By Matt Steeves
I recently enjoyed a structured tasting of Ruffino wines led by the knowledgable and charismatic Beppe d’Andrea, Ruffino’s Global Brand Ambassador, at the ever impressive Social Restaurant in the Byward Market in Ottawa, Ontario.
Beppe d’Andrea, a certified AIS Professional Sommelier, and experienced winemaker, cellar master, viticulturist, and chef, has led a storied career for over three decades now, in Italy, focused on all things wine and food. Beppe spoke about Ruffino’s rich Italian history, dating back to 1877, and how Ruffino became an icon of Tuscany, and a leader in Chianti, titles they merit more than ever today. Renowned for their clean and balanced wines, their wines are loved around the world for exactly that. Exported to 84 countries, only 10% of their production remains in Italy, the balance is shipped internationally to satisfy the world’s thirst for this Tuscan icon.
Ruffino produces stylistically soft, round, and consumer friendly wines, and they achieve this in part by employing gentle winemaking techniques such as using gravity versus harsh mechanical equipment to ensure the fruit isn’t over extracted. It’s one of many ways they ensure consistently high quality wines produced in a familiar style that’s appreciated around the world. In fact, Ruffino’s Riserva Ducale, which was first produced in 1927, is the #1 Chianti Classico in the world! If you haven’t tried it I highly recommend you do (and it’s on sale at the LCBO until November 8th). Keep your eyes peeled for the release of the Ruffino Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG in December 2015 via Vintages in Ontario. Planned to be released on December 12th, the timing couldn’t be better for a holiday gift for that special wine lover in your life. And my personal favourite is their Super Tuscan, “Modus”, a wine first produced in 1997, it’s a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot, that offers exceptional value for such a high quality big Tuscan red. Priced at a fraction of the iconic Super Tuscans (that start at $100/bottle), Modus is a wine that I recommend buying by the case (if you can get your hands on it as it typically sells out within a week or two of its release) and enjoying it now and over the next decade plus.
Ruffino continues to produce consistently high quality and consumer focused wines and they make a great choice for family meals and holiday celebrations. Give them a try this holiday season.
Tasted August 2014. 91 points. Matt Steeves – @QuercusVino
Ruffino’s Riserva Ducale Chianti Classico 2011 – Plums, baking spice, mocha, cedar and leather on the nose. Dark cherry, raspberry, cola, and herbs on the palate. A lovely wine, guaranteed to please any crowd. Enjoy now or cellar for up to 5 years. Tasted February 2015. 90+ points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.caRuffino Ducale Riserva Chianti Classico Availability
In this video, Beppe d’Andrea, Ruffino’s Global Brand Ambassador, describes the origins of the famous Ruffino Riserva Ducale.