Yes, you read that title correctly.
My wife Karen helps a great deal with my articles, usually behind the scenes. She attends tastings with me as often as her busy schedule permits. She reviews all my stories and gives me her two cents [more like $100] worth on a regular basis; my writing would suffer greatly without her input.
For quite some time, I’ve been encouraging her to actually share some writing duties with me, and she finally said “yes”! So, I present to you the first truly co-written effort of “Perlises Pick.”
JAMESSUCKLING.COM Great Wines of Italy is an annual tasting with this year’s US portion of the world tour visiting Miami, New York and San Francisco in addition to the event we attended at The Montage in Beverly Hills. As with the previous event of Mr. Suckling’s that we attended [Great Wines of the Andes], wines poured were only those that he had personally tasted and rated 90 points or better. So high quality was practically guaranteed that evening, needless to say.
So was quantity — with over 70 wineries represented and most pouring two wines apiece, it was hard to make more than a dent, but of those we tasted, here are some of our favorites. Please note that the comments in quotes are Mr. Suckling’s [some abbreviated] from the 200 page program, along with his point score. Lazy reporting, perhaps, but I saw no reason to reinvent what Mr. Suckling does so well.
First though, from Karen: It would be wrong not to mention that The Montage set out a beautiful and large spread. I was especially impressed by the hand shaved Prosciutto. Michael and I also enjoyed the pate, grilled vegetables and many of the cheeses. We didn’t taste all the cheeses, there were really too many to choose from. On the other side of the buffet line, there was a pasta bar with three different pasta shapes accompanied by sauces which were equally delicious. Two chefs were cooking the sauces up fresh right in front of the patrons.
Karen’s top picks…
Bellavista Franciacorta Alma Gran Cuvėe Brut NV
“Pretty aromas of bread dough, lemon and cooked apple. Fresh. Medium to full body, tangy acidity and a fruity finish. Always an outstanding sparkling wine. Drink now. 91 Pts.”
KP: As my palate evolves as I get older, I find that white wines are tickling my fancy now. I really enjoyed the brightness of this wine.
Parusso Vino Spumante di Qualita Metodo Classico Brut 2012
“A beautiful, delicate and flavorful rosé with strawberry and lemon character. Medium-bodied, dense and flavorful. Pure nebbiolo. Drink now. 91 Pts.”
KP: This was my favorite of the evening. I could have finished the whole bottle. The fact that it was nebbiolo blew me away. It had a finesse about it and I was admittedly taken by surprise.
Pra Soave Classico Montegrande 2015
“A steely and bright white with sliced apple, lemon and stone character. Hints of free herb. Medium body, tight and dense with lovely fruit. Crisp and lively. Drink now. 92 Pts.”
KP: I enjoyed this one as it was clean and fresh. It perked up my taste buds for the rest of the evening.
My top pick was…
Poggio la Noce –
Poggio la Noce Gigio 2013
“A fine and silky red with chocolate, bark and blueberry aromas and flavors. Medium body, dense center palate and a long and flavorful finish. A fascinating blend of sangiovese and a splash of teroldego from hillside vineyards above Florence. Drink in 2018. 92 Pts.”
Poggio la Noce Gigetto 2014
“A red with beautiful purity and stature. Currant, blackberry and walnut aromas and flavors. Full and silky. Very intense and structured. Better in 2020 but so exciting to taste for the vintage. 93 Pts.”
MP: I found both offerings from this tiny winery to be so exciting and complex. Great flavors and amazing finishes. I was tempted to stay at this table for the rest of the evening.
Next week I’ll list the rest of our favorites from the evening.
Michael Perlis has been pursuing his passion for wine for more than 25 years. He has had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show him the way, as well as a wonderful wife who encourages him and shares his interest. After a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as he possibly could, he had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Now, as Contributing Editor for Eve’s Wine 101, he does his best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers. Michael is also Vice President of Eve Bushman Consulting (fka Eve’s Wine 101 Consulting) http://evebushmanconsulting.com/ and President of MCP Financial. Michael can be contacted at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.