THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO ITALIAN WINE 2017, Daniele Cernilli (aka Doctor Wine)
This is the third edition in English of this circumspect and personal guide to 978 producers from all of Italy’s wine regions. Daniele Cernilli is a legendary name in Italian wine reporting since he was the founder of the Gambero Rosso Guide, and for 24 years directed its work. He doesn’t work alone in trying to bring order to Italian wines, but with a very competent group of collaborators who more or less act as partial tasters. Daniele wants to be known as the editor in chief. He is a member of the ONAV, the Italian association of wine tasters which is an official governmental group licensed to taste wine.
The recommendations given in The Ultimate Guide to Italian Wine are varied. Wines are rated because they are very good and not expensive, moderately priced and then high priced. But in every case, the wines must first be good and then have special attributes that make them even more interesting or worthy of being bought. The Guide is essentially a consumer guide to high quality wine enjoyment. Of the 978 producers, there is an average of 2.5 wines recommended from each This is an enormous amount of wine.
The highest rating given is Three Stars which some 90 producers from all over Italy have been awarded. Other wines have other special recommendations: being particular favorites in tastings or have other special merits. Every year there is a special wine category award for particularly meritorious producers. Since this is a Guide which comes out every year, it is interesting to see which wines are favored from year to year. It is unique in that the wines tasted are not supplied by the producers, with great exception. The wines are tasted at public tastings, trade tastings, and consortium tastings just as normal customers would taste the wines. There is nothing special done for the tasters of the Guide, and the wines stand or fall on their own merits.
If you have any pretension of knowing about most, if not all, the good producers in Italy, here is your ultimate Guide. (Full disclosure: I have known Daniele for many years. But I have known his wife Marina Thompson, for even more.)
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO ITALIAN WINE 2017 581pp