve over the next decade.

Domaine Latour-Giraud 2011 Meursault-Genevrières 1er Cru $119.99

For years the IWM team has been blown away by the depth, complexity and outright power of Latour-Giraud’s wines. These satisfying Meursaults benefit from a telltale chiseled acidity that makes them precise and terroir-driven yet also texturally satisfying. Latour-Giraud produces some of the most extraordinary whites on the market, but these wines are made in very small quantities. We’ve seen reductions in crop size in every vintage since 2010, so while there isn’t much wine to go around, the wines have excellent concentration and depth of flavor. After three or four years in bottle, the estate’s 2011 Meursault Genevrières is profoundly delicious; apple and citrus fruits meld with secondary aromas of minerals, wet stone, white pepper and baking spices, all tied together by a round, gripping structure and lingering, mouth-watering acidity. Though it is in the midst of a beautiful drinking window right now, it will continue to evolve in the bottle for another five or seven years. Don’t miss out!

Expert Picks: Château de la Maltroye and…Château de la Maltroye!

Two expert selections from Crystal Edgar

Crystal 2014As a foodie and wine geek, I usually choose wines that make me feel luxurious without breaking the bank. Today I want to share two of my favorite “kitchen” wines from one of the greatest white wine producers in Chassagne-Montrachet, Château de la Maltroye, whose wines easily sit among the very top of the “must-have” list. Called the “Domaine Leflaive of Chassange,” Château Maltroye’s village wines drink like premier crus and its premier crus either rival or surpass the very best made by surrounding competition. In fact, they can even rival the leading grand crus (especially in the case of La Romanée, Grandes Ruchottes and the ultra-rare Dent de Chien bottling).

As excited as I am about the ’13 Burgundy vintage, few domains get me as excited as Château de la Maltroye. Although this domaine’s whites are stunning year in and out, winemaker Jean-Pierre Cornut shows himself to be master of Chassagne especially in 2013, and both his reds and his whites are outstanding. These wines can easily fit any occasion and season, while telling a story of one of the most passionate winemakers in the heart of France.

Château de la Maltroye Chassagne 2013 Clos du Chateau Rouge 1er Cru $54.99

Chassagne Rouge lives in the shadows of the whites but these wines should certainly get more attention as they offer remarkable freshness, complexity and elegance. This premier cru packs a punch and offers bright red fruit and berry character followed by distinct garden herb notes with hints of minerals and game.

Château de la Maltroye 2013 Chassagne Morgeot Blanc VV $79.99

Rich, dense and decadent, this old-vine Chassagne offers bright, crisp flavors of stone fruit, citrus and minerals. There is great weight and depth here, so don’t be shy to decant and experience the wine unfold its beautiful layers over an evening.

Expert Picks: Michel Niellon and Poggio di Sotto

Two expert selections from Garrett Kowalsky

Garrett_8.6.14_72dpiIt’s very easy to read an article or watch a clip on television and learn about the “biggest” or “flashiest” names in wine. While the connectivity of the wine world ensures you’re always on top of the latest and greatest, these wines are not the only bottles deserving of your attention. Palate subjectivity is king when it comes to choosing wine, and there is an endless supply of great vino out there. Below you will find two producers that consistently give me the chills with their celestial offerings. I know this because I’ve tasted many of these producers’ wines, experienced them again and again, and most importantly, they were so good that I remembered them.

Michel Niellon 2012 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Vergers 1er Cru $79.99

Michel Niellon is a small family-owned domaine currently helmed by the third generation of the family. Niellon’s vineyards show an absurdly high vine age, which leads to low grape yields and intense, dense, concentrated wines with a cornucopia of flavors. The style of this Chassagne-Montrachet Les Vergers is mineral laden, but it’s a powerful wine and closely trails Caillerets in terms of desirability. An absolute delight, this ’12 bottling will “wow” you now if you give it about an hour of aeration before enjoyment. Drink now until 2025.

Poggio di Sotto 2011 Rosso di Montalcino $99.00

All you have to do is talk to me about for five minutes or so and you’ll find out how much I adore Poggio di Sotto Brunellos. They are elegance and class embodied, but they still maintain all that is rustic and unique about Italy. Given how great the Brunellos are, it’s easy to overlook just how darn good the estate’s Rosso di Montalcino is. I was reminded of this recently as we opened a bottle of the ’06 that belonged to a colleague of mine. At nine years old, this “Rosso” is better than the majority of the Brunello made in 2006. While we do not have any ’06 left, I know the ’11 Poggio di Sotto Rosso offers more of the same beauty. Drink now to 2024.

Inside IWM, November 30 to December 3, 2015: Holidays Ahoy!

A look back at the week that was

patagonia llamasOur Cyber Monday event made this week short but sweet here on Inside IWM. Stephane Menard reflected on his recent trip to Patagonia as he enjoyed an insanely good bottle of Pinot Noir from Argentina. Made by Sassicaia scion Piero Incisa della Rocchetta, this Bodega Chacra Barda over-delivers on its $27 price tag. As the weather cools, we’re reaching for warming foods–and suspect you are too! Enjoy a recipe for Cavatelli Pasta alla Amatriciana from IWM’s own kitchens!

Our experts were unusually focused. Michael Adler wants you to fall in love with Chablis, and he picked a pair of extraordinary bottles to give you a push towards Chablis passion. John Camacho Vidal sees the winter holidays approaching fast, and he pulls two fine, affordable bottles from Veneto producer Nicolis out of his cellar. And Garrett Kowalsky shares his love of Domaine Gallois with two hand-picked bottles from this Burgundy great.

Cheers to you and yours as you head into the winter holidays–and don’t miss IWM’s 2015 Gift Guide!

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