2018 Le Miccine, Chianti Classico DOCG, Tuscany, Italy.
The Le Miccine Chanti Classicos are some of my favorite wines, especially in vintages like 2016 and 2018, like this one, and I highly recommend searching them out, they can be hard to find at times, but can be ordered directly from the winery at very reasonable shipping rates, which is how I got my latest set of releases, from Gaiole in Chianti with love! This ancient property in an amazingly picturesque setting that hasn’t changed much in a thousand years is now run by the youthful talents of Paula Papini Cook, a French Canadian, who grandparents owned this old Chianti Classico estate and in the last ten years has risen up from obscurity to being a leading top notch label with a stellar collection of organic wines with a huge international following and richly deserved critical acclaim. The new 2018 Chianti Classico is beautifully aromatic, expressive, pure and bursting with fresh energy, it shows hard work in the vines and gentle handling of grapes in the cellar can achieve, this is instantly irresistible and additive stuff. There is fabulous clarity of detail and complex layers of vine picked blackberries, plum, mulberry, cherry and red currant fruits that are juicy fresh, rather than overtly ripe, with supple tannin, a seductive floral array on the bouquet, a light dusting of tangy and minty herbs, anise, cedar, earth and tobacco leaf. Everything is easy and seamless and makes for a seriously good companion with simple meals, especially traditional pasta dishes and roasts. Chianti Classico is full of distinctive vineyard sites and pleasure filled wines and Le Miccine should be on your list of must try wines, they are on my classic Tuscan rotation alongside the likes of Felsina, Caparsa, Monteseccondo, Montevertine, Castello di Ama and Mazzei, to name a few.

The Le Miccine Chianti Classico “Normale” is an exclusively native varietal blend of traditional Sangiovese, Malvasia Nera and Colorino grapes grown with all organic methods and employing biodynamic elements and holistic practices to achieve the highest quality and terroir character. Papini Cook, who was trained in Spain and France, brings a worldly experience to this remote estate and her efforts have proved remarkable and this 2018 is the result of her vision and is maybe the best example yet, that I have tried, everything you’d want from a Chianti Classico is here, from nose to finish, including its inviting color, perfume and balance. The winery uses temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for primary fermentation and then the wines are gently pressed and racked to a combination of small French oak and large casks, with this one being raised with more neutral vessels and only aged a short time before bottling. Le Miccine, which is set in the Gaiole zone with vineyards that have beautiful hillside exposure that soak in the warm sunshine, but have cool nights to retain natural acidity and give near perfect hang time to fully develop the Sangiovese’s flavor profile. The deep soils here have hardened clay and it is an area that is also rich in limestone and strewn with pebbles that gives these wines their pleasing fruit density and Le Miccine’s elevation gives it a unique micro climate, which adds to the lovely vitality in these wines, while still having wonderful textures. This side of Classico is more southern, closer to historic city of Siena and is easily accessible from this more rustic and slightly less travelled part of Tuscany by car, which is how I toured the area on my visit, honestly it was one of the most awe inspiring trips I have ever taken and this wine takes me back to this amazing place. Don’t miss these Le Miccine wines, in particular the heavenly Riserva and this delicious regular Chianti Classico!
($25 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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