Tuscan Reds Under $25 – Our May Tasting Event

Frescobaldi Rufina Riserva Nipozzano
Frescobaldi Rufina Riserva Nipozzano


Frescobaldi Chianti Rufina Riserva Nipozzano 2010

Chianti can be a tough wine, especially folks who don’t drink Italian wines on a regular basis.  Many of us remember the mouth-puckering, mass produced stuff in the straw-covered bottles found in cheap pizza joints.  Lucky for us there are a lot of very interesting artisan Chianti wines now imported to the US.
The Rufina region of Chianti resides northeast of Florence, perhaps at the highest elevations for Chianti – which makes for a cooler climate in general.  Outside of the Chianti Classico area, the wines of the Chianti sub-zone of Rufina are widely recognized, especially from the two main producers:  Frescobaldi and Selvapiana.  The wines of Rufina tend to be a bit brighter, more aromatic, and has a little less tannins than there other Chianti brethren.
The Frescobaldi grapes are placed in stainless steel tanks for fermentation, macerated for 25 days, and aged for 24 months in oak; after bottling the wine is aged in the bottle for at least 3 months before release.   It is made from 90% Sangiovese and a 10% combination of Malvasia nera, Merlot, Colorino, and Cabernet sauvignon.
Why this wine works:
The Serious Foodie thought this would be a great starter wine, paired with the appetizer-style foods we were serving, having aromas that leap out of the glass. It is a very food-friendly Chianti, working well with the Proscuitto wrapped mango, the cipollini agrodolce, Parmesan crisps, and the pesto bruschetta.
It was consistently rated between 3 and 4, with an average score of  3.39.  One person out of our 24 tasters rated it as the best wine of the evening.  This Chianti could use another 2 – 4 years of aging to mellow out the tannins, but still expresses great flavors and nice acid balance.
Where to buy:
We sourced this wine from the Central Liquors, Flemington NJ, and was purchased for $20.

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