Great Wines of Italy, 2019

This past weekend my wife and I attended Great Wines of Italy hosted by James Suckling. This event is part of a series to bring some of the best Italian wines to the US for people to explore. And I believe an opportunity of restaurant owners or other supplies to find more wines to bring to their menus.

It was the first event of this kind that we’ve attended, and weren’t really sure what to expect. We checked in, picked up a booklet, and was in awe of the amount of wineries and wines that we’d be able to try! Trying to be a bit strategic in how we taste wines, we stuck with a certain group and picked wines in order of rating or whether I’ve known about the winery before. For each wine we tasted, my wife and I gave our own scores and circled ones we enjoyed the most.

I definitely wouldn’t call myself a wine critic, probably closer to an enthusiast. I have been trying to score wines recently, in order for me to recommend wines to friends and family. With more and more wines you start to really get a feel for how you’d generally rate a wine. But a quick guide that I generally use is: 89-92: A decent wine, one I’d take over to a friend’s place and wouldn’t mind if I don’t have the last glass. 93-96: A special bottle that I’d happily share with close friends. 97-100: I’d rather drink this with my wife and finish the whole thing.

Of the wines below, I tried to give a quick point rating to them. Nothing super scientific in terms of looking at color, or flavor profile. But just a quick “Would I like to drink an entire bottle of this?” and give a rating based off of that.

Here’s a list of our favorites from the event in no particular order:

  • Cantina Tramin Gewürztraminer Alto Adige Nussbaumer, 2015. 93
  • Sella & Mosca Cabernet Alghero Marchese di Villamarina Riserve, 2013. 94
  • Villa Raiano Taurasi, 2013. 92
  • Cortonesi Brunello di Montalcino La Mannella Riserve, 2012. 95
  • Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino Madonna del Piano Riserve, 2010. 96
  • San Polino Brunello di Montalcino Helichrysum, 2013. 95
  • Cavalli Tenuta Degli Dei Toscana, 2013. 92
  • Mazzei
    • Toscana Siepi, 2016. 92
    • Toscana Concerto, 2015. 93
  • Argentiera Bolgheri Villa Donoratico, 2016. 94
  • D’Angelo Aglianico del Vulture Caselle, 2012. 90
  • Barone Ricasoli
    • Toscana Casalferro, 2015. 95
    • Chianti Classico Castello di Brolio Gran Selezione, 2015. 95
  • Castello di Albola Chianti Classico II Solatio Gran Selezione, 2015. 92
  • Marchesi Antinori Chianti Classico Badia A Passignano Gran Selezione, 2015. 92
  • Rocca delle Macie Chianti Classico Riserva, 2015. 95

The event was completely sold out and was definitely a bit crowded, but we were able to try all the wines that we marked to try. There was only one wine that we missed due to them running out of wine to pour, but in general we didn’t have much difficulty or long wait times to try a wine. Since we have an upcoming trip to Italy, the timing of this event was perfect, and we were able to find some new wineries to visit during our stay in Tuscany.

We had a good chat with many of the spokespersons from the wineries at the event, and a few mentioned to get in touch before our upcoming trip. Overall we both really enjoyed the event. Got a chance to meet James Suckling and had a brief conversation about our trip.

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