In a nutshell: A classic, perfumed and elegant Chianti from one of the top estates in the north eastern outpost of the region.
The lowdown: The Rufina zone, from where this comes, is the smallest of the Chianti appellations and sits in rolling hills that lead to the Apennine mountains. Made virtually entirely from Sangiovese it's aged for 12 months in a mix of stainless steel and large and small oak barrels. It's medium bodied with juicy acidity, cherry, dried herbs and some notes of spice and earthiness. It has a lightly spiced, dark cherry fruit character where the fine grained tannins and tight structure lead on to a nicely floral finish that has a youthful freshness.
When to drink: Benchmark Chianti from a benchmark estate, it's an ideal match with meaty dishes in tomato based sauces.
Fattoria Selvapina is situated just north of the town of Pontassieve in Tuscany's Chianti Rufina zone. It's the smallest in wine area in Chianti (about 600 hectares of vineyard) but also considered one of the most special. The cool breeze that blows down the Sieve Valley gives the best wines a finesse and definition that few in Chianti Classico can match. And there is no better producer in Rufina than Selvapiana, which has been in the family of Francesco Giuntini since 1827.
These days the property is run by Federico Masseti and the estate covers 245 hectares, 60 of which are planted under vine (95% being Sangiovese), 22 are olive groves, and the rest is covered by woods. For the most part, the vineyards face west, though Selvapiana's prized Bucerchiale vineyard is south-west facing. Masseti's undoubted passion for this beautiful estate in the rolling foothills of the Apennines is evident in the consistent quality of the wines produced year after year.