2017 Fattoria Selvapiana, Vigneto Bucerchiale, Chianti Rufina Rserva DOCG, Tuscany, Italy.
The Fattoria Selvapiana, located in Chianti Rufina, in the foothills of the Apennines and close to Florence was among the first Tuscan producers to make the Riserva made only from 100% Sangiovese and to produce their flagship wine from a single vineyard, which is Selvapiana’s Vigneto Bucerchiale, which was debuted back in 1979 and continues to be a benchmark wine from this region, and this 2017 is an absolute joy to behold in the glass. The depth found here is remarkable for the year, it highlights the terroir here in the hillside of Rufina, where the nearness to the mountains strongly influences the microclimate here with cooler summers and a big change in temperature between day and night that all makes these wines at Selvapiana elegantly balanced and age worthy, with this 2017 really putting on a great performance, making it a wine that offers tremendous value. The 2017 is pure Sangiovese at its best with a beautiful dark color and an inviting bouquet with a classic array of crushed berries, floral notes and a delicate earthiness and snappy herbs that leads to a full bodied palate that is lifted by natural acidity and a touch of mineral to go with briar laced black raspberry, plum, cherry and strawberry fruits that are nicely accented by ground tobacco, cedar, anise, dried rose petals and lingering currant coulis. This wine, when I tasted it, was up against some well regarded and powerful Italian reds and it more than held its own and it had even more of an impact when was tried with robust cuisine.

In a week where I’ve focused on Italian wines, I could not let my love for Tuscany go not mentioned and this brilliant wine certainly deserves mention and merit, it shows fine details, graceful structure and will make almost any meal much more rewarding, if you’ve not had Fattoria Selvapiana, it is a good time to change that, especially this Chianti Rufina Riserva Vigneto Bucerchiale. I first discovered Selvapiana when I tried their amazing Vin Santo del Chianti Rufina, one of Tuscany’s most prized treats, but I was slow to get into their reds, something that I will make up in the future, as this Vigneto Buccerchiale Rufina Riserva certainly left a big impression on me. The Chianti Rufina Riserva Vigneto Bucerchiale saw a spontaneous native yeast fermentation and a 30 maceration period with manual punchdowns and pumpovers to extract color, flavor and its backbone of tannins. One primary fermentation is finished the Vigneto Bucerchiale is racked to barriques for close to 15 months, mostly used oak with just about 10% new wood used, which adds a subtle touch of sweet toast and gives this wine its sense of purity. I normally focus my attention to the southern hills of Chianti Classico, closer to Siena, when I’m looking for outstanding Sangiovese, like the wines of Felsina, Le Miccine, Castello di Ama, Montevertine and others, but after trying this one I’ll be careful to not overlook this Rufina estate going forward. Selvapiana doesn’t make this bottling every year, so it only sees the best grapes in the best vintage, which gives Sangiovese lovers an extra degree of confidence when picking this bottle, it is thrilling and rewarding wine that is great with food.
($37 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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