Ruffino is a name loaded with history — but most people probably know it from seeing it on the shelves of their local supermarket, where Ruffino is invariably one of the few Chiantis available.
But Ruffino makes some fancier bottlings too, including this Romitorio di Santedame. What is it? It’s a blend of colorino (60%) and merlot (40%) from the Tuscany region. Colorino? It’s a little-known grape that has historically been used to add color to Chianti wines… and rarely in a massive proportion like this.
The nose is distinctly Italian, lightly smoky with big pepper notes. The body screams Chianti. Bell pepper, bracing herbs (rosemary and thyme), but a backbone that keeps it from turning bitter and harsh. Built to stand up to rich dishes, this is a “special occasion” wine that you’ll want to seek out and discover on your own.
A- / $80 / ruffino.com
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