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: William Fèvre and…William Fèvre!

Two expert selections from Crystal Edgar

Crystal 2014We are all very excited here to welcome the 2014 whites from William Fèvre! Tis the season to bring out the crisp whites and I have some great bottles here for any wine lover. This is serious Chablis with fine pedigree, William Fèvre is recognized as one of the best producers in all of Chablis, sitting in the same league as Raveneau and Dauvissat and offering a range of distinguished premier and grand cru bottlings. Fèvre works forty acres of grand cru vineyards and another thirty acres of premier cru, all of which deserve attention. All fruit is harvested by hand and great caution is taken to ensure that the wines are precise, textured and mineral-driven with great structure and racy acidity. Fèvre works every vintage to find just the right balance between richness and minerality, and as these 2014 wines illustrate, Fèvre hit the bulls-eye!

Fèvre crafts some of the most exciting whites we receive each year, and if you have been keeping up with our offers for Burgundy’s 2014 vintage, this vintage is beyond exciting. Here are a few premier cru offerings that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys great white wine. These satisfy serious thirst while going easy on the pocketbook.

William Fèvre 2014 Chablis 1er Cru Montmains $54.99

This vibrant white offers loads of citrus, green peach and minerals with hints of almond and chalk on the finish. Saline minerals and citrusy acidity make this ’14 Chablis ideal to pour as an aperitif or with fresh or grilled oysters. Deriving from William Fèvre’s 4.3 acre parcel of Montmains, which faces southeast and sports emblematic Chablis soils rich in minerals and fossils, this wine vinifies in a combination of stainless steel oak barrels (30-50% used); the wine also ages for 10-15 months in a combination of in French oak barrels and stainless steel before bottling. Supple, structured and vibrant, this Chablis is very food friendly and nicely age-worthy.

William Fèvre 2014 Chablis 1er Cru Vaulorent $81.99

This premier cru is consistently one of my favorite as it adds lovely white floral notes on the notes and palate with added stone fruit character. Slightly more complex and concentrated than the Montmains this can stand up to a range of fresh and grilled seafood, poultry, goat cheese, prosciutto and other salted finger foods. Deriving from a fine eight-acre parcel of Fourchaume 1er Cru that directly abuts the grand cru Les Preuses, Vaulorent is considered the “baby grand cru” at Fèvre, and it consistently outperforms grand crus that cost many times as much.

Expert Picks: William Fevre and…William Fevre!

Two expert selections from Garrett Kowalsky

unnamed-3Burgundy has had a rough go of it recently. Following the 2009 bumper crop, we have seen the ’10, ’11 and now ’12 vintages off by 40% or more in terms of production. While quantities available are down, the silver lining is that these are not “bad” vintages. In fact, the wines that were made are quite stellar, almost across the board. In particular, the recent arrival of the 2012 white Burgundies has been downright inspirational as they are as concentrated and complex as any of us Burgundy lovers have tasted in the past decade. Here is one of my favorite Chablis estates and two of their 2012 offerings.

William Fevre Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume 2012 $54.99

Fourchaume is an appellation situated on the river Serein’s sloping right bank and is located just north of the regions Grand Crus. The nose is rich with orchard fruit, like pears, and the palate maintains an incredible zip; this wine’s driving minerality is the definition of “refreshment.” I enjoyed this with some antipasti on Saturday and was enamored with it. Drink now and for the next 5-10 years.

William Fevre Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses 2012 $114.99

Les Preuses is most likely taken from the word “perreuse” (stone), the name given to the ancient Roman road that ran below the current vineyard. This makes sense as the French have over 100 different names for the word “stone,” and this variety shows how particular they are in describing the exact soil and sources where their wines derive. Fevre’s vineyard site holdings here are only six acres, and while they may seem small, they actually represent almost a quarter of this entire appellation. It is supremely elegant but almost explosive—a refined explosion on the palate, if you will.  Drink 2017 to 2027.

Expert Picks: Henri Boillot and William Fevre

Two expert selections from Garrett Kowalsky

Garrett_1I’m in a white Burgundy kind of mood and despite the fact that I sent out some suggestions earlier this week, there were a few more wines that I just had to let you in on. In fact, today is my birthday and I have selected the incredible Greek restaurant MP Taverna in Astoria for my celebratory meal. Here is what I will be drinking, and while I do, I will be sure to raise a toast to all of you as well. Cheers and here’s to another great year!

Domaine Henri Boillot Bourgogne Blanc 2011 $29.99

Many would argue in Burgundy that a true test of a winemaker is not how he or she treats 1er and Grand Crus, but rather, how he or she treats his Bourgogne. Sure, everyone is going to give their best effort on top-tier wines, but only the best winemakers put equal love and care into all of their bottlings. Henri Boillot is one of those estates that treats all its wines equally, and if you were ever to take a chance on an everyday Burgundy, today is the day to take the leap. Drink now and for 3-5 years.

William Fevre Chablis 1er Cru Montee de Tonnerre 2009 1.5L $105.00

After phylloxera decimated much of the European wine regions including Chablis, William Fevre was one of the first estates to start the rebuilding process in the ‘50s. While the estate has always produced quality wines, it has been on a tear for the past decade and a half, ever since Fevre was purchased by the Henriot family. Let’s be honest: how often do you have the chance to bust out a sensational 1er Cru in Magnum for $100? Take advantage this summer. Drink now to 2020.

Expert Picks: Chateau Plince and William Fevre

Two expert selections from Robin Kelley O’Connor

robinIt’s hard to believe that it is March 26, and the weather shows no resemblance of spring. Today I’ve picked a ready to drink very tasty underpriced Pomerol to ward off the cold. Château Plince is a wonderful estate in the middle of Pomerol, the home and origin of the famed Merlot grape variety Yes, Pomerol is known for producing some of the world’s most sought-after, rare and expensive wines, but there are alternatives. A stone’s throw away from Pétrus and Le Pin sits Château Plince and this savory 2007 at $36 a bottle brings a lot of liquid pleasure.

To accompany the Château Plince I’ve selected William Fevre Chablis Grand Cru Bougros Côte Bouguerots 2011. One of the seven Chablis Grand Crus, this lesser known of the seven is located on the steepest of the Grand Cru slopes. This is a wine for the ages and at $99 it’s a steal.

Chateau Plince 2007 $36

Located next to Château Nenin with soils of sand mixed with iron and clay, Château Plince Pomerol 2007 is planted to 72% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Built in the nineteenth century, the château itself is one of the most beautiful in the entire appellation of Pomerol. This ‘07 has a mature ruby color with a bouquet of red fruits, plums, grilled meat and great expression of terroir, or earth. On the palate, it is fresh, flavorful and vibrant and offers a lovely long finish with good concentration. At this price, your cave deserves cases of Plince for everyday drinking. A small production of only 3,500 cases.

William Fevre Chablis Grand Cru Bougros Côte Bouguerots 2011 $99.99

This lovely William Fevre Chablis Grand Cru Bougros Côte Bouguerots 2011 is one of the really great Chablis. The 2011 harvest was early with when the picking started on the August 31, while it’s quite unheard of in Chablis to pick so early, the grapes were ripe and begged to come off the vine. The result is simply marvelous. Like all great Grand Cru Chablis, this Bougros Côte Bouguerots 2011 needs time and patience to fully benefit from all its potential greatness. It has a lovely floral nose with a palate of great complexity and concentration. The fruit is well defined, with classic mineral notes, spice and multiple, layered flavors. Winemaker Didier Séguier did a masterful job in producing this beauty.

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