James Suckling: Great Wines of Italy

Say what you want to say about the critic but Suckling’s events are pretty good. This was my second year attending his Great Wines of Italy grand tasting event and it was awesome. He brought with him about 100 producers and they showcased about 200 wines. I had a free ticket and an hour to kill so I planned my routes before hand with precision. I ended up tasting around 35 wines in an hour with a focus on Barolo, here are some wines that stood out for me.

  • Bruno Giacosa, Barolo, Falletto, 2015

  • Arnaldo Rivera, Barolo, Ravera, 2013

  • Ca del Baio, Barbaresco, Autinbej, 2015

  • Fontanafredda, Barolo, Serralunga D Alba, 2014

  • Cordero di Montezemolo, Barolo, Gattera

  • Garbole, Amarone, Hatteso Riserva, 2009

  • Garbole, Veneto, Hurlo, 2009

  • Allegrini, Veronese Palazzo della Torre, 2015

  • Zenato, Amarone, Classico Sergio Riserva, 2012

  • Cusumano, Etna Bianco, Alta Mora 2017

  • Cottanera, Enta Bianco, 2017

  • Les Cretes, Chardonnay, Valle D’Acosta, Cuvee Bois, 2016

  • Franz Haas, Vigneti delle Dolomiti, Manna Bianco, 2016

    The Etna whites really surprised me as they were very Chablis like. For those who attended this year, which producer or wine stuck out the most for you?

I need to take a look next time - might be a good event. Every location sold out, so obviously they are quite successful

Super successful. It’s how he makes his money. And he says his events in Asia are even bigger. He does manage to get a lot of great producers to show up and it was interesting to compare to the Tre Bicchieri event a week later. Not sure which was a better event for me - I tasted through a lot of Tuscan wines at the Suckling event as well as some interesting one-offs, more Piedmont wines at the Tre Bic.

Where does he hold the Italian event?

Usually NYC, Chicago, LA, and San Francisco, but check his website.

Miami, NYC, Chicago, Beverley Hills, San Francisco

He does a South American tasting in the Fall as well.

I missed this year but have been to 4 or so previously in NYC. I love the event. Well worth it, IMO.

What were they pouring for the Brunellos? 2014 was a mess but I wonder if any were shown.

The Fontanafredda Barolo is always a great value, as it can usually be found in the $29-$35 range (rare for a Barolo, and especially rare for a Barolo with as much character as this one typically shows). I also like the Cordero di Montezemolo wines across the board…

Not meaning to resurrect an old thread, but anyone going to the Dallas event tomorrow? I’ll be there if anyone wants to meet-up. Shoot me a pm.

I will be attending the Miami event next Friday. Cant beat the free wine.com tickets that are supplied to stewards members every event. Really looking forward to trying the 2015 Brunellos.

Jesse, I’ve been slammed in travel and hadn’t had a chance to look at the roster (it’s quite extensive). Anything to keep an eye out for if you have had a chance to look at the list? Thanks!

NYC … 3/4/20 … IN.


I’ve been getting free tickets the last few years. I find the events well run and full of Good producers with nice wines to taste. My friends and I make a night of it and grab dinner after.

We’ll be at the Dallas event tonight, looks like a good lineup!


Tyler, shot you my number in a pm. Let’s meet-up tonight. Looking forward to it.

The Great Wines of the World event he hosted in Miami last month was ridiculous. I’ve been lucky enough to attend a bunch of his events for free the last two years and they’re always a good time.

Great event! Fantastic '15 Brunellos. Might I say a bit overwhelming with the quantity of wines. For me, the Livio Sassetti 2004 Brunello was a show-stopper. Second runner up was the 2015 Tassi Brunello. Just something animalistic about it. Over 900 people at the Dallas event and was a packed house.

Perhaps my single favourite Brunello producer (and certainly my favourite in the “under $70” range…usually available for close to $55-$60). The '01, '04, '08 (sleeper), and '10 were all fantastic. Hopefully the '15 will be great too after a few solid-but-unexceptional vintages in '11-'14.

Going to the LA event in a few hours. As long as he’s sending me tickets, I’ll go to see what’s up. Got to know him a bit over the years and he’s apparently doing quite well with these. He gets a huge turnout and the producers get their wines in front of critics and likely purchasers.

Had a great time and got to experience some terrific wines. Lines were long for the ringers, and we admittedly quickly became jaded with ‘only 95pts’ hahaha!

Well run, great turnout, and 90% direct winery staff pouring and talking their wines.

2010 valdicava brunello piano riserva was my speed. But the 15 Brunellos were excellent across the board and will get stocked!