Where is Chianti Rufina?
Chianti Rufina wine region is located in the northeast corner of Chianti. It takes its name from nearby town, Rufina. Along with Chianti Montespertoli it is the smallest sub-region of the greater Chianti wine region, but absolutely distinctive worth exploring.
Chianti Rufina Soil and Climate
Chianti Rufina wines are known for their elegant structure and excellent aging potential. This is thanks to very high altitudes and a cooler, more continental climate.
Vineyards grow on slopes ranging from 300-500 meters above sea level. Hot sunny days and very cool nights allow grapes to ripen slowly, while accumulating acidity and tannins, both of which contribute to the wine’s sleek palate and potential to age for more than a decade.
Add to altitude extraordinary soils. Limestone and a bit of clay provide excellent drainage for the vines by regulating water. This too contributes to a robust acidity, a natural preservative that keeps the wine feeling clean and bright even 20 years later.
Chianti Rufina History
Chianti Rufina is one of the first areas of Chianti to be documented for superior wine production. In 1716, Cosimo de’ Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany drafted an edict detailing the highest quality wine production zones. This recognition would lead to Chianti Rufina receiving its own DOCG Appellation status.
Find a Chianti Rufina Riserva.
Try these Rufina Riserva options from Wine.com. Or ask your local store!
Selvapiana – $36.99 (2015)
Frescobaldi – $21.99 (2014)
Fattoria di Basciano – $17.99 (2017)
Watch our Flash Tasting video of Colognoloe Chianti Riserva 2015.
Colognole Chianti Rùfina Riserva 2015.
For five generations the Conti Spalletti family has producing wine from Sangiovese and other local, traditional grapes. They relocated to their country house during the war, and never left. Who would?
They’re passionate about the terroir in their little corner of Chianti and the uniquely elegant character of Rùfina wines, which have the potential to age for year thanks to high altitude and spectacular soil.
The Sangiovese grapes for this wine grow at altitudes ranging from 300-520 meters, up to 1,700 feet above sea level.
Limestone soils promote very sturdy acidity in the grapes, which acts as a backbone and a natural preservative.
After crushing, the grapes are maceration the skins for nearly 20 days. That means a lot of extract: color and some serious presence on the palate.
Part of the wine ages in large Slavonian and French oak barrels for two years. The other half ages in smaller, French barriques. No New American oak here, so don’t expect uber sweet woody spices here.
Instead, the micro-oxidation in wood and another year of aging in the bottle helps to soften the tannins and acidity just enough to create a luscious balance that will stay fresh and evolve for years.
Wine Tasting Notes
Intense, deep, ruby red color. Quite compact for Sangiovese which can tend to be more transparent.
There is still brightness to the fruit, but that fruit is dark. Brambly blackberry, dried cranberry. It’s also got some tingly balsamic notes of Mediterranean herbs like rosemary, sage, and mint – classic chianti notes – but very cool and piquant like that mountain breeze where the grapes grow.
This wine is evolving.
The acidity and tannins are very present but on their way to velvety. Perfect with food. The finish is quite long and reminiscent of the fruit and herbs on the nose.
This is a 2015. I could have waited another decade to drink it, but it’s definitely drinkable now, and even better with a juicy steak, maybe some roasted vegetables with rosemary to really bring to mind those beautiful, balsamic Chianti notes. A big slice of Finocchiona salami will do the trick.