Best wine ever?

Dear all,

It’s been ages since I’ve written anything here. I do apologize. My absence is mostly due to having been very busy at work, but also to the fact that I tend to write long, involved posts, and I haven’t had the get-up-and-go to sit down and put in the focus and hours it takes, including all the tagging etc.

Anyway, I was just making a Facebook post, which obviously favours a much shorter format, and I thought I’d also put it up here. Maybe, just maybe, this is a sign that I might be doing myself the favour of allowing shorter, less involved posts in future.

So here goes:

Interesting article, even if just pieced together from several other articles. It seems that some answer the question “what really opened your eyes to wine?”, while others answer “what is the greatest wine you’ve ever had?”

So, here I answer both:


Back in 1984 I went to Italiensk Vinhus in Amaliegade in Copenhagen, run by Carlo Merolli, with DKK 500 I had gotten in return tax. A huge sum for a poor student such as myself. There, I bought 5 bottles of wine, chosen by Carlo to represent the very best of Italy. One of the bottles was the Quintarelli Amarone Monte Ca’ Paletta 1979. It totally blew me away with its sheer size, complexity and forceful character. Until then I had never known wine could have such impact. Carlos Melia Christensen may remember; he was there. Unfortunately, this bottle has essentially ruined Amarone for me, for who else makes wine of such stature? In hindsight perhaps not advisable that your first Amarone ever is THE definitive one.

Best ever 3 candidates (sorry):

Probably the favourite was the Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfortino 1988 tasted from cask in 1995; an absolutely mindblowing wine, combining size, density, vertiginous complexity and ballet dancer elegance, in perfect balance at the time.

But how, then, to classify the Bruno Giacosa Barolo Vigna Rionda 1967 we had for New Year’s Eve, probably that same year? An incredible masterpiece of terroir, a wine of pitch-perfect Serralunga structure and aromas, ethereal, philosophical, and the first wine that opened my eyes in a serious way to the fact that greatness in wine is rarely about the fruit, it’s about all the other things, with fruit decidedly playing second fiddle.

And then again, some time in 1992, visiting the cellars of Domaine Trapet in Burgundy, his Le Chambertin 1990 from barrel, light, lithe, elegant, yet profound and enormously complex, a perfect example of the terroir and of the fact that wine does not have to be huge in structure to be great.

Strange, on reflection, that two of my all-time favourites were tasted from cask/barrel, but that seems to often be when they are most harmonious and open. Bottling is a severe shock for any wine.

So, what are your favourites?

See Decanter article here:


This entry was posted in Amarone, Barolo, Burgundy, France, Italy, Opinion, Piemonte, Red wine, Veneto, Wine, Wine producers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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