Overseeing the judging of Italian wines today we hear from Alistair Cooper MW about how the day has gone:
“Up here on the third floor of China Exchange today I’ve been overseeing the panels tasting wines from across the south and centre of Italy. These panels have been split so that a couple have mainly been tasting the more commercial style of wines. One of these panels had the southern Italian Primitivo’s and Nero d’Avola’s and these wines performed exactly as you’d expect – lots of bronze medals here and really good, approachable wines.
“A pleasant surprise today from southern Italy was a Zibibbo from Sicily – a white grape and the wine showed just a hint of sweetness, and it was exceptional. This highlights that even in the more commercial range there are wines that really make you take notice.
“I talked about Pecorino the other day and today we tasted through flights of this consistent performer. The Picpoul of Italy, Pecorino has acidity and freshness and a bit of body and is really consumer friendly. Some nice silvers and bronzes in the Pecorino flights.
“An area to highlight is Abruzzo, which I feel should be better championed. We had a flight of Montepulciano, and the wines were very, very good – Abruzzo is a region that is producing wines across the price points which is great to see.
“Brunello performed well today, often you can have high expectations and can be disappointed but thankfully this was not the case today. While we perhaps didn't have the highs that I might have hoped for, we didn't have any lows. So they were that was a very good performance overall.
“I think that is a theme we can take away from today. The overall standard from Italy in the year’s I’ve been judging has really stepped up. No longer do the wines at the lower end of the spectrum have the capacity to disappoint as they perhaps once did. The tide has turned and the standard seems a lot higher than it used to be. We know Italy makes great, great wines at the top of the scale, but at the lower end, a similar story to France, we are really seeing producers raise the bar.”
The IWSC’s 2022 Wine Results will be available from 23 May 2022. Discover other deliberations from this series on our News page here.