The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

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: François Gay and…François Gay!

Two expert selections from Michael Adler

Michael Adler 5.29.15In honor of today’s offer of François Gay’s newly arrived 2014 Aloxe-Corton, I wanted to take a moment to shine a light on two more outstanding wines from this cult-inspiring estate. It’s not hyperbole to say that François Gay’s wines are among the most difficult to procure in all of Burgundy. The estate sells most of its wine directly to the greatest restaurants in France as well as a few friends, and he makes fewer than 3,500 cases in each vintage. Quick math will tell you that just 150-200 cases are left for the entire rest of the world; IWM has been lucky enough to forge a close relationship with the estate that allows us not only the country’s best pricing, but also first dibs on some of Gay’s most sought-after bottlings.

Gay’s wines are balanced and fresh, both approachable in the near term and capable of spending more than a decade in the cellar. François Gay’s philosophy is to let his terroir speak, and his wines are all about detail, complexity, and a luxurious, delicate mouth-feel. Every wine from François Gay is unbelievable: his Chorey has the complexity of a Chambolle; his Ladoix sings like a Gevrey; his Aloxe-Corton rivals the complexity of Vosne-Romanée; and his Corton-Renardes Vieilles Vignes will hold its own against the greatest grand cru Pinots on the market. Try these wines for yourself, and you’ll immediately understand how special they are.

François Gay 2014 Chorey-Les-Beaune $34.99

Bright, fresh, aromatic and pure, Gay’s ‘14 Chorey Les Beaune is a soft, pretty and elegant expression of this subzone of the Côte de Beaune. Bright red berries and cherries mingle with fresh-cut roses and violets, minerals, and a hint of spice in this sprightly, energetic Pinot. Delicious and food-friendly right upon release, it will continue to provide exquisite drinking pleasure over the next 6-8 years.

François Gay 2013 Corton-Renardes $104.99

If Gay’s village-level wines sing like an angelic choir, the estate’s old-vine Corton-Renardes Grand Cru roars like an operatic symphony. This is a big, powerful Pinot, and it’s not afraid to show you its flare. While muscular and somewhat tight upon release, it opens beautifully with some decanting to show layers of enchanting red and blue fruits, crushed flowers, a savory component reminiscent of cured olives, and a mineral core that holds it all together. Silky smooth tannins caress the palate as it builds to a long yet delicate and nuanced finish. Drink through 2030.

Inside IWM February 8-11, 2016: All the 💞 Edition

A look back at the week that was

proxyLove is in the air, and IWM can’t help sharing it. Stephane Menard loved an under $30 white from Bruno Giacosa, and this Roero Arneis from the Piemonte master winemaker deserves all the adoration in the wine world. We published the fifth post in our series of Italian red wine grapes, and this one, focusing on Nebbiolo to Primitivo, was all about grapes that make the wines we love. And Janice Cable loves history–even the weird, questionable history of Valentine’s Day, which she looked at this week, for obvious reasons.

Love always guides IWM’s Experts. Garrett Kowalsky loves Burgundy legends Domaine Lamarche. Michael Adler loves cult vigneron François Gay. And Crystal Edgar loves Brunello she can drink right now, without waiting.

Cheers to you and the people you love, the wine you love, and sharing one love with the other.

Expert Picks: François Gay and…François Gay!

Two expert selections from Michael Adler

Michael Adler 5.29.15Today I’m focusing on two outstanding red Burgundies sourced from the storied hill of Corton and produced by a longtime favorite estate, Domaine François Gay. A relatively small estate, François Gay produces around 3,400 cases per year, and most of the wine goes to restaurants and loyal customers within France. However, a small amount is allocated for export and IWM is lucky enough to be one of the very few retailers in the States who can offer these wines vintage after vintage. In terms of quality-to-price ratio, Burgundy doesn’t get much better than this! I’ve chosen two Corton wines for today, but the estate also produces some outstanding Savigny-les-Beaune, Chorey-les-Beaune and Ladoix, both village-level and premier cru. Burgheads who love perfectly balanced, transparent wines of great depth and aromatic complexity need look no further than Domaine François Gay!

François Gay 2010 Aloxe-Corton $57.99

This beautiful 2010 Aloxe-Corton is entering its drinking window and will continue to thrill Burgheads for years to come. A structured, aromatic Pinot, Gay’s ‘10 Aloxe-Corton offers pretty aromas of red and blue fruit, crushed stone, wildflowers and soft spice, and it’s a perfect complement for hearty winter meals. It achieves the elusive goal of providing both power and finesse, tannins and fruit, and acid and structure, and it will not disappoint. In the realm of sub-$60 red Burgundies, you’d be hard pressed to find a wine that’s more representative of its appellation. Drink up!

François Gay 2012 Corton-Renardes Grand Cru $109.99

The 2012 François Gay Corton-Renardes is downright impressive, though it will certainly benefit from a few more years in the cellar. Still quite a young wine, it shows gorgeous notes of dark cherry and berry fruit, saline minerals and a savory umami note that defies definition. The estate’s flagship wine, it represents the pinnacle of Gay’s achievement and it’s a fitting testament to the wonderful work this estate has been doing of late. This is a wine to buy by the case and watch as it grows more beautiful by the week.

Fall Recipe: Pappardelle ai funghi porcini

A delicious, fast, easy pasta recipe that celebrates autumn’s bounty

mushroom pasta 1As fall is coming, it’s time to celebrate the start of mushroom season! If you can find fresh porcini (lucky you) for this recipe, they are the best; otherwise dried funghi porcini are also perfectly fine. The texture of dried porcini is different, and they have a stronger and earthier aroma than fresh porcini, but they work for this recipe.

For 2 people:

10 oz of pappardelle

Dried or fresh funghi porcini

Extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon of butter

Fresh cut Italian parsley

¼ cup of heavy whipping cream

Coarse salt

mushroom pasta closeupIf you are using dried porcini, put the mushrooms in a large bowl filled with very hot water (under boiling point) and let sit for 20-30 minutes. Do not stir to avoid mixing the sand particles at the bottom. Save one cup of the mushroom water. Gently strain the mushrooms and let them dry on multipurpose paper.

If you are using fresh porcini, gently brush them, cut the bottom of the foot, and avoid as much as possible to rinse them with water—the mushrooms will suck in the water and flood the pan as you cook them.

Cut the mushrooms in slices and set them aside. Heat a large frying pan at medium heat and add a tablespoon of butter and olive oil. Sauté the porcini mushrooms with a quarter garlic clove and a pinch of freshly cut Italian parsley for 10 minutes or until starting to get soft. Add some salt once the mushrooms are almost cooked.

Be careful: the dried mushrooms cook faster than the fresh ones. Once you see the porcini are cooked, turn down the heat not to dry up the mushrooms.

Toss the pappardelle in boiling salted water (5 quarts + generous coarse salt). While the pasta is cooking, add some heavy whipping cream to the porcini in the pan (preferably Panna chef /Italian brand) and cook for about 10 minutes. If the mix looks too dry, add some water from the mushrooms; if you used the fresh porcini, just add some water from the boiling pasta.

plated mushroom pastsStrain the pasta and add the pappardelle to the pan with the mushrooms, mix well and serve in large plates. Add freshly cut Italian parsley on top.

Barolo is the classic match for this dish and two I would suggest are Renato Ratti 2008 Barolo Marcenasco or Scarzello 2007 Barolo; both of these wines are delicious, fairly traditional Barolos that will give you a great taste of fall. If you’re more of a Burgundy lover, go for François Gay 2013 Chorey Les Beaune or Domaine de Montille 2011 Bourgogne Rouge. These wines aren’t just delicious—they’re also affordable alternatives. Whichever you choose, I hope you enjoy your autumn with good food and great wine!

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