The best and most famous of the six Chianti’s subzones, Chianti Rufinas are high-altitude, high-toned, vibrant wines that are absolutely stellar at the dinner table. A really good Chianti Rufina can easily outshine good Chianti Classico, and even better, it can still be had at very reasonable prices.
Jancis Robinson explained the region this way: “A pass through the Apennines north of here, which allows maritime breezes to cool the vineyards, is largely responsible for the finesse of Chianti Rufina, and for the fact that the very best estates, such as Selvapiana, can make wines that last for decades.”
As Wine Spectator declared a few years back, “Selvapiana would give stiff competition to first-class red wines from just about anywhere else in the world. It also shows that Chianti Classico does not have a monopoly on the quality of Chianti as a whole.”
If I need a go-to, there are few wines in Italy that can deliver the kind of bang for the buck that Selvapiana’s Chianti Rufina can. It always delivers high-toned, red-fruited, perfectly balanced silkiness with great acid and a finish that goes forever. In the 2021 vintage, it’s already earned two reviews of at least 90 points and has been described as “juicy,” “chalky,” “mineral,” and “lifted.” That’s what I’m looking for in really good Sangiovese.
91 Points, Wine Enthusiast
Cherries, strawberries and a hint of raspberries are on the nose, with some wild fennel and topsoil bringing in herbaceous, earthy notes. More cherries and berries are on the palate, with a mineral salinity and chalky tannins that emphasize the flavor and texture of freshly turned soil drawn from the nose.
90 Points, James Suckling
Lifted, peppery berries with some red plums and flowers. Juicy and light- to medium-bodied on the palate with fresh, firm tannins.