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حالة الطقس      أسواق عالمية

يستمتع Chianti Classico بموجة نجاح في السنوات الأخيرة. تم تعزيز سمعته القوية بفضل وفرة من النبيذ عالي الجودة بأسعار معقولة، بالإضافة إلى التعديلات التقدمية على التسمية المثلي التي تشمل طبقة Gran Selezione وتنفيذ UGA الأخير، مما يجعل هذا النطاق تنافسيًا بقوة ويستحوذ على الكثير من الانتباه. في هذه الأثناء، تظل النبيذ المحسن بشكل هادئ الناشئ من DOCG Chianti ‘الأخرى’ تحت الرادار.

على الرغم من الحديث عن تغير المناخ، والحرارة المفرطة، ونقص المياه، والبحث عن كروم ذات ارتفاعات افضل، قد نرغب في النظر مرة أخرى إلى بعض ترب الأحياء الفرعية لهذا التسمية الجغرافية الكبيرة. يبرز بشكل خاص الإقليم الصغير Rùfina، حيث تمتاز الكروم عالية الارتفاع والمنحدرة والجيدة التصريف بتعبير خفيف وأكثر طراوة للسانجيوفيز، للحصول على تعبير أروماتيكي معقد وطابع مميز من المعادن. فما الذي يمكن أن يكون على نسق أكثر اتباعاً؟

Rùfina، شمال شرق هضاب فلورنسا، هي منطقة تتميز بالممتلكات التاريخية الهامة، تتباهى الكثير منها بالفلل الرفيعة المرموقة والبيدقوح النهضوي. على الرغم من قربها من فلورنسا، واجهت صعوبة في نيل انتباه الجمهور. في مزرعة Fattoria di Grignano، التي كانت ملكاً لكاترينا دي ميديشي مرة واحدة، نجد رجل أعمال شاب يعمل بجد لتحويل مزرعته العائلية إلى مزرعة عنب مربحة ويساعد في تشكيل هوية جديدة لنبيذ Rùfina. بعد تجربة تسويقية مهمة في شركة Ferrero Rocher، تولى توماسو إنغيرامي المسؤولية في عام 2018 وحقق إنجازا وأفكارًا جديدة.

تم شراء Grignano من قبل عائلته في السبعينيات بعد النجاح في المجال النسجي والعقارات. كان إنتاج النبيذ في المزرعة عمومًا يعتبر مشروعًا هواية، أكثر كونه مكانًا لاستضافة الأصدقاء والاحتفال بدلاً من عملية تجارية. توماسو هو الأول في عائلته الذي يحظى بالفرصة للعمل بدوام كامل في Grignano، ويجب عليه العثور على التوازن بين رفع الجودة عبر الإنتاج، واحترام التقاليد والتميز في حشد ضجة من الآلاف من منتجي الشيانتي الآخرين.

يلاحظ أن الوظيفة الأولى كانت العودة إلى الأساسيات. كان هناك موظفون كانوا يعملون هناك منذ عقود وكان لديهم الكثير من المعرفة حول الكروم وأنشطة التصنيع في عقولهم. “أول شيء فعلته هو محاولة فهم ما حدث في السابق. ذقت جميع السنوات القديمة لفهم ما كان لدينا في القبو، لفهم ما هي خصائص Grignano. أدركت بسرعة أن السانجيوفيز هنا يوفر حموضة وبالتالي، طول العمر”.

This longevity chimes with Rùfina‘s longstanding reputation to give age worthy wines. Tommaso is enthused. “I personally think the Rùfina area has great potential, not only in the future, but right now. The freshness that we have because of the Apennine Mountains, the presence of the River Arno and Sieve, and the relatively high altitude all give great freshness. This is our character. For this last harvest(2023), I decided to pick a little earlier, but in general, our wines are between 12.5% and 13.5%. This is my philosophy and where I want my wines to be. I don’t like marmalade wines”.

“This is a niche zone. All the producers here make great wines. When we do our blind tastings there are some that put up a good fight against Brunello. We must promote that uniqueness. We can’t compete with the other sub zones. There are thousands of producers of Chianti. Frankly, I’m not sure we should play against them. I’m thinking with our colleagues and trying to understand if we can make another appellation without using the the name chianti. It’s a well known wine, but it’s also very commercial. We have one of the lowest yields in the country. If we reach 40 q/ha we are lucky. Yet, the market asks us to compete with other Chianti. We shouldn’t be doing that.”
Tommaso’s ideas on the future of Rùfina are thought provoking and it will be interesting to see how this little collection of about 20 producers decide to shape their collective future. His main focus though is on the day to day at Grignano, where he continues to refine the proposition and bring balance to the portfolio. The introduction of new entry level red, white and rose wines provides a contemporary face. At just 33 he’s keen to ensure that the simple, casual pleasure of drinking wine with friends isn’t forgotten amidst the dusty references to history, tradition and age worthy Riservas.
The main adjustment to date though is in the maturation of his wines. “When I did my first vintage in 2018 I started by maturing the serious Sangiovese in big barrel. We now do smaller vinifications in steel and concrete. I believe Chianti from Rufina must speak more of Sangiovese and less of oak, especially for the entry level wines. Our entry level should be fresh. The Riserva must age in oak as part of the rules, but my idea is to maintain the freshness as much as possible, so I won’t use barrique any more. I want Poggio Gualtieri to taste of grapes.”
In tasting through a vertical dating back 25 years, the aim was to seek insight into what the territory of Rùfina is capable of. Clearly, the majority of these wines were made before Tommaso’s full time involvement, but these notes and scores reveal the potential of his vineyards. What stands out most is their ability to age. Even the 1997, now 25 years old, has plenty of energy. It could, I suggest, go on for a while longer yet. With the benefit of a clear vision, and greater dedication to that vision in the vineyard and cellar, the future at Grignano is very exciting. This is a project worth following closely, for in Poggio Gualtieri, Tommaso has a vehicle through which he can seriously add to the momentum of quality gathering pace in the territory of Rùfina.
Chianti DOCG Rùfina ‘Poggio Gualtieri’ 2018 by Fattoria di Grignano
A nose of cool red fruit, cranberry and raspberry, with hints of orange citurs. Noticeable freshness on the palate. Tart fruit, sour cherry. Lovely rusticity created by racy acidity and young tannin. Sweet cranberry on the finish. 92 points
Chianti DOCG Rùfina ‘Poggio Gualtieri’ 2015 by Fattoria di Grignano
Scents of strawberry and plum. Leafy, herbal notes. Fresh red fruit. Subtle dustiness on the palate. Supple, but full of lean red berry fruit. Dry and structured, with prominent acidity. Very good concentration on the finish. 91 points
Chianti DOCG Rùfina ‘Poggio Gualtieri’ 2013 by Fattoria di Grignano
Again, a light expression. Sinewy red fruit. Fragrant, faint berry fruit mixed with violets. A linear, clean wine. Poised. Still a touch tight, but some room for expression in the coming years. Opens a little more with time. Interesting to note the freshness in what was a warm vintage in 2013. Softening tannin but very present acidity. 90 points
Chianti DOCG Rùfina ‘Poggio Gualtieri’ 2008 by Fattoria di Grignano
More intense on the nose than others. A streak of balsam, moss, mushroom and black cherry. Some liquorice. Some intensity. Grainy texture. Beautiful tension between evolution and the remnants of fading red fruit. Faint violet in there. Pleasant mouthfeel. Still has structure and tannin, supported by some fruit. Weightier toasting perhaps. At this age the oak influence adds rather than detracts, giving it a certain presence. 91 points
Chianti DOCG Rùfina ‘Poggio Gualtieri’ 2001 by Fattoria di Grignano
Slightly dusty nose. Some sour cherry notes. The nose is slightly closed. Light to medium bodied. Some faint earth. Subtle spice. There’s still some remnants of structure. Very hot year, but sturdy balanced structure. Elegance in terms of the faint red fruit. Some charm to it. 91 points
Chianti DOCG Rùfina ‘Poggio Gualtieri’ 1997 by Fattoria di Grignano
Slightly ethereal notes developing. Attractive earthiness. Some moss, forest floor. Savoury character. A little herbal. Structured on the palate, primary fruit has faded. Some orange rind. Initially felt it was tired and had shed too much fruit. With time in the glass it seemed to find another level. Some oakier notes unravelled themselves from black cherry and raspberry. Body still in shape. A wine that still has things to say. 91 points

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