Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro

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Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro

Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro is the top Chianti Classico bottling from Ruffino. The Riserva Ducale Oro edition has a gargantuan production of some 600,000 bottles and I’m reviewing this today, along with the Antinori Chianti Classico for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I had a conversation with another wine blogger last night about the quality of Chiantis being drunk in the UK/USA markets and secondly because I get so many emails telling me that the wines I am reviewing are very hard to find. So, today let’s take a look at two of the biggest production Riserva Chiantis (IE – should be pretty darn good) from two of the biggest producers in Italy (IE – should be pretty darn easy to find).

Before I get into that, I’d like to reply here to a lot of emails I receive about choice, specifically the lack of different Italian wines available in the US and UK wine stores. Let me tell you a few things about choice by jove. I hate it. I’m sick to the back teeth of choice. Liberty, freedoms, choice – I’m giving them a PASS*. We’ve become obsessed with choice and all these options are the bain of my life! Do I want chocolate sprinkles? What is the difference between tall and grande? I now have to upload my wines onto Snooth, Corkd and Adegga! Do you know they even have low fat super noodles now? It’s noodles and water, how fatty can it be? I want my mummy and I want her now!

Things were so much easier when she decided what time I ate, when i slept, what I wear, who are the kids from the wrong side of the tracks. I can’t make these decisions for myself, its simply too much! We were all so much happier as kids right? I ate chips 5 times a week and I liked it! There was no choice, there was no “hmmm, hang on ma, I don’t feel like going to the garden centre” (and believe me I didn’t). You went, and if you complained, it was a smacked bottom and off to bed you went. Happy Days.

Be patient, I am going somewhere with this.

So, you’re telling me you don’t have the choice in the States and the UK? Well, that’s OK baby, as long as those making the choices for you have your best interests at heart (like your mum) and with these two Chianti Classico’s you have been taken care of. I don’t even think your mother could pick two better Chianti Classicos for these kind of prices even if she tried.

This is why I love living in Italy. Sure, there is choice, I can choose between 30 different kinds of tomato paste and pasta shapes, but at the end of the day, I’m eating Spaghetti Pomodoro several times a week. And would you look at these Italians! Slim, good skin, happy, holidaying IN Italy, going TO Italian restaurants, all signed up to the gym and all without the burden of choice. This is why they love Silvio, he is their daddy, not the German in the Vatican, but Silvio. He makes it so we never have to choose. Big love to Silvio.

This is a wine blog right?

Yes yes, onto Ruffino! Ruffino! One of my favourite Tuscan mega producers, they have a diverse range of wines, they do a great Pinot Nero I reviewed last month. The Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro is the top Chianti they produce from a confusing range of Chiantis that all have very similar names and labels. They even have 3 Chaintis called Ducale, so if you order this wine, pay careful attention.

This wine has been about for ages. Produced in Italy since 1947 its a fair bet, for those of you who spend far too much time in off licenses, that you’ve seen this label before. Tuscany went through 3 sublime vintages in ’99, ’00 and ’01 and these Chianti Classicos are now coming bang up to their drinking age. Any one of these wines would provide you with some of the best Chianti that has ever been produced. We are not talking “break the bank” here either. A Tre Bicchire, 92 Point, $27 wine.

Still too expensive? Alright, how about a Chianti from Tuscany’s most famous producer? The one who brought you Tignanello? In my opinion, and its been said in the comments on this very blog, that in certain years, Antinori’s Chianti Classico Riserva is better than Tignanello. Shocking? Absolutely. When you consider the price difference and the hype of Tignanello. It’s true though, it drinks earlier, it’s fruitier and it’s cheaper, and sometimes I’m in the mood for a quick fix! The 2004 is a 91 point Chianti and you can pick this one up for under $18.

Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva 2001BUY€16
Very dark colour in the glass, intense dark ruby red with some nice pinky looking hues. The nose is fruity, spicy with the most noticeable aroma profiles of blackberries and vanilla. On the palate we’ve got some good tannic structure and some noticeable acidity, the wine is well balanced and enjoyable with good length on the finish as well as warming alcohol. Mid to Full bodied wine. 91 Points
Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro 2004BUY€22
Beautiful intense ruby red in the glass with a typical Chianti nose. Plums, cherries, vanilla and spices fill the air around the glass, the wine is very aromatic. On the palate the wine is full bodied and offers a spectrum of different tastes, herbs, cherries and a little mocha too. Nice smooth coating tannins, good structure and balance. Top Chianti. 92 Points

€6 for 1 more point. It’s all about flavour profiles and what you enjoy at the end of the day. I slightly prefer the Ruffino so I’d opt for it. Read the notes and take it as a guide, however, buying them both is really the only sensible solution :oD

Where can I buy this wine?
Europeans – Al Corte di Bacco – €22
Americans – Millstone Buy Rite – $27
Brits – Al Corte di Bacco£17

Leave a Comment
Could your mother pick a better Chianti? What wines were in your house as a child? Was there a strict “no sampling” rule, could you have a small glass at Christmas? Was it all Blossom Hill? Or are your parents really into Vino, were you brought up on the stuff. Lets talk about the oldies.

* I’m not really giving freedom a PASS it was just a cute little segue into mega brands and another opportunity to embarrass my mummy. I also do not love Silvio. I am not a Red. Much. OK, maybe a Rosè. The skins have been left on an awfully long time.

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Alex says:

    I like that kind of solution to a problem – buy both! I’ll keep that in mind and keep an eye out for them!

  2. Sally says:

    I’ve tried the Antinori and agree it is an awesome wine. The Ruffino looks nice.

  3. Mike Curtis says:

    We had wine in the house always. My father is a collector and has a cellar that I wasn’t allowed in for years and years. Wine has always been in my family and I am teaching my son too.

  4. futronic says:

    Glad you liked the Antinori Tenute Marchesi. The 2001 was a favourite of mine and I’m looking forward to the 2004.

  5. Jack says:

    What a cute picture of Silvio

  6. Chianti has gotten such a bad rep in the States. Probably because our generic liquour stores carry a lot of garbage. But things have been changing as more “wine” stores are opening. Good Chianti is finally starting to become available. I’m very thankful for that.

  7. Ruth Laws says:

    Always had plenty of wine in the house but no chianti!

  8. Ruth Laws says:

    Always had plenty of wine in the house but no chianti!

  9. Sorry, I’m at a bit of a loss here…who’s Silvio. I would guess he is an Italian politician. Am I right?

  10. Gary says:

    My wife and I love Chiantis.I agree with Anthony – there’s a lot of garbage out there. But between the god wines stores with knowledgeable staff, and the online wine stores, there’s no reason to drink bad wine.Chianti is one of our goto wines.We love the Oro. We haven’t tried the Antonori yet, but it sounds like its time to give it a try.Thanks for the review.

  11. The Ruffino is a real Vintage dependant wine, perhaps cos of the high production its not quite as cared for as some others. But in the great vintages this is a terrific wine. Glad you guys like it, the Antinori is more consistant and that bit cheaper 🙂

  12. Anonymous says:

    I recently purchased a case of 2004 ruffino oro. in 5 of the 6 bottles opened to date i found a large amount of sediment. is this normal?

  13. im drinking ruffino right now. Im in heaven…
    Nice blog! Keep going…

  14. SeeKin says:

    Drinking it right now..nice nose of cherries and sweet vanilla with hint of smoke and a pleasant finish…much better than first tasted 2 years ago

  15. Anonymous says:

    I own a ruffino riserva ducale chianti classico red wine gallon bottle thay sits on a jand b rare scotch collectors stand. It has never been opened. I need to find out when it was made.

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