Of the seven sub-zones of the Chianti DOCG outside the Classico area, Rufina is the most highly regarded. Tucked into the foothills approaching the regional border with Emilia-Romagna, its production is dominated by Frescobaldi and Selvapiana.
Here Sangiovese becomes more aromatic and elegant. The somewhat cooler elevations bring out yet another dimension of this familiar, adaptable grape. The source of Selvapiana’s single-vineyard riserva contains the estate’s premier vines.
The ’03 vintage shows the effects of the extreme heat that settled during the growing season. Paradoxically, it created this ripe and powerful “winter” wine with the tannic-acidic balance to drink well for another eight or nine years.
Intense, complex scents of cherry, mint, plum, and earth emerge. Concentrated and dense cherry, spice, and licorice flavors are backed by minerals and mildly toasty oak, with the always welcome earthiness underlies classicly Tuscan wines. The overall effect is full yet smooth, leading to a warm, lingering finish.