Wines to Seek Out
It would be a mistake to talk about Selvapiana as only a Chianti Rufina estate, for it is also one of only two producers making wines in the tiny but historically important appellation of Pomino. Also: while I don’t have an Essential Dessert Wines of Italy list, if I did, their Vin Santo would be on it.
If you want to start cellaring wine on a budget, start here.
Selvapiana Chianti Rufina
The Selvapiana Chianti Rufina works any night of the week, but can get dressed up for a Sunday roast as well. This is a shorter-maceration, less-oaky version of Chianti, and can be quite appetizing even on a summer’s evening. It is absurdly cheap for the level of quality.
Selvapiana “Bucerchiale” Chianti Rufina Riserva
Made in only the best years (roughly 70% of the time), this varietal Sangiovese draws its power from a single vineyard with ideal exposure, and is given 32 months of aging before release. It shows remarkable poise and depth of flavor as a result, with a savory, umami edge to it that might inspire cravings for a pecorino-covered ragu. Priced in the mid-$30 range, it is one of the best value red wine Riservas in Tuscany, without a doubt.
Selvapiana "Vigneto Erchi" Chianti Rufina Riserva
Another single-vineyard Chianti Rufina — Vigneto Erchi — strikes me as the most thrilling of Selvapiana's red wines. It has a sprinter's acidity that races across the palate and a "hematic quality" — to borrow Giuntini's phrase — possibly due to the vineyard's iron-rich soils that seem to have found their way into the wine's expressive, meaty aromas.
Selvapiana “Villa Petrognano” Pomino
The “Villa Petrognano” Pomino is a beautiful, classy wine decked in bitter blueberry and violet aromas. Here, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot account for 40% of the blend, but the wine hardly feels like it is straining for some international standard of taste. Easily Selvapiana’s most hearty and tannic wine.
Selvapiana Vin Santo del Chianti Rufina
Perhaps my favorite wine of Selvapiana is the decadent, pitch-perfect Vin Santo del Chianti Rufina. This wine is a heavenly tipple after dinner, and enhances any Christmas cookie you nosh alongside it. Pour some for Santa.