The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Inside IWM, March 2-5, 2015: We Contain Multitudes

A look back at the week that was

julia's negroniThere’s no question that IWM enjoys a diverse experience–in wine, in food, in cocktails, and in taste! This week, our blog took a whirlwind trip to Friuli-Venezia Giulia, where we discovered there’s a lot to drink beyond the bright white Pinot Grigios the region is known for. We welcomed a new contributor, Matt Di Nunzio, with his appreciation of Fantinel’s under $20 Brut Rosé sparkler. We sang the praises of stock, that glorious liquid that gives life to dishes from soup to risotto. And we enjoyed the many faces of the Negroni, the emblematic Italian cocktail, as thoroughly presented by an impassioned Julia Punj.

Our Experts were no less catholic in their interests. David Gwo picked a pair of delicious, hedonistic Amarone, while Francesco Vigorito selected two vintage Sassicaia bottlings, one to drink now and one to put away for awhile. Drawing from recent dinners, Will Di Nunzio chose two recent favorites, a Quintarelli Valpolicella and an unusual Amalfi Coast white. And Robin Kelley O’Connor couldn’t forebear continuing NYC’s Burgundy week, selecting two righteous Burgundies from Chavy Chouet and Emmanuel Rouget.

Cheers to broad tastes, well cultivated, and exercised often.

Inside IWM, December 1-4, 2014: Love What You Drink Edition

A look back at the week that was

IMG_3824From enjoying a beautiful Rosso di Montalcino from the humble Baricci family to exploring the unsung region of Lazio or the lesser-known dry whites of Bordeaux, this week on IWM exhorts you to love what you drink. And if enjoying David Bertot’s personal spin on Barrici or Robin Kelley O’Connor’s in-depth look at Bordeaux isn’t enough to make you salivate, then check in on IWM’s own Chef Mike, who offers an easy, delicious and healthy recipe for Panelle de Fave, a great alternative to polenta.

Our Experts all went with single estates this week. Justin sung the praises of under-the-radar Bachey-Legros; Crystal showed her love for Super-Tuscan gentle giant Castello dei Rampolla; and Garrett honored the legacy of Burgundy great Joseph Drouhin. Six superb wines, and each one very, very different–how can you not love what you drink?

As we slide deeper in to the holiday season, we invite you to join us at IWM NYC at one of our tasting events, and we thank you for letting us help you find wines to share with you and yours!

Expert Picks: Joseph Drouhin and…Joseph Drouhin!

Two expert selections from Garrett Kowalsky

Garrett_8.6.14_72dpiAt 183 acres, Joseph Drouhin is one of the largest estates in Burgundy. However large, the 180-year-old, family-owned estate shows an equally sizable commitment to showcasing the natural terroir of Burgundy and its appellations. Perhaps the best evidence to support that point is the fact that 60% of the wines that Drouhin produces are either Premier or Grand Cru, and if you remove its Chablis wines from the total, that percentage rises to 90%. Consider those percentages with the knowledge that only 1.6% of wines produced in Burgundy are Grand Cru, and Drouhin’s dedication to its craft becomes ever more clear.

Joseph Drouhin Cote de Beaune 2011 $39.99

Drouhin sources its Bourgogne from grapes that are meticulously selected from a dozen different appellations. The estate feels that this breadth of appellation makes a harmonious wine that truly gives you a broad view of Burgundy’s magnificence. Soft and approachable, this wine is one to drink now and for 3-5 years.

Joseph Drouhin Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2009 $229.99

Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru is located between Chambolle-Musigny and Vosne-Romanee, and Drouhin owns two different parcels in this iconic vineyard site. In fact, this Grand Cru might be considered the most famous of all Burgundy appellations. This wine has style in spades with ample raspberry and cherry flavors that coat the palate. 2009 was a bumper crop with warmer temperatures, so expect this bottle to please you a little sooner than in cooler years. Drink 2016-2026.

Expert Picks: Louis Jadot and…Louis Jadot!

Two expert selections from Garrett Kowalsky

Garrett_8.6.14_72dpiMaison Louis Jadot is one of the most revered names in all of Burgundy. Yes, the estate makes many wines from many different parcels, but true Burgundy aficionados know how special Jadot’s wines are. Last week the IWM team was lucky enough to host the current winemaker Frederic Barnier, who took control after longtime (30 years) winemaker Jacques Lardiére stepped aside. The transition has been seamless, and Frederic has maintained this storied estate’s excellent levels of quality and character. While we were privy to the 2013s last week; here are two older vintage bottlings that we have in stock. These wines are sure to please the Pinot lovers out there.

Louis Jadot Cote de Nuits Villages le Vaucrain 2010 $29.99

When many Burgheads think of a Village level wine, they do not expect them to come from single vineyards. However, this is exactly the case in this Cote de Nuits Villages le Vaucrain, as all of the grapes derive from this eight-care parcel that the estate has owned and managed for almost 20 years. The wine is silky and rich with red berries that burst from the glass. Drink now and for 3-5 yrs.

Louis Jadot Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St Jacques 2011 $149.99

Those in the know will recognize that the Clos Saint Jacques vineyard could arguably have been awarded Grand Cru status when the first official classification occurred. Today there are only five different owners of the vineyard which faces southeast for optimal sunlight throughout the day. This ’11 Chambertin is broad shouldered and powerful, evoking the animalistic characteristics that we so often associate with Gevrey. This ’11 is a champion that will go for a very, very long time. Drink 2016-2030.

Expert Picks: Chateau Fuisse and Domaine Lapierre

Two expert selections from Francesco Vigorito

Francesco 2014When most people think of great red Burgundy, more often than not they forget about or fail to mention Beaujolais. The wines produced in Beaujolais may not rival Grand Crus from the Cote d’Or, but they’re neither the same grape nor do they aim to challenge Burgundy Grand Crus. However, I could make a strong argument that the finest Beaujolais can rival many Premier Crus and for a fraction of the price. Below are two producers that everyone should know about.

Chateau Fuisse 2011 Morgon Charmes Cru du Beaujolais $29.99

This is seriously complex Beaujolais and an absolute stunner at $29! Wrapping the palate with ripe and dense flavors and displaying a core of mineral earthiness, a Morgon Beaujolais is one of the more exemplary Crus to showcase the unique terroir differences of Beaujolais.

Domaine Lapierre 2009 Beaujolais Morgon Cuvee Romaine 1.5L $129.00

2009 is perhaps the best vintage for Beajolias, hands down. There is a serious amount of concentration and structure never before seen in the Gamay grape, so it was quite an eye-opening vintage for many wine lovers. The late, great Marcel Lapierre raised the bar in Beaujoleais, and the domaine that bears his name is still the foremost producer in Morgon. This rare magnum bottling displays Morgon’s winemaking prowess to its fullest extent.

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