The Wine List: A Rich Red

Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi 2007 Nipozzano Riserva Sangiovese

A rich, Italian red has grabbed top honors as the best wine of 2011. Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi 2007 Nipozzano Riserva Sangiovese tops “The Enthusiast 100,” Wine Enthusiast’s annual list of the world’s best wines released in the previous year. Its lingering flavors of cherry, chocolate and dark spice earned it a 93 from Wine Enthusiast judges and the consensus choice as best wine of 2011.

This Chianti Rufina is 90 percent Sangiovese, blended with Malvasia Nera, Colorino, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon for greater depth and intensity. A purple-edged, deep ruby red, Nippozana Riserva carries a fruity bouquet of blackberry, blueberry, raspberry and dark cherry that carries through to the flavor, with an added spiciness of rosemary, vanilla and cinnamon. Robust tannins complement the peppery cocoa finish. Serve it with that first barbecue of the season; it also pairs well with hearty beef stew and aged cheeses.

Nipozzano Riserva is one of the historic wines of Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi, produced at Castello di Nipozzano in the Chianti Rufina area of Tuscany. Chianti Rufina is one of Italy’s best-known Chianti appellations, second only to Classico. Revered since the days of the de’ Medicis, the chalky soil region has developed a reputation for producing aromatic and fruity wines with higher acidity and firm tannins. The day/night temperature variability of the cool mountainous climate deepens the grapes’ color and acidic content. Chianti from the Rufina area is characterized by its multilayered complexity and elegance.

The Frescobaldi family has been producing wines for more than 700 years from its ancestral headquarters in Florence, exporting wine to England and Flanders. Frescobaldi vintners were the first in Tuscany to import and plant French vine cuttings. Today, the family’s five estates and three other production areas make up the largest extent of vineyard holdings in Tuscany.