- Tasting Notes & Technical Details
Vegetarian, Vegan, Practising Biodynamic, Certified Organic
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 ‘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.
The Sangiovese grapes were grown in the 12.5-hectare Bucerchiale vineyard on the ancient Selvapiana estate, at the foothills of the Appennine mountains. The oldest part of the vineyard was planted in 1968 and the youngest in 2001.The vineyard faces south/south-west and is situated at 250-300 metres above sea level.The soil is predominantly clay and limestone.The older vines are 20/25 years old and are planted at a density of 2,500 per hectare, whereas the younger ones are planted at 5,200 vines per hectare.The vineyard is cultivated organically, with cover cropping.
2019 winter was mild, with cold temperatures between January and February. Spring started with rainfall and a sharp drop in temperature until the end of May, putting a strain on vegetative growth. The climate improved with the beginning of summer and therefore flowering, fruit set and veraison were good, and light rainfall helped the vines to deal with the water shortage. August was characterised by cool nights, good daytime breezes and some light showers. By harvest time, the temperatures had risen, but only for a few days: September was marked by dry, breezy, mild days which brought the grapes to full and balanced ripeness.
Grapes were hand picked and selected both in the vineyard and at the cellar on sorting tables. Fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless-steel tanks at 30°C and lasted 35 days, with no selected yeasts. Pumping over took place daily to extract both colour and tannins . After a short period of maceration, the wine was pressed off the skins and malolactic fermentation took place . In the January following harvest, the wine was transferred to medium-sized oak casks and French oak barriques (of which 10% were new) and was matured for 15 months before bottling.
This wine shows tremendous depth of colour and great intensity on the nose. The palate is powerful and fruit packed with ripe raspberry and spicy cherry fruit supported by a touch of herbs and violets, soft silky tannins and a long, fine finish which is the hallmark of the Selvapiana wines.