Sangiovese is the major grape variety of Tuscany’s famed Chianti. But for top value, head next door to Rubicone. Named after the river that Julius Caesar famously crossed in 49 BC, it’s also home to excellent-quality Sangiovese, in a slightly more concentrated style. Previous vintages of this spicy, cherry-packed red were commended at both the Decanter World Wine Awards and International Wine Challenge.
The 2016 release is just as delicious and puts many far pricier Chiantis to shame. When you consider the wine’s pedigree, you won’t be surprised: Fabio and Celita Ravaioli’s small estate has won Tre Bicchieri(‘three glasses’), the highest honor from Italy’s most celebrated wine guide Gambero Rosso. Fourth-generation Celita is the head winemaker, and recently tapped acclaimed Piedmont consultant Giuseppe Caviola to assist in the cellar.
Look forward to a bright scarlet color in the glass. Tangy cherry, plum and red currant aromas give way to livelier red and black cherry fruit on the palate, with a good bite of acidity and attractive ripeness. Fabio and Celita love to pair this with fresh salami or pork ragù, and it’s equally fantastic with aged Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Hurry for your taste of this great-value Chianti rival. It’s always popular, and tends to sell out quickly.