James Suckling Tastes 100 Point Wine with Victor Rallo

Victor Rallo & Anthony Verdoni Join Suckling to Put 1985 Sassicaia to his

100 Point Test at Private Undici Taverna Rustica Tasting

James Suckling Tastes 100 Point Wine with Victor Rallo, Anthony Verdoni

While at Wine Spectator, James Suckling served his first 100 Point review of Tenuta San Guido’s 1985 Sassicaia. When Vic & Verdoni asked Suckling to put this 100 Point to their own test years later – the trio of wine aficionados where unanimous in their results; The 1985 Sassicaia deserved the 100 Points then, and would score a grand 100 plus now.

For years Victor Rallo and Tony Verdoni have traveled the world in search of unique Italian wines. Its their passion for wine that brought them together with world renown wine guru, James Suckling. Upon their first meeting, which came together at New Yorks Standard Hotel this past January, the trio new they had common ground in their passion for Italian Wines. Rallo, who showed up at the meeting with a messenger bag filled with his 3 favorite wines.

James was more than impressed with the precious cargo and suggested he extend his trip to conduct a private tasting with Vic and Verdoni on Superbowl Sunday at Rallo’s infamous Undici Taverna Rustica Restaurant in Rumson, New Jersey. Well and the rest as they say is history – but fortunately for wine lovers around the world-the entire tasting was captured on video.

An Evening with Casanova di Neri

by Bob Rallo

I’ve been drinking wine for over 40 years. Some of the world’s best…and worst! My favorites have always been the ones made by farmers, families, fathers, lovers, artists, and the believers in a simple life. Honest wines, not fancy wines. Giacomo, in recent history, has treated me to some of the most special moments in my wine experience.

Throughout my life, when it came to wine, I’ve always related it to a color spectrum. This spectrum begins with the corporate wineries; the conglomerates, pushing out large quantities of wine at all price levels. No love, all business. To me, if you’re going to drink these types of wine, drink coca-cola.

At the other end of the spectrum are the Brunellos of Casanova di Neri; small production wineries with emotion and passion. I see it as the treasure at the end of the rainbow… as good as wine gets. Like the Barolos of Vieti and the Montepulcianos of Emedio Pepe, Casanova di Neri’s Brunellos, although not commercially or always critically acclaimed, one sip makes you scream, cry, and laugh all at once.

Luckily, you don’t have to wait until you reach the end of the spectrum. Nestled high atop the arch, are some equally spectacular views. You can undoubtedly spend many enjoyable nights now with Casanova di Neri’s Rosso di Neri and Pietradonice.

I hope one day I can inspire Giacomo with a plate of my food the way he has inspired me with every sip of one of his wines. Mille Grazie Giacomo!


Rosso di Casanova di Neri 2008
Aromas of violet, fruity and dry, a 5 star every day wine. Drink it now!

Casanova di Neri Brunello do Montalcino 2006
Way too young. Alcohol. Relaxed notes of cherries and spice. Look forward to drinking in 5+ years.

Casanova di Neri Brunello do Montalcino 2005
Dry and tart. Ethereal, with hints of tar. Visions of sugar plums 10 years away!

Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova 2005
Light color and viscosity. Pleasant tastes and aromas of rose petals. Very special wine.

Casanova di Neri Brunello do Montalcino Cerretalto 2004
Fruity with dry finish. Great with bold foods like Lasagna Bolognese. Good stuff! Future is exciting.

Casanova di Neri Pietradonice 2006
A long, smooth, and elegant Cabernet. The future is now!

Undici Reviewed by NJ Monthly

Undici Taverna Rustica is proud to announce that it was recently visited by famous New Jersey foodie, Rosie Saferstein. Saferstein is a food writer for New Jersey Monthly magazine, njmonthly.com, and has her own popular column “Table Hopping With Rosie” which features New Jersey restaurant news, food event listings, as well as information about New Jersey chefs. Her well documented dining experience at Undici personifies the vision co-owner, Vic Rallo, area restaurateur and Internet/TV personality, had for his guests when establishing Undici.

May 04, 2011 05:00 AM ET | Rosie Saferstein | Permanent Link

We were transported to a rustic Tuscan farmhouse when we entered Undici (“eleven” in Italian) Taverna Rustica, 11 West River Road, Rumson. We were immediately put into a “let’s eat” mood by the massive rectangular bar filled with diners and drinkers; the large trays of tomatoes and fruits, cheeses, and meats hanging from the bar ceiling; and the fireplace that beckoned us to sit and relax. Wood-beam ceilings, wide-plank wood floors, and stone, brick, and plastered walls added to the ambiance.

Although bread and a bean dip were brought to the table when we were seated, we ordered a Neapolitan-style Margherita pizza to munch on while we looked at the menu and wine list. Baked in a wood-fired oven, the pie, with its perfectly charred, thin, and crispy crust, took the edge off our hunger. The all-Italian wine list is so large that we recommend you check it out online so you don’t spend the whole evening trying to decide what to order. Heads up: on Wednesday nights, a seasonal wine list is available with bottles offered at 50 percent off.

Salumi e formaggi, a platter of dried meats, cheeses, olives, grapes, and almonds, and the addictive fried calamari with a hint of sea salt were wonderful and can both be recommended as starters. Pastas were perfect. A very generous portion of the ravioli of the day, filled with greens and served with a tomato sauce, was impeccable. Another special, a Sicilian dish made with sardines, pine nuts, and raisins over pasta, had a robust flavor, and the house-made mafaldine (ruffled fettuccine) topped with a Bolognese sauce was beautifully cooked and presented. Roasted baby chicken with its crispy skin and juicy meat was devoured by the table. Other entrée options were Berkshire center-cut pork chop, cod with Swiss chard, 21-day dry-aged steak, and, on Sundays only, a “Sunday Sauce” with house-made beef bracciole, Italian sausage, and pork ribs slow cooked in a tomato sauce and served over rigatoni. Vegetarians can create a very impressive plate with the side dishes. Roasted Brussels sprouts and rosemary potatoes, which came with the chicken, were as full of flavor as the protein. After that extensive dinner, only one dessert was shared by four people, a sweet apple Tuscan coffee cake served with cinnamon gelato and fresh cream. For reservations, call 732-842-3880.

Read the review at NJMonthly.com