Posted: Sunday, 31 July 2022 09:25
From Archives (2006): King of Italian wines.. Guess Who?
The criteria according to me is that the king should be the one producing the maximum number of excellent quality wines and not mediocre or mass-produced wines. What better way of judging than looking at the results declared by Gambero Rosso, the wine guide/book/magazine which has been working with Slow Food and evaluating thousands of wines every year, from all wine producing regions of Italy since 1987. This year’s edition, released last month in Torino (the English version is yet to be released) lists 16000 wines from over 2200 producers, making it a king of the wine books/guides from Italy.
Named after the most commonly used restaurant name there, it awards ‘glasses’ rather than points like Robert Parker does, though the number of glasses (bichhieri- tre, due, un) awarded is based on the points system. 130 tasters, connoisseurs and experts from all over Italy use their skills to judge all wines offered during mid-April (right after VinItaly concludes) to mid September. 282 producers have been awarded Tre Bicchieri this year. The king should be logically the one having won the most stars (one for each wine for that year).
Gaja leads with 39 stars in the twenty years of the existence of the Guide. This means that 39 wines have had the honour of winning Tre Bicchieri during the last 20 years. Logically, this should make Gaja the king as the next one closest to it is La Spinetta (Piemonte) with 30 stars; Ca’Del Bosco (Lombardia) trailing with 28 and Elio Altare (Piemonte), Allegrini (Veneto) with 22, Antinori(Tuscany) with only 18 along with Jermann (Friuli), and Feudi di San Gregorio (Campania) tieing with Tenuta San Guido (Sassicaia fame) at 17. (There are some other wines too, competing at these levels)
Here is an interesting twist to the story. Gaja also has bought wineries in Tuscany. If one added stars awarded in all the combined regions, Gaja would score 43. But Antinori whose presence is wider spread would end up with a combined total of 48 stars, making it the king.
It would be fair to say that one of the two is the current king, depending upon geographical assumptions. It is interesting to note that all of the above wines are being imported into India , dispelling any myths about only cheap wines entering the country. The two king importers have divided the territory- Brindco imports Gaja (as well as Allegrini and Jermann) whereas Sonarys sells Antinori 9(and Elio Altare etc. too).
Let us know who you think is the king- Gaja or Antinori
If you Like this article please click on the Like button