£21/£18, Tanners Wines
Riecine in Gaiole has always been one of my favourite Chianti estates and its wines have only improved since I first encountered them more than three decades ago with the founders of contemporary Riecine, John and Palmina Dunkley. The Chianti Classico is a lovely expression of pure Sangiovese: fluent and mellifluous, generous but elegant, concentrated but not heavy, long rather than broad.
The family-owned estate is now run by winemaker Alessandro Campatelli, is organic and is introducing biodynamic methods. The Classico grapes, from 25-year-old vines planted at altitudes of 450–500m, are hand picked, sorted twice, fermented with their own yeasts in open concrete Nomblot tanks and aged in large, old oak for 14 months.
The 2019 has an arresting floral perfume that drifts into sweet red cherries, undergrowth and woodsmoke with murmurs of herbs and cherry kernel, all carried by silky, savoury tannins and freshness tinged with orange zest.
You could drink it with a wild mushroom stew, venison sausages, pork chops, pasta with a meaty or tomatoey sauce, a bistecca alla fiorentina or simply enjoy it with bruschetta or sourdough bread and new season's olive oil. It's perfect now but could be cellared for six or seven years. 14%
Riecine Chianti Classico, Italy
£21, or £18 when you buy 2 or more bottles, Tanners
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