Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro (2007)

ruffino-chianti-classico-riserva-ducale-oroAdmittedly, I tend to shy away from Chianti Classico Riservas, as they can veer too far outside the typical Chianti qualities I love (brightness, acidity, food-friendliness). However, I had the chance to sample this commemorative release from Ruffino, and it rather surprised me.

Ruffino is one of those producers that I tend to pass over – though they make consistently solid wines, they’re relatively ubiquitous and thus unexciting – the type of wine that would be an excellent find in a lackluster supermarket selection, but we live in PA, so that situation never actually occurs. This release, however, commemorates their 60th anniversary, an interesting reason as any to pick up a bottle. (Though 60 years might not seem to be substantial in the lifetime of Italian culture, the Italian wine renaissance – the making of truly high-quality wine – really started in the 1980s, so it has perhaps more meaning in this space.)

From the official press release:

1947 marked an iconic year for Italy: the Treaty of Peace was signed in Paris effectively ending World War II; Ferrari introduced the very first sports car in its line of vehicles, the Ferrari 125S; and Italy’s reigning queen herself, Sofia Loren, began her lucrative career in entertainment and modeling. As 1947 brought the rebirth of Italian style following the war, Ruffino RDO was born, helping to usher in a golden age of Italian culture celebrated worldwide.

Just a touch of embellishment perhaps, but still a good story with which to enjoy the wine. As mentioned, this one was surprising. Many CC Riservas can be over-oaked and plodding, but this baby had loads of that mouthwatering acidity that makes CC such a great food wine. Bright red fruits dominate, with nice touches of earth and leather on the nose and palate. Paired beautifully with papardelle with pork ragu. The main drawback here is iffy QPR ($39.99 in PA) – there are many excellent Chianti Classicos available in the $15-20 range, so it’s tough to recommend doubling your price here, although this would certainly make a nice gift. 88-91pts

Note: a review sample of this wine was provided.

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