Let’s be honest, Chianti is a mess. By that I don’t mean that Chianti wines are bad. In fact, I love a good Chianti. I say that Chianti is a mess because there are so many variations of “Chianti” that most consumers don’t really know one from another, or even know what Chianti means. The region is littered with several different, overlapping DOC and DOCG regions. You have Chianti, seven sub-zones of Chianti and then there’s Chianti Classico. Most wine consumers I know, at least the ones who aren’t total wine geeks like me, just think of all of them as one type of wine: Chianti.
While I certainly understand the distinctions from a winemaker’s perspective, I empathize with those who might get confused with all the different versions of Chianti. While I can’t solve that problem, I can try to make sense of where this wine fits into that complex world.
Chianti as a general term is the broad region within which all wines labeled as Chianti are created. This particular wine is a Chianti Rúfina, which is probably the most widely known sub-region designation other than Chianti Classico (which is more than a just a sub-region). The Rúfina region is in the Arno river valley, which is the river that runs through Florence, Italy. The producer of this wine, Frescobaldi, is one of the two major producers who own most of the vineyards of Rúfina.
The nose of this wine is absolutely beautiful, with moderately intense aromas of black licorice, cherry, raspberry and tobacco. The palate is also quite nice, offering cherry, plum and raspberry flavors. The acidity is perfect and the tannins are just heavy enough to give the wine some texture without becoming too astringent. It’s well balanced and a very good food wine. Delicious!
Wine: Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti Rúfina
Variety: Red blend
Find Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti Rúfina with Snooth
Disclosure: This wine was received as a media sample.