The large Italian wineries, compared to the past, do not allocate their samples to everyone, but have begun a process that attributes more or less “weight” to certain opinion leaders or publications. This different attention is also determined by the new communication structure which makes less and less use of paper and is increasingly attentive to the world of social media and the phenomenon of “influencers”.
Over the course of 2023, wine critics, editors of the various 2024 wine guides, and columnists for the major international wine journals were able, at their leisure, to take full advantage of the generous offer of the Consorzio Chianti Rufina to provide wine samples or to arrange technical tastings. The guide editors also made on-site visits to evaluate the styes and qualities of the new Terraelectae project, placing these wines into a tasting category distinctive from Chianti Rufina and non-Terraelectae Chianti Rufina Riserva wines. (At the bottom of this press release is a full description, as useful background information, of the Terraelectae project.) All the guides carry positive evaluations of this initiative by the Chianti Rufina producers, and the results of the reviews of the Terraelectae mark testify authoritatively to its soundness and value. The various evaluations underscore the wines’ overall growth in quality and the increased attention paid to a viticulture and winemaking fully capable of maintaining and heightening the terroir expression of the Sangiovese classic to this Apennine foothills growing zone marked by such an unusual climate. In the review section below, comments on the Terraelectae wines are given special attention.
The results of the tastings, published in late 2023, document the excellent performances of the wines produced in the Chianti Rufina zone.
Attention focused primarily on Chianti Rufina 2021 and on Chianti Rufina Riserva 2020, with the expected reference to 2019, in particular for many Terraelectae, and 2018, and with the new 2022 whites and rosés. The complete report on the growing season can be found on the www.chiantirufina.com website.
The Guida Vini d’Italia del Gambero Rosso (Gambero Rosso Guide to the Wines of Italy), the top Italian wine guide in the world in terms of sales and distribution, with editions in various languages, contains this comment on Tuscany: “There is a dynamism, a desire to grow and to more deeply understand the relationship with the land, which is untiring…. Montepulciano continuously offers wines with personalities more decisive and autonomous compared to its great neighbours, a trajectory whose Pieve denomination—every bit as ground-breaking as Rufina’s Terraelectae and Chianti Classico’s UGA—is a critical milestone.”
Gambero Rosso’s highest award is the famous Tre Bicchieri (Three Glasses), and it bestowed just that recognition on Frescobaldi for its Terraelectae-marked wine, Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva Vigna Montesodi 2020. “(Frescobaldi) combines the challenge of business with the satisfaction of producing wines that reflect each individual terroir. Montesodi is a vibrant, well-balanced wine with a pronounced acidity. The nose releases a cornucopia of fragrances ranging from dark cherry to sweet violets, and from white pepper to umami.” The coveted Tre Bicchieri also went to Castello del Trebbio’s Chianti Rufina Riserva 2018, or, to be more precise, the Tre Bicchieri Verdi (Green), awarded to wineries whose operations are certified organic or biodynamic. The overall good results for Rufina are also demonstrated by the numerous Due Bicchieri Rossi (Two Red Glasses) award, which go to wines competing in the final tasting round for the Tre Bicchieri. Receiving this impressive award were I Veroni for its Chianti Rufina Riserva Terraelectae Quona 2020, “a strikingly current interpretation… energy-laden and brine-edged, with an elegant, long-thrusting palate,” and Marchesi Gondi Tenuta Bossi for its Chianti Rufina Riserva Terraelectae Vigneto Poggio Diamante 2019, with this appended characterisation: “The wines of this estate are of uniformly high quality, and its Terraelectae is a great Sangiovese, exhibiting an appealing, minerally palate and a balsam nuanced finish.” The same award went to Colognole with its Chianti Rufina Riserva Terraelectae Vigneto Le Rogaie 2020, “a gorgeous version of a Chianti Rufina Terraelectae that displays all the refinement classic to a high-elevation Sangiovese…, a superbly authentic wine that succeeds in expressing what this growing area is truly capable of producing.” Ditto for Frascole’s Chianti Rufina Riserva Terraelectae Vigna alla Stele 2019, which “possesses all the qualities of a mountain-grown Sangiovese and impressed us with the clean profile of its aromas,” and, finally, to Selvapiana’s Chianti Rufina Riserva Terraelectae Vigneto Erchi 2019, with the comment “The terroir character of Rufina-grown Sangiovese is superbly on display in Terraelectae Vigneto Erchi, with its intriguing bouquet, restraint on the palate, judicious tannins, and crisp, straightforward finish.” The Due Bicchieri (Two Glasses) award that recognises excellent performances went to Castello del Trebbio, in particular for Anfore Trebbiano and Le Anfore Sangiovese di Elena Casadei; Frescobaldi for three Rufinas: Riserva Nipozzano and the white and sparking Pomino; Marchesi Gondi with its Chianti Rufina and Supertuscans Ser Amerigo and Mazzaferrata; Colognole for its Chianti Rufinas and Le Lastre and SaràSyrah IGTs; Selvapiana with Chianti Rufina 2021 and Riserva Bucerchiale 2020, an established growing-area icon; Borgo Macereto and Il Lago, whose mountain elevations confer unusual finesse; Lavacchio for Chianti Rufina Cedro 2020; Grignano for its Chianti Rufinas and an original Sangiovese SingerSangio dedicated to youth; Fattoria Il Capitano for Vigneto Poggio Terraelectae versions; and Vinae Montae (ex-Ormae Vinae) that rolled out its first Terraelectae, Vigna Il Monte 2020.
Alongside its classic Guida Vini d’Italia, Gambero Rosso also publishes BereBene, i migliori vini italiani entro i 20 euro (Drinking well, the best Italian wines 20 euros & under), which saluted the following Rufina entries: Colognole for SaràSyrah 2020 with 86/100 points; Marchesi Gondi Tenuta Bossi with 83 for Chianti Rufina Riserva Pian dei Sorbi 2020; Grignano Tenuta Inghirami with 83 for Chianti Rufina Ritratto del Cardinale 2020; Selvapiana with 82 for its current-vintage Chianti Rufina; I Veroni with 81 for Chianti Rufina I Domi 2021; Frescobaldi with 80 for Chianti Rufina Nipozzano Riserva 2020; and Fattoria Il Capitano with 80 for Chianti Rufina Riserva Terraelectae Vigneto Poggio 2020…