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Sangiovese purissimo

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Chianti Classico 2013, Riecine ($28.25, 00134833)
100% Sangiovese from organically farmed grapes averaging 25 years old and rooted in limestone and clay in a 450-500 m high vineyard located near Siena. The estate is converting to biodynamic farming. Manually harvested. The destemmed grapes were placed in shallow bins, crushed by foot, then transferred to open-top vats and cement tanks for 40 days’ maceration and fermentation with indigenous yeasts. The grapes were pressed and the wine was transferred to a mix of cement tanks, used casks and big wooden barrels for 18 months’ maturation during which the wine is racked every four months. Residual sugar (per the winery): < 0.5 g/l. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: Balthazard.
Lovely nose: cherry, terracotta, leather, pencil shavings, blond tobacco. In the mouth, medium-bodied, very dry and nicely balanced, restrained but not austere. The ripe-sweet fruit is remarkably pure, aglow with acidity. Sleek tannins coat the teeth and gums with a light, lingering astringency. There’s some mineral depth (more may come with time) and a long spicy finish. That the wine blossomed when chewed and was best three hours after carafing indicates a certain development potential. (That said, a glass from a bottle opened 24 hours earlier was faintly oxidized and considerably less charming.) It may not be an archetypical Chianti – the weight and texture are positively Burgundian while the fruit, so direct in its expression, seems closer to a fine Brunello’s – but if you’re a Sangiovese fan, you don’t want to miss this elegant wine. (Buy again? Absolutely.)

Written by carswell

April 20, 2016 at 12:39

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