Gaiole in Chianti, Siena, Toscana
Le Miccine is an estate that ticks all the boxes for me, pure ethereal Sangiovese without a hint of polluting cabernet or merlot, vineyards farmed organically and pared back winemaking.
There are more and more artisan winemakers on this path in Chianti and the results are excellent, the only problem is that it is a difficult life and requires attention to detail and very hard physical work.
Paula Papini Cook has the huge advantage of being female, that sounds terrible but I will stumble on, she has a wonderful eye for detail, the craft in her wines is remarkable and when I first tasted them it was like tasting Isole e Olena or Boscarelli for the first time, such was the purity, definition and harmony.
Paula is from Quebec, she is lovely, young and energetic, and the story of how she settled at Le Miccine is a tale of obsession and dogged determination. She trained in viticulture and enology in France, her mother is Italian, the terroir was exactly what she was searching for.
The vineyard is 12 hectares, high in the hills at around 400m between Radda and Gaiole in the heart of Chianti Classico.
Unusually she has 9 hectares of bush-trained vines (alberello), these are more difficult to work than the modern espalier systems but it is something that she believes in and it does suit the rocky, calcareous local soils.
Unsurprisingly it is back breaking work and, as well as working the vineyards, Paula also runs the agriturismo.
The winery is simple and production is around 30,000 bottles a year, the vast majority of which is Chianti, there is a little Vermentino (Fosso di Conce) and Merlot (Cardus) made, both are lovely.
This is an estate to watch, I suspect it will become one of the most sought after in years to come.
What the 2011 may lack in absolute freshness it gains in complexity. An element of dried figs runs through the raspberry and black cherry fruit, secondary flavours of porcini and truffle just showing through. Well worth putting to one side for a year or ten.Learn More£22.00 As low as: £20.90