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.


Undici Now Offering Casanova di Neri Tasting Flight

 

The response to the tasting with Giacomo Neri at Undici was outstanding, with many guests asking if there were be another one down the road. Our guests enjoyed the Casanova di Neri wines so much, that we’re now proud to offer a superb tasting flight of Neri’s wines. The Casanova di Neri flight will be $36 and offers diners a 2 ounce tasting of four wines that were handpicked by Neri.

The flight which will be available through June 2011 includes:

  • 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Peitradonice comes from the land where the wine is planted, which is very rich in onyx. It is a wine which uses exclusively Cabernet and Sauvignon grapes: almost a challenge, to achieve a product which fully returns the flavor of the earth and its stone.  If we add very low yields per plant and the climatic factor, we can see it – and we say this with a touch of conceit – as the wine which most tangibly represents Casanova di Neri. Pietradonice succeeds in reconciling international flavor with local tradition and, in the end, all the personality of Montalcino floods out.
  • 2005 and 2006 Brunello Etichetta Bianca (renamed White Label for the American market) Brunello di Montalcino Casanova di Neri is characterized simply by its white label, to the point where it has now been renamed “White label” on the American market. This “Etichetta Bianca” is born in vineyards that look to Montalcino from the east, at an altitude which varies from 350 to 480 metres above sea level, very close to our cellar. The main characteristics of this wine are elegance, finesse and longevity.   It matures in big old barrels for about 42-45 months and perfectly represents the desire to express a product distinguished by character and tradition.
  • 2008 Rosso Casanova di Neri is possibly the wine that best represents the attempt to marry innovation and tradition. It is the synthesis of the strong personality and character conveyed by Sangiovese, together with the immensely drinkable quality of Colorino, a typically autochthonous grape, which makes it particularly well suited to drinking with meals every day.

So if you find yourself in our neck of the woods, stop by and request this limited edition Casanova di Neri wine flight.

Giacomo Neri knows wine and anyone who has the opportunity to talk with him will quickly see what differentiates him in the wine world. Passion, family and tradition are synonymous to him which I quickly learned during our time together at this year’s Vinitaly. The chat at Vinitaly fueled our next meeting – a meet and greet wine dinner at my restaurant Undici in Rumson, New Jersey. The sold out event brought local wine aficionados together in one room to hear from Neri and I, taste 6 of his choice wines from Casanova di Neri which we paired with classical Italian cuisine, and share on his vision for his vineyards. The next day found Neri and I together again to support our good friend James Suckling at his “Bellisimo Brunello’s” event which was held at City Winery in New York City with the support of wine merchant, Zachys. Neri has received much notoriety for his wines, including earning 100 points from James Suckling for his 2006 Tenuta Nuova.

Before the sold-out wine dinner at Undici, Victor Rallo had time to catch up and talk with Giacomo Neri, Mr. 100 pointer himself. Great vineyards in Montalcino, tradition, and a little bit of luck has made Casanova di Neri wines a powerhouse in Italian Brunello.

 

Click here to view the photo gallery from the event

Giacomo Neri at Undici Restaurant

Bar Cialoma Gelateria, The Best on This Planet


Bar Cialoma Gelateria:
THE BEST ON THIS PLANET

In the center square in Marzemami in an unassuming stone building with a beaded entrance. Behind the beads lies the best granita on this planet. Everyone knows that Italy has great gelato and Sicily is the best of Italy, but what I did not know was that granita, frozen ice (no milk) made with real fruit, nuts, coffee etc. was the bomb.

So after lunch we walk into the square and we notice a line of people streaming out of this beaded doorway and we immediately gravitated to the gathering. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason young, old, fat and skinny Italians savoring the most beautiful granita in the world, semi frozen, succulent and juicy, the pits and all.

Now it was our turn to order. The choices were anguria (watermelon), fregola (strawberry), mandorlo (almond), ciocolato (chocolate), espresso, melone bianco (honeydew) fichi bianco (white fig), fichi nero (brown fig), pesca (peach) and limone. This ice cream store Italiani was much different from its American counterpart in that it only had 9 flavors all made fresh, no preservatives , no sugar, no color added. Only La Materia Prima. What would I choose – would I be back again?

As always being the foodie that I am, when presented with one of these delicious dilemmas, I order one of each flavor. I had plenty helpers my wife, a gelato/granita junkie, my daughter Eli a sweets lover, and rounded out by Jack and Jake. I tasted and savored each flavor, one flavor better then the next, one thing is for sure every flavor tasted exactly like the pure ingredient frozen. I know that you expect a final choice, so here it is: peach and strawberry were my favorites, but they were all great and each one was better then anything I have tasted in the USA.