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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 2001 – BUY – €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 2004 – BUY – €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
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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.