I can’t say that his taste in wine always aligns with mine but I will say that the event he orchestrated and hosted was remarkable not only for its breadth and ambition but also for the marquee names that gathered for the two-day affair.
Bruna Giacosa, Giacomo Neri, Francesca Planeta, and Marco Caprai were just some of the celebrity Italian winemakers who came to New York to pour and talk about their wines. And there were many others…
I was in town to pour and speak about the wines of friend who couldn’t be there.
As a lover of Italian wines, I can only offer my greatest praise for James and this landmark event. The model is, of course, the Wine Spectator New York Wine Experience. And there are other annual NYC events, like the Gambero Rosso guide presentation, where scores of top Italian winemakers show their wines.
But, to my knowledge, there’s never been such an ambitious high-end, consumer event devoted exclusively to Italian wine: it cost roughly $200 to attend last night’s event and tickets to tonight’s dinner are $275.
I was also really impressed by the guests’ level of wine knowledge and many grilled me about vintage characteristics and growing sites.
Chapeau bas, James. The tasting set a new and higher bar for Italian wine in this country. An event like this would have been unimaginable in 1998, the year that the Italian wine renaissance began to take shape in this country.
Bruno Giacosa 2007 Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto (red label) was the wine I was most thrilled by, poured by Bruna herself!
Wow, what a wine… no one can rival the elegance that Bruno Giacosa achieves in his Barolo. And where so many 2007s are dominated by the power of their tannin (in part due to the odd winterless vintage in Langa), his already shows gorgeous balance (even at this early stage of its evolution).
I had tasted the wine at the winery back in 2010 when Bruno hadn’t yet decided whether he would make a red label for this designation. Tracie P and I were on our honeymoon and we tasted the Rocche del Falletto out of cask.
The other highlight was hearing Isabel Suckling, James’ daughter, rehearse for the performance she will give at tonight’s event.
She’s a truly electric performer and I’m looking forward to her main event at tonight’s dinner.
More New York Stories to come… Stay tuned…