|~ Cellars at Selvapiana ~|
At only 750 hectares, the Chianti Rufina is the smallest appellation in Chianti. Lying just North East of the city of Florence, the present area of Chianti Rufina was originally delimited by Cosimo de Medici. Today, we’re spotlighting one of the regions best wineries; Fattoria Selvapiana.
Originally built as a watch tower along the river Sieve, its primary purpose was an early warning system to prevent invaders from approaching Florence undetected. Today the estate’s fully organic certified vineyards lie on the foothills of the Appenine mountains, the natural barrier between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. Of all Selvapiana’s vineyards, one is incredibly special. Since 1979, Selvapiana, with the help of renowned consultant Franco Bernabei, has crafted a 100% Sangiovese Riserva from the Bucerchiale Vineyard. Boo-Chiar-Key-Ah-Lay. When you hear it, your ears should perk up!
|~ The Chianti Rufina is the dark shaded area North East of Florence ~|
Bucerchiale is only made in the best vintages. Since production began, there have been 8 vintages which saw the wine not bottled. Recent examples include the 1997, 2005, and 2008 vintages. The 1985 was legendary. That was the wine that turned me onto this vineyard. I once commented as much to winemaker Federico Massetti. When I spoke with him, he was a bit reserved at first, almost too humble to admit his wine was excellent. I told him that the 1985 was a benchmark for me and he smiled and blushed a bit. Then I smelled and tasted the 2009 and told him how amazing it was. He leaned forward and whispered to me, “it’s the best Bucerchiale I’ve made.”
So far, I think he’s right.
The 2009 Bucerchiale is magnificent. Since the first time I tasted this wine over 3 years ago, it has been delicious. I bought a case for my own cellar and each time I try it, it’s equally delicious and has never missed a beat. What’s more, because it’s “only” from Rufina, it’s a tremendous value.
This Sangiovese is a deep garnet red with lovely aromas of flowers, dried herbs, and notable cured meat and “animale” note which I always notice in this wine. Winemaker Federico told me it’s what makes Bucerchiale special. Hard to disagree.
On the palate, this elegant red is loaded with cherry, fennel, cured meat and tobacco flavors that are long, well rounded and balanced. Really lovely and as I said, a wonderful value. Recent vintages can be purchased for under $30. 94 points.
|~ Bucerchiale is 100% Sangiovese vinified in stainless steel and aged in French barrique ~|
February 2, 2016