Ruffino is a well-known wine brand in these parts. They are known for their entry-level Chianti but also produce some pretty serious Chianti that can age and show great complexity. Take this bottling of their Riserva Ducale Oro, for example. The “Oro” bottling is only done in the best years. 2007 was indeed one of them, and it also happened to be the 60th anniversary of the Oro bottling.
As with many wine producers in the 21st Century, Ruffino has been bought out by one of the major global wine conglomerates, Constellation Brands. The crafting of this wine is unique, in that the grapes were picked in 2007 prior to the sale. While quality remains high and the Folinari’s remain at the head of the operation, I can’t help but notice that the wine has changed to a more modern style in recent vintages. Perhaps it’s partially influenced by global warming but there also appears to be a trend away from the more traditional style of Chianti Classico that this wine represents.
To be honest I don’t tend to shell out for Chianti Classico or Sangiovese. I can usually get behind a Brunello, but given that this wine had a Brunello range price tag on it I decided to do some research before just jumping right in. I saw a lot of mixed reviews on the wine. Lots of polarizing comments and conflicting reports on whether the wine still displayed enough fruit to keep the wine in check. Clearly I decided to pull the trigger. So how was it?
The wine is made with 80% Sangiovese and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Merlot depending on the vintage. The wine is aged for 36 month in oak, followed by some aging in stainless steel and concrete. Dried cherries, plum, leather, forest floor, tobacco and herbs are the primary characteristics on the nose. The palate is much the same with further licorice and dark chocolate character. The tannins in the wine have fully integrated and the wines acidity, which hits just below medium + is enough to carry the wine and refresh the palate. I’m loving the mix between the dried cherries and the ripe plum here. The body and alcohol are medium and the finish is right in that medium + range that I would expect of a wine of this price point and quality. Despite some conflicting reports I’m glad I picked up this bottle. I would drink it again but I don’t think it’s getting any better. I would also be weary of the wines provenance, as proper cellaring can make all the difference and likely did make all the difference in this case.
Have a favorite Chianti producer? I’d love to hear your thoughts.