Ruffino Nero del Tondo

Ruffino Nero del Tondo

Ruffino Nero del Tondo 1990, think about that for a minute, Ruffino Nero del Tondo 1990, in front of me I have an 18 year old bottle of wine. As Twin Peaks began its run, Italy won the World Cup, Russia becomes a Republic, Navratilova puffs her way to her last Wimbledon title, the first Gulf War begins, Germany unifies and the New Kids are Hangin Tough, somewhere in a corner of Tuscany, Ruffino are handling a 5 star vintage, Pinot Noir. Pinot Nero as we should say! 18 years on and you expect changes right? Especially in a wine. Ok, so Italy are still World Cup Champions, and oh yes, ok, Gulf War II (this time it’s personal) and I wouldn’t put down too many bills against Martina winning Wimbledon if she tried BUT things do change and evolve and this wine has changed, evolved and aged beautiful. It is a prom queen, it is the ugly duckling finally realising its potential, 18 years on the Ruffino Nero del Tondo is a stunner!

I really should have cleaned that cabinet table but there you have it, in all its glory. Today I got a package from another wine company containing all the Pinot’s I’d promised to review and this wine looked a mess. The bottle was dirty, the cork was stained and I was beginning to think it was an expensive mistake but as probably one of the better Pinot’s in central Italy I had to try it and I’m thrilled with it. I’ve awarded this wine 93 points, which is way higher than the critics I’ve read who have bothered to touch an Italian Pinot Nero but who cares, I can tell you now, if you want a wine that has many levels, if you enjoy complexity in a wine and want to try something different out of Italy and have that benefit of age but without the price tag then this is a really interesting wine. Do I want to drink it while watching a movie, no, but the wine is a discussion point and so sweet actually could be served as a dessert wine, in fact, this is wine for Tiramasu, certainly, it even tastes a bit like the goop you get at the bottom of a Tiramisu container. I say container because no one has ever made for me a home made Tiramasu, I am badly treated.

So what is next this week? I’ve been in contact with Big Yellow Storage about their new facility in Fulham so write that up for you. See the photo and take a note on how NOT to store your wines, mix up the Mr Muscle with the Merlot and it’s a trip to the ospedale for you.

This weekend I go to London and will be trying a wine flight at the 2 michelin star, 600 vino carrying, fancy pants restaurant, Pied a Terre which I am properly excited about. 10 wines, roughly half and half red/white from California, Italy, France, South Africa and Greece so a chance to broaden my palate with a little Gewurztraminer and Sherry. This restaurant really does look amazing and is on the same street, get this, the same street as my halls of residence where I used to go to University in London!

Ruffino Nero del Tondo 1990BUY – €40
Clear and intense garnet red/orange in the glass, orange hues. Super sweet nectar nose, a little honeyed and floral, a little medicinal but the overriding nature is just sweet, sweet, licquor like red fruit esp strawberries, a touch of coffee in there too, really intense, aromas pouring out of the bottle from the instant I opened it. On the palate the wine is very complex, hardly any tannins, almost like a grape juice feel because there seems to be no alcohol, smooth as you’re going to see, medium bodied and complete. I was worried this was too old but I think I got it at the height of its curve. No precendant for such a high score for a Ruffino Pinot but im going 93 points. Fruity medicinal, little cough syrup on the finish. Its got that Italian acidity that you might not have expected from a Pinot Noir – 93 Points

Where can I buy this wine?
Europeans – Piero Constantini – €40
Americans – Um, nowhere!
Brits – Fine and Rare £31.50
Not a bad price for Brits, usually we get scr&wed for Italian imports, nice job Fine and Rare.

Question of the Day?
What was 1990 like for you?

And no comments about which idiot would keep fine wines in a cleaning cupboard, cos, like, that idiot is a good er, friend of mine and I just wouldn’t want to hurt her feelings.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    Nice review today, my first child was born in 1990 and I went to Europe for the first time

  2. Rick K says:

    OK Sarah I’m going to test you on this and buy the wine, €40 seems a keen price. Keep you updated.

  3. Alexander says:

    Delightful that a 1990 Italian Pinot Nero is still holding up. It was very interesting to see you review a wine with some age, welcome to the world of aged wines. It’s hard to go home again.

  4. Recommend me more Pinot Neros. Im on a real kick with them at the moment and it seems such an undervalued wine so lets bring it out.No agenda here, I don’t sell any actually! Will think about what to add after the tastings.RECOMMEND, leave comments, I read them all and will respond to all.Also, send me an email to

  5. futronic says:

    Nice blog post. Not to nitpick, but Italy hosted the World Cup in 1990, but didn’t win. That fell to West Germany that year (who put out Italy in the semi finals :(). Italy won the world cup in 1982.But yes, we still are the champions now!

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  7. Oh Yes! Italia 90, and that’s right Italy didn’t win! Was that the competition where baggio stuck the penalty over the bar, or was that the next world cup?I really should have known that. 10 lashes for me!

  8. Martin Hawkins says:

    Nice Post1990 was the first year I really got into wine actually. I went to Spain and took a tour round some of the tempranillo vineyards, got to taste some amazing wines and it all took off from there.Interesting about Italian Pinot, I have never thought to try one, I doubt I can find out in Tesco but I will try and let you know.

  9. futronic says:

    Baggio put the penalty over the bar in 1994 against Brazil when the World Cup was in the US. That wasn’t a good day either. :p

  10. Kim Nicholl says:

    Is that fabric conditioner on top of that Voerzio magnum or floor cleaner?

  11. I’m not actually sure what it is, im in the office right now, but probably in a few months I might clean the flat and I’ll get back to ya.

  12. Richard Thompson says:

    I was looking this up on Google and can’t find any stores selling this that deliver to New Zealand.Help?

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