The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Go-To-Tuesday Wine: Sartarelli 2014 Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi Classico

A lively, vivacious under $18 Italian white!

WH1883-2TFinally, some consistent white wine weather (or just spring weather for the rest of us). As the mercury rises in New York, it means only one thing: it’s the perfect time for a lively, vivacious white. I decided to enjoy my weekend with Sartarelli 2014 Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi Classico.

This wine was born in a region called Castelli di Jesi, arguably the best region for Italy’s Verdicchio grape. Situated around 1,000 feet above sea level where nothing blocks the cool sea breezes coming off the coast of Ancona,  Sartarelli’s vineyards impart the estate’s wines with a rich minerality. This mineral core balances out the wines’ fruitiness and adds substantive structure. Despite the seemingly ideal landscape for Verdicchio,  the talents of winemaker Alberto Mazzoni make Sartarelli wines something special. Dedicating Sartarelli entirely to Verdicchio, Mazzoni uses his experience with the ancient grape to create wines with a silky texture.

Like most of Sartarelli’s wines, this Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi Classico is an easy starter wine and a real crowd-pleaser. And did I mention that this wine is under $18? Yes, this white is probably one of the best value wines we offer at IWM. I shared this with my friends and heard nothing but excellent reviews as we drank it with linguine and shellfish. Although it has powerful fruity aromatics, this Verdicchio is very well balanced and goes well with almost any food as its flavor will not overpower any dish. However, I will say we particularly enjoyed it with seafood. Its minerality and almost almondy finish just seemed to lend itself perfectly to mussels, clams, and linguine. I full-heartedly recommend keeping a few bottles (or cases) of this on-hand for the warm weather ahead.

Inside IWM, March 21-24, 2016: It’s Spring (and Easter)!

A look back at the week that was

IMG_2225This weekend is Easter Sunday, which is preoccupying much, although not all, of IWM’s staff. We finished the week with Garrett Kowalsky’s ode to pork and his picks for pairing with ham (there’s even a poem from a lauded poet). Our go-to wine, coincidentally, would be a find suggestion for this Sunday’s feast; Sean Collins wrote about a$22 Sartarelli Verdicchio so good it makes converts out of red wine lovers.

John Camacho Vidal offered a brief history lesson before picking two Italian Cabernet Franc wines, both from Antinori. Michael Adler looks forward to 2014 Burgundies by selecting a pair of beloved 2013 Chassagne-Montrachet bottles. When it comes to pairing with spring’s tender bounty, Crystal Edgar turns to Umbria’s Castello della Sala, another Antinori holding, for her selections. And Francesco Vigorito has your value Burgundy needs covered with two lovely Pinot Noir bottles, both under $40.

Cheers to you, your family and to spring, however you’re celebrating it!

Go-To-Wine Tuesday: Sartarelli 2013 Verdicchio Tralivio

A $22 white that makes converts out of red wine lovers

WH1822-2When the sun is out and the sky is blue, there’s nothing like a good white wine. You hear a lot of wine drinkers say, “I’m just more of a red person. With all deference to these people, I think they haven’t been properly introduced to a great white wine. I decided to put this theory to the test this past weekend, using my roommates, avowed red wine lovers, as the test subjects. I went with the Sartarelli 2013 Verdicchio Tralivio, an excellent starter wine, and the result was just what I was looking for.

Sartarelli began its career selling its grape production every year; however, in 1972 the property starting making its own wine. Picking fruit only from the oldest vines and selecting the finest grapes in its vineyards, Sartarelli produces a unique, rustic, and full-bodied wine. Verdicchio holds a reputation as being one of Italy’s finest white grapes, lending its floral and fruity character to many beloved Italian white wines. However well known, Verdicchio reaches great heights with the talents of Sartarelli’s winemaker Alberto Mazzoni. Sartarelli grows only Verdicchio, and the estate consistently crafts excellent quality wines. By sticking to traditional cultivation methods, meticulously searching for the best low-yield grapes, and perfecting its aging protocol, Sartarelli creates an intense and complex Verdicchio that most producers can only dream about.

This Verdicchio Tralivio was a terrific starter wine, especially given the $22 price tag. As I had anticipated, the expressions on my red-wine-loving roommates’ faces changed as they were hit with notes of lemon and pineapple followed by a wave of flowers, all followed by a surprising late hint of smokiness. As it crossed the palate, this wine revealed an excellent feel and consistency, likely due to the meticulous aging process put forth by these masters of Verdicchio.  This Sartarelli Verdicchio is very food-friendly, particularly with white meat and greens, and, more importantly, its easy drinkability made white wine fans out of my red-wine friends.

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: Sartarelli and…Sartarelli!

Two expert selections from Crystal Edgar

Crystal 2014Italian whites must fight for a share of the spotlight—not because they are undeserving but because they have an undeservedly bad rap. Sure, there are some highly commercial wines that have somewhat tarnished the category as a whole, but if you know where to look, Italy offers some of the most refreshing, compelling, unique and beguiling whites in the world! As with wines from any country or region, you should pay attention to the producer name along with the style of the region when making your purchasing or ordering decisions.

Today I want to highlight Sartarelli’s delightful expressions of the Verdicchio grape from the Le Marche region of Italy. One of the premier producers of fine Verdicchio, Sartarelli makes meticulous and wonderfully terroir-driven wines with impressive finesse and complexity. Gifted with a unique terroir and located in the heart of the Marche, Sartarelli vines are perched on slopes 1000 feet above sea level and range from 20-33 years in age. No oak is used for any of the wines, allowing for the purity of the fruit to come through, and the estate’s wines are clean, soft and layered with complex minerality and notes of honey, peach and white flowers.

Below are two offerings that offer exceptional value and drinking pleasure. The refreshing Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi Classico is released right out of the gate, while the Travilio trails one year after the harvest. Always impressive, these wines offer unbeatable value and are wonderful to drink with a variety of foods, flavors and friends.

Sartarelli 2014 Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi Classico $17.99

This lovely Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi Classico delivers a clean, crisp and elegant expression of Verdicchio; it’s perfect for those “anytime” moments. The fruit and green grass on the nose marries perfectly with the fresh minerality and bright acidity on the palate, making it ideal for a simple lunch of pasta primavera or classic raw bar favorites. Easily among the best value whites here at IWM.

Sartarelli 2013 Verdicchio Tralivio $21.99

Sartarelli sources its Tralivio from specially selected grapes from the winemaker’s oldest vineyards. Yields for the Tralivio are limited, translating into a wine with softness and finesse. This crisp yet full-bodied white offers floral tones on the nose followed by Verdicchio’s unmistakable raw almond and white peach. If you are looking for a lovely, unoaked white that gives an abundance of flavor and aroma, you can’t go wrong with this special Verdicchio. Another exceptional value under $25!

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