2014 Le Miccine, Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy.
The latest Le Miccine Chianti Classico, even in a severe vintage, turns in a masterful performance, Paula Papini Cook is fulfilling her talents with this elegant and stylish Sangiovese blend from the hills near Gaiole at this old Tuscan estate. The 2014 was a cool year with high acids and you had to have great touch and bravery to make outstanding wines in Chianti and the Le Miccine shines with graceful fruit, a nice deep garnet color and remarkable depth, it’s a vibrant cuvee of mostly Sangiovese, but with some Malvasia Nera and Colorino as well that add to the complexity of this lovely example of Gallo Nero terroir. Paula Papini Cook has converted Le Miccine to all organic and she uses stainless steel to do her ferments with this wine also seeing a short time in large neutral French casks, this is a wonderful clear, focused and pure wine that has layers of vivid fruit and a certain crispness of detail and freshness that make it a joy with cuisine. Her Riserva is from the 2013 vintage and is a much more full bodied effort, I’ll be reviewing that shortly, but I would say it looks set to be the benchmark wine from the vintage, it’s a stunning classic, while this Classico is more delicate, medium bodied and very lively, both are gorgeous offerings, I’m thrilled to be re-united with Le Miccine, as they have become available in California through San francisco’s Sienna Imports. I first tried Papini Cook’s 2010 and 2011 wines, her first releases, when at 24 she took over this ancient estate, and I feel head over heals for them, since then she’s joined the elite in the region, even scoring 95 Points from Decanter for her Chianti Classico 2013 and high praise from around the world for her artisan wines. The 2014 normale Chianti Classico is bright and tangy with light floral notes, dried herb, red berries and mineral elements leading the way with a hint of violets, tobacco leaf and anise in the background with a core of plum, black cherry, brambleberry, mulberry and blood orange fruits. A touch of cedar, strawberry, pepper and earthiness comes with air in the glass and while easy to enjoy there is plenty of energy and it shows a nice firm tannic spine, still this is a flexible honest Chianti and it should appeal to a wide audience and go with a good array of foods, in fact with it’s mild alcohol you could even serve it slightly chilled Beaujolais style with picnic and or BBQ. These new Le Miccine’s are classy and intriguing wines, I’ll be putting a few in my cellar and drinking them over the next 3 to 5 years, especially this lighter and pretty Classico, in my mind’s eye this is near to what I imagine to be the perfect Chianti!
($24 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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