Ruffino 2015 “Aziano” Chianti Classico ($16.99)
If you want a good Chianti that could serve as the picture next to the definition for Chianti in the dictionary, I don’t think you could do much better than the Ruffino “Aziano” Chianti Classico featured in this week’s column. It shows the reddish-purple color and ruby flashes that are typical of this beloved Tuscan Sangiovese blend, and its aroma and flavor offer the typical dark cherry and dried-cherry fruit that describe Chianti, plus a subtle earthy note. It’s brisk and tart in the mouth, with rational 13 percent alcohol and the mouth-watering acidity that makes Chianti a wonderful companion with the Italian tomato flavors of pasta and pizza sauce and cheese, but it’s not too harsh to sip on its own, at least not for me. Sour cherry flavors linger in the long finish, along with crisp acidity and a whiff of tannic astringency. U.S. importer: Ruffino Import Co., Rutherford, Calif. (Nov. , 2018)
FOOD MATCH: As noted, tomato-based pasta and pizza are the standard companions, but Chianti is fine, too, with red meat, game, or grilled poultry, as well as cheeses and cheese sauces that help temper its food-friendly acidity.
WHEN TO DRINK: There’s no rush, although it’s not a wine meant for extended aging. I’d drink it up by 2020 unless you have excellent cool-temperature storage conditions.
It’s a splendid bargain at Wine-Searcher.com’s $14 average retail, and I’m not complaining about having spent a few dollars more.
Here’s an English-language fact sheet on Ruffino’s Aziano information page.
FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Check prices and find places to buy Ruffino “Aziano” Chianti Classico on Wine-Searcher.com.
Find dozens of Chianti Classico wines and vendors, plus a concise article about Chianti Classico on this Wine-Searcher link.