Chianti Rufina, Tuscany, Italy
The Rufina zone is the smallest in Chianti (about 600 hectares of vineyard) but also one of the most special. The cool breeze that blows down the Sieve Valley gives the best wines a finesse and definition that few in Chianti Classico can match, and there is no better producer in Rufina than Selvapiana, which has been in the family of Francesco Giuntini since 1827.
Federico Giuntini Masseti now runs the property, which is situated just north of the town of Pontassieve. The estate covers 250 hectares, 60 of which are planted under vine (95% being Sangiovese), 36 are olive groves, and the rest is covered by woods. For the most part, the vineyards face west, though Selvapiana's prized Bucerchiale vineyard is south-west facing.
The Chianti Rufina is fine and elegant in the Selvapiana style. Federico considers the 'Vigneto Bucerchiale' to be a more weighty and powerful Rufina, but it still displays the vibrancy of fruit that characterises the Selvapiana wines.
The new wine 'Vigneto Erchi' comes from a six hectare, south-facing vineyard that Selvapiana purchased in 1998 and replanted in 1999. It is a beautiful site on the slightly warmer western side of the Rufina denomination. A selection of the best grapes is used to produce a single-vineyard wine with great power balanced by finesse.