Best Buy: the new Chianti Riserva Ruffino
Ruffino is celebrating its 140 years with a debut: the new Chianti Riserva Ruffino. “It completes our range of Chianti and Chianti Classico wines,” explains winemaker Gabriele Tacconi. Since 2011, this historic winery in Pontassieve (Siena) has been owned by the American company Constellation Brands, who have relaunched it with an investment plan of 50 million euros (5 million each year until 2020). They have brought back a more modern version of a wine that was already famous in the 1950s. “We already had the wine,” Tacconi continued, “that is, the Chianti Superiore. We decided to age it in wood to get the Riserva.”
The relaunch of a “classic” Ruffino starts from the La Solatia estate
The grapes come from the La Solatia estate. The 30 hectares near the medieval town of Monteriggioni (Siena) have Pliocene and Holocene soils, with a silty-clay-loam texture, rich in skeletal limestone and plenty of travertine. The grape bunches (over 70% Sangiovese and 30% of other varieties) are picked earlier than those for making Chianti Classico in order to enhance the fruity notes. After fermentation in steel, with brief maceration to extract fewer tannins, pumping over and automatic punching down, the wine rests for 6 months in large Slavonian oak barrels of 35, 65 and 75 hectolitres.
2014 Chianti Riserva Ruffino
The the 2014 vintage of the Chianti Riserva Ruffino has been released on the market with 65,000 bottles, but the potential is 90-100,000 in the next few vintages. It is reserved for the HORECA sector and the average price in wine shops is around 10-12 euros: excellent value for money. The winery has chosen a vintage-style packaging bearing the original IL Ruffino logo on the capsule, which recalls the names of the founders: Ilario and Leopoldo. The 2014 vintage was the first one produced. It was rather cold and complicated, and gave us a Riserva where more elegant, vegetal and balsamic notes stand out.