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13/07/2008

Piccini (Italy) Chianti Orange Label 2006
The modern face of Chianti is best represented by ripe, attractive wines that combine a certain richness and concentration that was sometimes missing in this appellation, with the cherry-fruited elegance of the Sangiovese grape. Piccini are doing just that with a range of commercial but beautifully made wines like this 'Arancio' or 'Orange' label example. 100% Sangiovese from selected vineyards is vinified in stainless steel then transferred to 'botti' - large, 7,500-litre oak barrels - for around six months. Interestingly, a small proportion of dried Sangiovese grapes are added to the must, to produce a second burst of fermentation which winemaker Antonella Conti believes enhances the wine's aromatics. This certainly has an appealing cedar, briar-wood, cherry and gently truffly nose, that leads on to a medium-bodied, but quite silky and rich palate, where the creamy red berry fruit and a touch of vanilla plays against crisp, sprightly tannins and neat acidity to give a balanced, delicious Chianti at a very attractive price. 5.99, Sainsbury's.