The Unique Family of Selvapiana in Chianti Rufina
Selvapiana is a winery dedicated not only to Chianti Rufina but also to family. The Giuntini family is less than a decade away from owning the winery for 200 years. However, current owner Francesco Giuntini had no children. So when his longtime estate manager, Franco Masseti, passed away in the 1990s, he adopted Masseti’s daughter, Silvia, and son, Federico, so that they might carry on the estate.
About a month ago, I tasted through 20 vintages of Selvapiana, going back to 1958, with Federico. They’ve all aged remarkably well, and seeing the passion for and dedication to the estate that Federico has, I have no doubt subsequent historical tastings will show similar – if not better – results.
Here is a look at two more Selvapiana “family members” now in the US market.
Selvapiana 2015 Chianti Rufina 13.5% $17
Remarkably pure with high-toned, sour red cherry fruit and zippy acidity (thanks to the vines’ high altitude and north/northwest-exposition, this Chianti is textbook Rufina Sangiovese. On the palate it delivers tobacco leaf, pomegranate arils and Damson plums framed by lightly choppy tannins. Modest in finish but packed with pleasure, this is a lovely wine by the glass on its own or with a wide variety of red meat or tomato-inflected dishes, like pasta and pizza. It’s hard to find better value in a weeknight red type of wine that can also hold well in the cellar for the mid-term!
Selvapiana 2014 Chianti Rufina Riserva Vigneto Bucheriale 14.5% $35
Yet again, I have to emphasize the tremendous value this wine offers! This could be a 20-plus year wine, but it is surprisingly open and sippable now. The Vigneto Bucheriale 2014 begins with savory and sweet North African spices and layers of perfectly ripe mulberries. Almost tender tannins (for a young Riserva, that is) and buoyant acidity buffer the baby fat on the medium-bodied palate. The complex flavors reverberate through the lingering finish, including loads of berry fruit accompanied by savory, venison tones. What’s not to love?!