Ruffino, Chianti Classico Riserva (Tuscany, Italy) “Riserva Ducale” 2012

($25): Ruffino is one of the leading names in Chianti Classico, producing a range of traditionally styled wines at reasonable prices.  Their top one, Riserva Ducale Oro (with a gold label), made only in the best vintages has an extraordinary ability to develop amazing complexity with bottle age. One level down is this one, Riserva Ducale (with a tan label), which is a great introduction to classically proportioned Chianti Classico.  Despite the inclusion of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with the Sangiovese (80%) and some small oak barrel aging, this is a traditionally framed Chianti Classico, combining cherry-like fruitiness with earthy, herbal notes and lip-smacking acidity.  Nothing is out of place.  Not flashy, just satisfying, which is why it’s easy to recommend.
92 Michael Apstein Aug 15, 2017