Our tasting impressions
Here one finds a whisper of wood ageing, sweetly spiced on the nose, with slightly matte fruit aromas. Broad in the mouth yet austere at its core, but filled with a fine blend of cherry, tobacco and mineral flavors. Juicy, elegant and finely textured, this is a finely rendered wine with very ripe but firm tannins, a hint of newer wood and vanilla, followed by a long mineral finish. Totally complete, beguiling yet approachable Chianti Rufina Riserva. Introduced by noted Italian wine expert Gregory Dal Piaz.
About this wine
First produced in 1995 as a more approachable, easier to drink Chianti Rufina Riserva than the Villa Bossi, the Pian deiSorbi comes from a variety of vineyards that surround the estate at roughly 300 meters above sea level. A classic blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Colorino, the vines are planted in a galestro rich mix of clay and calcareous soil which is very typical of the region.
The Pian dei Sorbi undergoes fermentation in tini (open-topped, conical wooden vessels) and then is aged in 25 hectoliter Slavonian oak botte for two years before being bottled. A classically produced wine from vineyards with excellent exposition.
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
2016 is a modern day classic vintage in Tuscany. A near perfect growing season that started slowly, warmed up nicely through the summer, and ended with a classic autumn. Ample warm days and cool nights produced a slightly reduced crop of wines that combine the richness of low-yields with the near perfect balance of mature tannins and bright acidity.
On your table
A moderately rich, yet polished Chianti Rufina Riserva that calls for something gamy or lightly spicy to help highlight the sweet fruit this brings to the table. Wild boar, always a component of Tuscan cuisine, springs to mind though this would also be terrific with a peppery peposo: a simple Tuscan stew made with black pepper, garlic, red wine, and stewing beef.
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.