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2015 - 25th - Ruffino & LaGrotta

May 20, 2015 - Norman Bentley

The Chardonnay Queen and I just celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary, and since we both love Italian Food and Seafood, we chose one of the best places in Atlanta to celebrate. We dined at La Grotta Ristorante Italiano, Ravinia, with a special feast prepared by Chef Michael Connolly, which we also made into a "Ruffino Evening" as well, by choosing two wines from that historic winery in Italy. It would be an understatement to say that we chose well!

As a small boy in California, the family's favorite restaurant was Ruffino's Italian, in downtown Napa, so Ruffino Wine is special to me, and Mary as well. We started with the 2013 Ruffino Orvieto Classico from Umbria, Italy. This is a wine we have enjoyed for years, and the 2013 vintage may be one of the best in several years. The Orvieto has a wonderful nose full of flowers, which leads to flavors of apple, and a little peach. The wine is highlighted by a strong lemon zest overtone which finishes crisp and clean. I would score it a 90. It was a perfect companion for the Arugula and Goats Cheese salad, and fantastic with the La Grotta Special Scallops and Linguini.

Next we opened a bottle of 2011 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Tan Label from Tuscany, Italy, which is also a favorite of ours for many years. This is a lush big Chianti with lots of cherry and red berry fruit sailing into a dry pleasing finish with enough oak to help cleanse the palate for the next taste of food. My score on the Riserva Ducale Tan would be 91. We paired it with Chef Michael's masterpiece, Veal Scaloppini a la Grotta. This may be one of the best veal dishes I have ever tasted, and the Ruffino Chianti was made for it!

The Chardonnay Queen and I would like to extend our profound gratitude to Chef Michael Connolly and his staff at La Grotta for providing us with such a wonderful evening, one which will be one of the most memorable we have ever had! Also a tip of the hat to the folks at Ruffino for all of the great wines we have enjoyed over the years.

score: 100

price: Priceless!


Available online at:

WINE – God’s Proof of his Love for Humanity


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