Frescobaldi, Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva, Tuscany, Italy 2020
(at Menier Penthouse, London SE1, 09 May 2023)
Drinking Window: 2023 - 2026
Castello Nipozzano, owned by the Frescobaldi family, is the largest producer in Chianti Rùfina, a small denomination to the north of the headline-grabbing Chianti Classico zone. It's hilly country, in the foothills of the Apennines, and the mountains exert a cooling influence, giving typically a fresher, lighter and less structured style of Chianti when compared to Classico wines. A dash of Merlot and native Canaiolo have been added to 90% Sangiovese in this wine, which was fermented in stainless steel and then transferred to barriques. As well as oak age, this riserva-level wine spent time in bottle before release. It's now drinking beautifully, with ripe and juicy black cherry fruit, a cherry perfume that lingers on the finish, and a hint of balsamic. The oak is well integrated, and the tannins dense. Balanced and food-friendly, with the potential to improve further over the next few years.