A very Chianti-ish Chianti

We don’t drink that much Chianti, but this one seemed well-priced for a well-thought of producer of Chianti Rufina. Another pleasing wine from our ‘affordable drinking’ selection.

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Chianti Rufina Riserva ‘Vigento Bucerchiale’ 2006, Fattoria Selvapiana

An intense nose of bitter cherry fruit. The alcohol level is perhaps a tad high, but its sweetness adds to the fruit and makes this smell quite attractive. There is a depth of character to this nose, plenty of fruit and a good, reasonably complex earthiness. This smells very much like an Italian wine; it reminds me of Fuligni’s Brunello, with is quite a compliment for a wine which is so much cheaper. The fruit on the palate is also very Italian, but its tannins are not as aggressive and its acidity not as spiky as they might be. Indeed, it seems a rather accessible and totally drinkable palate. There is fruit, earthiness and a refined tannic structure. Its complex earthiness and fruit persist on the finish. I like this quite a lot, it is clearly Chianti with a very pronounced Sangiovese character, but is nowhere near as rough or hard work as it might be. A quite pleasing example of an Italian wine that is really up for drinking with more than enough ease and pleasure.

  • ed tully

    This really is a super wine and a genuine bargain at the price. Italian wine is often over-priced. Rather perversely the more you spend on it the less Italian it seems. Very pricey italian stuff typically apes claret. Why bother? Great claret is great but it is made Bordeaux, not Tuscany. From what I can gather Spain suffers from the same problem. Anyway, Felsina also make convincing Chianti. It is worth checking out the regular cuvee as well as the fancier (and much pricier) Rancia. Things that taste of a specific place are – evidently – more original than someone hoping to mimic a formula.

  • James

    Do you remember drinking this at Petersham Nurseries (the garden centre restaurant!) David? We thought then it was attractive and fun. It’s also noticeably cheaper than a lot of other “smart” Chianti, especially as 2006 is being talked up and priced accordingly. The generic Selvapiana Chianti is a reliable source of simple pleasure on restaurant wine lists.

  • David Strange

    My memory of this wine in the garden centre in the rain is the reason we got a bottle. It is a total bargain for a wine with not only fun value but also a distinct regional character. Good stuff for a limited expenditure of fun tokens.