2010LeMiccineCarduus2010 Le Miccine, Carduus, Rosso di Toscana IGT, Italy.
Le Miccine looks set to be a star in Chianti Classico for the longterm with the young and talented Paula Papini Cook leading the way, she has scored a Tre Bicchere and has received lots of critical acclaim and this is coming for only her first two vintages in charge, so the future looks amazing for this Gaiole estate, definitely a winery to watch in the coming years. Paula’s wines are full of life and character with terroir and passion oozing from the glass, the Chianti Classicos are marvelous examples and this Carduus is delectable and glorious, this is some serious stuff. The 2010 Le Miccine Carduus is a special 100% Merlot cuvee aged in French “hogsheads” 330L barrels and comes off the estate vines and calcareous soils, this is really classy stuff, Paula’s gifted touch shows in this wonderful wine, maybe it is her experience in Bordeaux, where she worked in Fronsac, that has paid off here? I think the merlot grape does great in Italy, and especially in Tuscany, in fact I believe some of the great Merlot to be found comes from Italy, anyone who’s had Castello di Ama’s from down the road in Chianti, the famed Masseto from Ornellaia or Messario from Le Macchiole would certainly agree, Italy’s fine Merlot rivals even the famed Pomerol wines of Bordeaux the home to Petrus and the other fabled Merlot wines. This regardless of varietal, is a super and pure red that is full of unique charm and distinction with dark fruits, loamy earth, mineral and supple tannins, the Carduus by Le Miccine flows on the palate with ripe plum, red currant, black cherry and mulberry fruit along with tobacco leaf, wild mushrooms, minty herbs and cedary spice. I had this sample bottle over the course of three days with gas, just the cork, and it was fresh and sturdy each night, this is well crafted wine, it in fact got better with each day and hour. This is rich and deep focused Merlot with a long lingering finish that has an echo of the fruit, subtle wood notes and leaves a smile on your face, drink from 2014 to 2021. I really hope the Le Miccine wines find an importer soon, I find these wines a great value and with huge potential, thanks again to Paula Papini Cook for her kindness and the samples, they are highly impressive wines, no question.
($40 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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