Chianti Rufina Riserva

The most famous wine from the estate of the Frescobaldi family is the Chianti Rufina Riserva DOCG, a sophisticated wine that combines all of the best ingredients found in Tuscany. Serving as a modern classic, the world-famous Chianti Rufina consists of mostly Sangiovese wine grapes, but it is mixed with small amounts of Malvasia Nera, Colorino, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. In accordance with the DOCG (Denominazione di origine controllata) regulations, the Chianti Rufina is aged for 24 months inside oak barrels, and it is also aged for another 3 months in the bottle.

wine glasses at a picnic

Tasting Notes

The appearance of the Chianti Rufina Riserva in a pristine wine glass is a deep and purple-edged ruby red, which accentuates its impressive brilliance in its container. There are solid fruit notes of wild blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, and dark cherry that would emerge initially on the nose, although it would gradually yield to have a more pungent impression of sage, rosemary, vanilla, and cinnamon, thus making it a rather sweet-smelling wine. However, upon tasting, the wine’s signature spiciness segues onto the palate, and then into a finish that often ends with a flourish of balsam, black pepper, and cocoa powder. The mid-palate for the wine shows alcoholic warmth and roundness, while the tannins and acidity of it are noticeable, adding to the wine’s overall harmony of flavors.

Food Pairing Suggestions

According to the makers of the wine and also several wine enthusiasts, the Chianti Rufina Riserva pairs well with barbecued meat and beef stews. Furthermore, the wine is also compatible with a variety of aged cheeses found in Italy, including Parmigiano-Reggiano. To know more about the best wine and food pairings, click here to check out our wine pairing guide for various Italian recipes.

wine being poured on a wine glass

Ratings & Reviews

2007 Vintage

  • #1 in Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Wines of 2011
  • 93 points – Wine Enthusiast, April 1, 2011
  • 91 points – Wine Spectator, October 31, 2010
  • #65 in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2010

2006 Vintage

  • 91 points, Smart Buy – Wine Spectator, October 31, 2009

2005 Vintage

  • 90 points – Wine Spectator, October 31, 2008
  • #76 in Wine Spectator Top 100, 2008

2004 Vintage

  • 91 points, Smart Buy – Wine Spectator, October 15, 2007
  • #56 in Wine Spectator’s Top 100, 2007
  • 88 points – Steve Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, July/August 2007

2003 Vintage

  • 90 points – Wine Advocate #171, June 2007
  • 88 points – Wine Spectator, October 31, 2006
  • 88 points – Wine Enthusiast Magazine, November 1, 2007

2002 Vintage

  • 90 points, Smart Buy – Wine Spectator, October 31, 2005
  • #86 in Wine Spectator’s Top 100, 2005

2001 Vintage

  • 88 points – Wine Spectator, October 15, 2004
  • 90 points – Wine Enthusiast Magazine, October 1, 2006
  • 88 points – Wine Advocate #164, April 2006

The popularity of the Chianti Rufina in Italy is justified because of its ability to have an amazing flavor despite having a mix of different wine grapes that some may consider incompatible with each other. Because of this interesting ability, the Chianti Rufina’s recipe has been replicated by various winemakers in Italy. However, the Chianti Rufina remains one of the best wines in Tuscany since its flavor is still unmatched.