Ruffino 2016 “Aziano” Chianti Classico ($17.99)
This is a dark reddish-purple wine shading to a light violet edge. A distinct high-toned edge of volatile acidity, all too typical of modest Chianti, plays around the edges of characteristic Chianti black cherries, plums, and dried cherries. On the palate it’s mouth-filling with juicy black fruit firmly contained by food-friendly acidity and considerable tannic astringency. This is a real food wine in the sense that it shows best with appropriate food on the table but might be less enjoyable for sipping as an aperitif. The label claims 13.5% alcohol. U.S. importer: Ruffino Import Company, Rutherford, Calif. (Oct. 17, 2019)
FOOD MATCH: Chianti is the stereotypical companion with tomato-sauced pasta dishes and pizzas; it’s also fine with burgers or steaks. An artisanal, coal-fired Margherita pizza from a local shop worked just fine.
WHEN TO DRINK: I don’t think that volatile acidity is going to improve with age, so I’d drink up fairly soon.
I paid $18 locally, a good jump above Wine-Searcher.com’s $14 average retail, and to be honest, for a somewhat flawed albeit drinkable food-friendly Chianti I’d have preferred to pay a few dollars less.
Here’s the winery’s English-language fact sheet on Ruffino Aziano Chianti Classico.
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