Category Archives: Tuscany

A wide-ranging blind tasting back in november 2015

We had a blind taste of a wide range of wines an evening in back in November and here is the result. Great tenderloin, chanterelles, risotto and pecorino accompanied these wines then. Two bottles form us each and a half bottle.

1993 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano riserva, Carpineto

The first wine is brought to the table by Frederik and it obviously has some age. Andreas has a hard time locating its origins and this is hard since the wine is from a region we haven’t payed any attention to and it contains 10% merlot, 20% canaiolo and the rest sangiovese grosso. It is a good wine that we hadn’t tested before with obvious age.

Sir Galahad:

Very fine matured nose of butter-fried chanterelles, some vanilla cain, some pencil led, vinaigrette, madeira, eucalyptus and a stylish, quite complex and fresh saline perfume. A complex and stylish nose.

Saline coated darker fruit; plums and black cherries, mush rooms, cedar oak, pepper and mush rooms are obvious on the palate. It is generous, rich and voluptuous. Very good, crisp and balsamic acidity. The texture is coarse and tannins are unfortunately harsh and edgy which is a true disappointment in an otherwise good vino nobile from Montepulciano with some age, the neighbour wine region to Montalcino in Tuscany.



Some dense ripe fruit, hints of oak and saltiness opens the nose but there is also a pleasant creaminess.

Dark ripe fruit with blueberries and boysenberries but also under vegetation and mushrooms enter the scene on the palate where we also find a rather laid back but present acidity.

The finish is surprisingly short but has some nice dried fruit.


2008 Chambolle-Musigny “Les Charmes”, Bertheau

The second wine is very fragrant and Andreas is the one bringing it to the table. Frederik is quickly and only based on the nose  in chambolle-musigny, but not sure what producer and is not nailing the vintage. After leaving the area for a few seconds after sipping a few more times, Andreas helps out just a little by saying that the first guess was not bad. It proves to be a 1er cru from our hero, Francois Bertheau in chambolle.

Sir Galahad:

Distinct ginger in here as well as fresh orange-peel, some curry and a lovely, seductive perfume of flowers with feminine characteristics that is enchanting and elegant. On the palate it is very generous, rich in ripe, red fruit; dominated by wild strawberries, ginger, blood orange and some anise. Very crisp and fresh acidity. Texture is velvety but with ripe and precise, but quite dense tannins. Its i very elegant, persistently generous and all about finess.



Mineral infused fresh nose with lots of red fruit and hints of floral notes. There are also orange peel, ginger, roses and hints of citric notes.

Fantastic acidity with razor sharp precision and some citric notes that are otherwise mainly found in white wine like Chenin Blanc. The red fruit is both fresh and slightly sweet.

The wine has an amazing precision and elegance but lacks some complexity and length.



2014 Cheverny rouge “La Gravotte”, Clos du Tue-Boeuff

The 3rd wine is prepared by Andreas. Frederik can only pinpoint it to be from a natural wine producer and guesses on Loire and is sure it is very young, but has no clue of the producer. It turns out to be a producer that Andreas has visited and well known to the best restaurants in Copenhagen.

Sir Galahad:

The nose offers some crushed stone, but dominated by yeast boosting the aromas which is typical in trendy natural wines that is on the list at famous restaurant Noma. Fruit is a little sweet, but good balance, full-bodied and fresh with cool, fresh acidity. A little too much yiest for my taste, somewhat harsh tannins and it lacks complexity for a top wine.



An abundance of rather sweet berries jump out of the glass together with notes of menthol. The palate is also dominated by fresh juicy red berries with a slightly sourish tone on the acidity. This is a very fruit driven, forward and generous wine but unfortunately it is too simplistic and lacks elegance for at top score.



2012 Cornas “Renaissance”, Auguste Clape

Frederik brings this great wine of the best producer in Cornas to the tasting and Andreas is not familiar with Cornas before, but he is quite quickly in the Rhône dale ruling out Cote Rotie and the northern part based on the terroir.

Sir Galahad:

Distinct crushed, very forward and vibrating, typical granite stone followed by dried herbs, eucalyptus, earthy minerals, mush rooms, synthetic glue, and black tea. It appears to be holding back its authentic and mysterious traits at this point, but it is obvious that the complexity is lurking within if you spend some time with it like we did. On the palate, it is obviously too young yet, but very deep dark fruit, undervegetation, black tea and typical granite stone. Plenty of fresh, bitter and energetic acidity. Texture is a little fleshy, very thick and solid, but while tannins are not harsh at all, they are currently a little dry and grainy.

Obviously, this warm vintage rendered a very forward, dense and solid wine. It is very deep and quite powerful, but not heavy. It is a promising little brother wine in Auguste Clape’s cornas range. It obviously needs much more time, but a very forward and classic wine from Cornas of the defining master.



Dense dark fruit with ripe boysenberries, blueberries and some fresh violet. There are also some wood glue, oil paint and some earthy notes.

The taste is also dense and deep but also has an amazingly energetic acidity which ensures that the wine never get heavy. There are crushed stone and dark minerals but also some slight pepper notes on the taste. Sometimes there is a slight bitterness that is pushed down by some slight sweetness.

A wine that combines dense and generous fruit with minerals and energy. Impressive effort.


2010 Brunello di Montalcino, Campogiovanni

Frederik adds this to the bunch and Andreas guesses correctly that it is a brunello and correct vintage but not the producer.


An abundance of rather sweet berries jump out of the glass together with notes of menthol.

The palate is also dominated by fresh juicy red berries with a slightly sourish tone on the acidity.

This is a very fruit driven, forward and generous wine but unfortunately it is too simplistic and lacks elegance for at top score.


Sir Galahad:

Distinct notes of asphalt, rubber boots and balsamic herbs on the nose.

Quite fullbodied wine with very dark fruit, dry herbs, gravel. Fine acidity and persistent but a little dry finish, sandy texture and without finesse.



The certainly wide tasting line-up

A modernist forgetting his best brunello vintage in new oak

A danish importer warned me of this wine just after I bought two bottles in 2009, but I had already read how much Robert Parker and James Suckling loved it at the time. Robert’s notes (I actually think these are the notes of one of my favourite wine critics, Antonio Galloni) are as follows; “97 points Robert Parker: “The 2004 Brunello di Montalcino is a huge, dense wine that explodes from the glass with tar, smoke, earthiness black cherries and minerals. The wine possesses dazzling concentration and tons of richness, as waves of fruit coat the palate in stunning style. This big, dramatic Brunello needs time in bottle, but it is nothing short of magnificent today. The balance, and the integration of the French oak in particular, is brilliant. For those who are curious to try a bottle now, the wine should be opened a few hours in advance as the tannins are imposing at this stage. This is a rare Brunello of superb pedigree and complexity. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2029.”

Who wouldn’t buy the wine after reading this and now it happens to be 2014.. :)Furthermore,  the Californian importer K&L’s Italian Buyer says: “Wow. Sweet, toasty, coffee notes just bursts from the glass however it doesn’t smell as if it is heavily oaked at all it is just the first step into layers of complex aromatics. There are swirls of complex fruit and earth that well up behind the essence of barrique forming a whirlpool of intrigue and obvious complexity that display the wines decisive flavors. On the palate smooth, rippling layers of fleshy sweetness accented with bits of spice, blackberries fill your mouth in a controlled expansion, layering levels of intricacy. The finish is a wonderful movement full of athletic prowess that in effortless grace portrays the wines completeness. This is a masterful wine. Wine is due December 2009”.

Now, in the last critic adds some warnings or notes that should make anyone interested in enjoying a wine for its originality immediately becoming sceptic.. :S It is always, of course, a really good rule to taste for yourself, if possible, before purchasing wines and that way make up your own opinion. However, this brunello is a blend of two totally different sites in Montalcino; 40% from a lower part in the more elegant clayey and sandy Pellagrilli vineyards in the north and 60% from the more sturdy and structured Piancornello in the southern area of Sant’Angelo in Colle. Moreover, Siro Pacenti still makes a great deal about originality, low yields and their specific soil on their website. However, Giancarlo Pacenti raises his brunelli for two years in well toasted barriques focusing on concentration and elegance. 2004 is the most balanced and aromatic vintage in Montalcino if you ask me, while e.g. 2006 is usually richer, little warmer and much more structured.

2004 Siro Pacenti, Brunello di Montalcino

Colour is garnet dark and blood orange red with scarlet-light-orange edges.

After an hours decanting, some peppery green, tiny flowery soap oak notes emerges from the glass but then there is some fine Mediterranean herbs, some lavender, conserved boysenberries, water-on-stone and delicate minerals. However, after two hours, the oak, disappointingly spreads out and takes over completely and covers everything in here that I am sure could be interesting, even though very closed. Even after four hours, the nose is still quiet and unfortunately an overly modern one that I think covers all the interesting aromatics from its origins. On the palate I can recognise some darker minerals, black cherries, maybe coffee and earthy notes, but that is it as the oak aromas spreads out coating everything in here. Now, this is really unfortunate, since sangiovese grosso, “the blood of Jupiter”, is so easily affected by oak and the result is usually that all other aromas are covered and not enhanced, but at worst ruined. In this case I am sure it suffers more from the first problem really, since the wine started out fine just after opening.

Texture is soft and velvet and tannins appears to be fine, but artificial. The acidity is actually great and approachable, but frankly does it really matter. Moreover, it is highly concentrated and quite persistent too, but does these positive characteristics even matter anymore?..

This is so terribly respectless and pointless, since I realise that there is a lot of great fruit and flavours in here, but it has clearly been ruined by over-excessive use of oak. I don’t know if it is the well toasted French Troncais wood that I am supposed to enjoy here, but all brunello flavours and characteristics from the two blended sites in Montalcino’s are surely covered and probably even ruined. This disabuse of the sacred sangiovese grape from such a grand vintage must certainly render a low score. It is fascinating that it gets such top scores even from a few respected wine critics around the world that ought to understand the fragility and delicacy of the sangiovese grape especially when exposed to this level of new and well toasted oak, even when considering that they like modern style wines.