2019 Le Miccine, Rosato di Toscana “P” IGT Rosé, Gaiole in Chianti Classico, Italy.
Paula Papini Cook’s P Rosato di Toscana Rosé of Sangiovese from her all organic estate grapes at the historic Le Miccine, which is set in the forested hills of Gaiole in Chianti Classico is a bright and crisp effort with tart cherry, strawberry, peach and zippy citrus fruits, a soft texture, earth, dried herbs, mineral and rosewater. Light and delicate this pale easy dry Rosé has an orange/ruby pink color and has plenty of Sangiovese’s natural acidity, though everything is very elegant and round in style and lingers with a hint of caramel and summer melon. I am a huge fan of Papini Cook’s wines here at Le Miccine, especially her stellar Chianti Classico Riserva bottlings over the last five releases, in particular I was absolutely smitten with he 2013 and 2016 wines, superb vintages in the region, as well as the estate’s basic Chianti Classico and the single varietal Merlot Carduus, a wine that like Castello di Ama’s that shows this grape does fabulous well in Tuscany. Le Miccine estate has been an important part of the Chianti countryside since ancient times and served as a way station for travellers, usually produce traders and their donkeys to rest, where there was shade, a spring and refreshments. The name Le Miccine itself comes from the local dialect (a word) that means small female donkeys, taken of course from the service they provided over the hundreds of years of this route being in use. The vineyards at Le Miccine came later as the fame of Gaiole’s wines became widely known and that the terroir’s promise was cemented, they were initially planted in the sixties and that is when the estate began to produce wines. Though quite popular, the Le Miccine never reached their potential until Paula Papini Cook came here and revitalized the vineyards and set up her family’s cellars to compete with the legendary neighbors. I wrote about Le Miccine recently, reviewing the awesome Chianti Classico Riserva 2016 and will continue to follow the wines from this spot and the talented Papini Cook, who was trained in both France and Spain before coming to her family’s sleepy remote winery.

The Le Miccine winery has a special micro climate that enjoys warm long days and cool nights that helps ripen the classic native grapes here, Sangiovese, including a handful of different clones, Malvasia Nera and Colorino, along with the Merlot, making for wonderfully complex flavors and depth. The wines at Le Miccine, as Papini Cook, the youthful Canadian born and internationally trained winemaker explains, are carefully managed in stainless steel tanks until the (cool) fermentations end to preserve purity and freshness with temperature control and a lengthy gentle maceration. The wines are then pressed to a combination of vessels depending on the varietal and vine age with some aged in French oak barrels, and or large neutral (used) oak casks for optimal oak integration and balance in her wines. Le Miccine wines are produced exclusively from grapes grown organically on the property. The Rosé, which is usually reserved only for guests of the property, as is Le Miccine’s well known and admired olive oil, but can be ordered in a sampler set, which I acquired, that can be delivered to the United States directly from the winery’s cellar, when you visit their website. The all stainless Rosé is bright and simple, but it hit the spot with pizza on a nicely warm evening, but certainly it would be more refreshing on a Tuscan Summer day and native cuisine. It was my National Pizza Day wine, as I had felt like something cooly natured and a bit lighter to go with my toppings, it did the job very well and without pretense. Papini Cook’s hard work and passion has lifted Le Miccine and has made this small family estate one of the most exciting properties in these beautiful Chianti Classico hillsides, joining some of the elite labels in the zone. The Le Miccine wines are now award winning efforts, written about in many wine journals and very highly recommended by Decanter Magazine, where I first read about this Chianti, which is distributed internationally, including being found in restaurants world wide, as well as cities such as Montreal, New York, Auckland, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and in Europe. Again, while these wines are not easy to find, the main three stand out offerings can be found with a motivated search, and I cannot wait until travel is back to normal so I can finally visit in person!
($25 Est.) 87 Points, grapelive

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