Our tasting impressions
Not quite a classic Chianti nose with a certain nuttiness from the wood, and some greenness from the Cabernet. Both add additional nuance to the very complex coffee and vanilla scents over black fruit. It has great aromatic nuance and detail. Lighter on the palate than the nose suggests, so fine, transparent, and silky, this really is a stunning wine. Juicy, nuanced, complex, fine and long, with a classically dusty finish. Introduced by noted Italian wine expert Gregory Dal Piaz.
About this wine
Rufina is smaller and less known than Chianti Classico but capable of producing wines every bit the equal of its famous cousin.
Villa Bossi was introduced in 1988 as Marchese Gondi’s flagship Chianti. The grapes come from the estate’s top vineyard sites that surround Villa Bossi at roughly 300 meters above sea level. A modernish blend of 80% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Colorino, the vines are planted in a galestro rich mix of clay and calcareous soil which is very typical of the region.
The Villa Bossii undergoes fermentation in tini (open topped conical, wooden vessels) and then is aged in 25 hectoliter Slavonian oak botte for one year, followed by a second year in barrique typically of second and third passage before being bottled. The Cabernet in the blend is very well integrated, yet still apparent. Despite it’s resemblance in makeup to a Super Tuscan, this wine represents the heritage and terroir of Rufina admirably,
About the grape
Sangiovese is the most planted grape in Italy and is the dominant grape throughout the central part of the country. There are many variants and even different names like Prugnolo Gentile, Brunello, Sangiovetoand Morellino.
Like Pinot Noir, Sangiovese is heavily influenced by its terroir and similarly can be quite transparent in its differences from place to place. Also like Pinot Noir, Sangiovese is prone to spontaneous mutations so the list of clones is vast and plays an important role in determining a wine’s style.
Traditionally, Sangiovese-based wines (except in Montalcino) have served as the backbone for a blended wine, though more recently we have seen 100% Sangiovese wines becoming more common.
About the vintage
2013 was a slightly challenging, but potentially excellent vintage in Chianti Rufina. The winter and spring passed with cool temperatures and plenty of precipitation that replenished groundwater reserves. The cooler than average temperatures and rainfall persisted into June, which delayed bud break and caused issues with flowering in some areas, reducing yields. The weather broke in July with near perfect temperatures that lasted through the early October harvest. The wines are generally very well proportioned, fresh and decidedly age-worthy.
On your table
A moderately rich, yet polished Chianti Rufina Riserva with power and complexity, this really deserves to be paired with a dish that offers a similar set of spice notes. A coffee rubbed brisket would be absolutely terrific here, though steaks with a mild rub would be easier to make and work almost as well!
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Liberté
Like so many Tuscan Family stories, the Gondi family counts the end of the mezzadria, the sharecropping system that governed the Tuscan landscape, as one of their pivotal moments. However, unlike most stories, the Gondi family story began centuries earlier with ties to both Charlemagne as well as Catherine de’Medici. While we don’t have space for all the details of this long story here, suffice it to say that the glorious Villa Bossi and it’s ideally sited 215-hectare estate bear witness to that entitled lineage.
Here in the lower hills of the Chianti Rufina region you’ll sing the sweeping soft hillside vineyards of Marchesi Gondi. With an ideal combination of elevation, roughly 300 meters above sea level, full southern exposures, and soils rich in limestone and galestro, its no wonder that the Chianti Rufina has long been home to some of the most elegant, yet structured and long lived wines of Chianti.
Currently led by Gerardo Gondi, this is an estate on the move. In just a few short years the wines have moved from strength to strength, losing their admittedly appealing hints of rusticity, while gaining a level of polish and detail that lends the wines true finesse. This all seems very modern but the truth of the matter is that Tenuta Bossi has been leading the way for well over 200 years, when, under the auspices of Gerardo’s Great-great-great-great grandmother! The estate was modernized! We’re talking groundbreaking transitions for the time that included the introduction of concrete for fermentations, the elimination of white grapes from the blend, the use of the better stacking and easier to transport Bordeaux bottle instead of fiaschi, and the introduction of paid farmhands and cellar masters. You can taste this history in the bottle, though we have no doubt that what is being bottled today is the best it's ever been.