Bucerchiale. 

It’s a phrase that every lover of Italian wine should know.  Say it with me: Bu-chair-key-ah-lay. 
I am convinced, were this wine from one of the better known areas of Chianti Classico,  it would likely be near to $100 and very difficult to find.  It’s old vine (planted in the 1970’s) it’s a single vineyard,  it’s 100% Sangiovese from the best selection of grapes and the winemaker is Franco Bernabei (see: Fontodi and Felsina)   So what’s the issue you say?  Well, it’s made from an oft forgotten corner of Tuscany called Chianti Rufina.  
Winemaker Federico Massetti told me at this year’s Slow Wine tasting in Manhattan that he preferred the 2011 Bucerchiale to the 2010. I reminded him what he told me about the 2009 a few years earlier and he laughed saying he didn’t think the 2011 was too far behind.

The fact of the matter is, the wine needs no introduction and we should be thrilled that it’s somewhat unknown because it leaves it affordable and available.  Recently I received a bottle of the 2011 and could not wait to update my review. 
The 2011 Selvapiana Bucerchiale Riserva is comprised of the best Sangiovese grapes that the eponymous named vineyard produces.  Typically the last parcel of Federico’s estate to ripen, the grapes are normally harvested during the end of the first week of October.   Vinification takes place in stainless steel and then the wine is barrel aged in small French barrique for up to 3 years before an additional year in bottle.  

We decanted the wine for about 30 minutes before dinner.  I always sense a note of “animale” in this wine – it’s a hallmark of the vineyard – and  I wanted to aerate the wine so this trait blossomed.  In the glass, the bright violet colored wine gives off aromas of cedar, “animale“, mushroom, and focused, deep, cherry notes.  On the palate, the wine retains a rusticity but not at the expense of asserting its modern production methods.  Clean, focused flavors of wild cherry, tobacco leaf, sage and mushroom meld together nicely and are well balanced against the acidity and tannins.  Still a little chewy, this could use 1-2 years in the cellar to flesh out some of that tannic backbone.  Simply a beautiful red and worthy of your consideration.  92 points.  About $27-$30.  Disclosure: This bottle was an importer provided sample.
~ Bucerchiale is 100% Sangiovese from a single vineyard in Chianti Rufina ~

E vero!

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