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2012 Ruffino Aziano Chianti Classico

March 5, 2015 - Norman Bentley

For me, a weekday treat is a plate of Italian food with a good bottle of Chianti. It doesn't really matter what kind of Italian dish is served, or even what label the Chianti might be. I love Sangiovese, the primary grape in Chianti, and as long as the label says "Chianti Classico", I know the wine will be better that the average bottle of "Dago Red". I don't want to be considered a "Wine Snob", so let me also say that I have enjoyed many a plate of spaghetti with a bottle of "Dago Red", and a hunk of bread. However, enjoying a bottle of Chianti Classico with your meal, can be the difference between "eating" and "dining".

In 2007 Ruffino celebrated its 130th anniversary of making wine in Tuscany, Italy, after their founding by Liario Ruffino in 1877. They produced their first reserve Chianti in 1947. They now produce several different levels of Chianti, including Aziano, which is one of my favorites in the value priced range. I have been in love with Ruffino Chianti since long before I can remember! Maybe its because when I was a little boy in Napa, California, the family's favorite Italian restaurant was a place called Ruffino's, in downtown Napa, where I occasionally got a "sip" of Chianti with my spaghetti. I last visited Ruffino's in Napa in 2000, but I do not believe it is still there. I have enjoyed quite a few glasses of Ruffino over the years.

My last glass of Ruffino was this past Wednesday night, with a big plate of Eggplant Parmesan. The wine was the 2012 Ruffino Chianti Classico Aziano and as expected, it was delightful! The color is a deep ruby red with good clarity, and just looks tempting as you pour it. The fragrance is a blend of red berries and cherries which transition into flavors of berries and herbs with a trace of spiciness. Aziano is primarily Sangiovese with small amounts of Cannaiolo and Merlot blended in to round out the flavors.

This is a rich tasting Chianti with a value price, and will complement any pasta dish, and would be especially good with veal Marsala, but it would be hard to beat with Eggplant Parmesan.

score: 90

price: $14 - $17


Available online at:

WINE – God’s Proof of his Love for Humanity


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