Taste: What To Drink: January 2008

Why we recommend Marchesi de Frescobaldi "Nipozzano" Chianti Rufina Riserva 2004

Within the Chianti zone, wines from Classico have an international reputation for superior quality. But further north, outside Florence, tiny Chianti Rufina is giving mighty Chianti Classico a run for the money. Leading the charge is the region’s highest-profile vintner, the Marchesi de Frescobaldi, whose flagship Nipozzano ranks among the finest Chianti riservas and is extraordinarily fairly priced.

Noble Nipozzano is deeper in color and flavor than typical chiantis. Black cherry flavors mingle with the aromas of cognac and leather. Bone-dry and tangy, this style is true to the Italian tradition of styling wines to grace their food partners. Few wines are as delightful with baked pastas or simply prepared meats.