Exploring Chianti Rùfina with Marchesi Gondi #ItalianFWT

“Waiter, the Black Chicken is Missing from my Bottle of Chianti!”
I’m guilty.  While I know the Chianti region has multiple sub-regions named for the nearby towns, I always just pick up the Chianti Classico (the symbol is actually a black rooster on the neck of the bottle), assuming it will automatically be of higher quality compared to the lesser towns surrounding the original region. But over the last two months, our Italian Food Wine and Travel group (#ItalianFWT) has been doing a Chianti deep-dive.  Inadvertently I fell into the deep end of Chianti Rùfina, and what a lucky fall!

Map of Chianti towns outside of Chianti Classico. courtesy of Consorzio Vino Chianti

In a very “He Who Must Not Be Named” way, you’ll notice that there is a big white hole in the center of this Chianti map. That’s Chianti Classico. To be fair, we need to learn more about the villages. Rùfina is east of Florence in the NE corner of the Chianti region. map courtesy of Consorzio Vino Chianti

Chianti Rùfina
The Rùfina DOCG sub-zone is at higher altitude, the climate is a bit warmer, with still cool nights as compared to the other parts of the Chianti region. This means Rùfina Chianti’s may be a bit richer and more tannic than others, while still retaining that excellent acidity we look for in a good Chianti of any sort. The grapes must include at least 75% Sangiovese with 100% Sangiovese being allowed. Chianti Rùfina wines must be aged at least 9 months before release.

Marchesi Gondi
Marchesi Gondi has a long history, but they have also embraced the 21st century; they have a very nice website with lots of information about their past, the estate, and all their products. The Gondi family, a long time prominent member of Florentine society has owned their property in Tuscany  since 1592 . Anybody ready for a trip to Florence and environs?

Marchesi Gondi Chianti Rùfina

Marchesi Gondi Chianti Rùfina with a fan, luckily outside the glass

Marchesi Gondi Chianti Rùfina Riserva “Pian dei Sorbi” DOCG 2013 (winery sample, €13 only in Europe)
This wine is 80% Sangiovese and 20% Colorino (a traditional Tuscan red blending grape). As a reserva, it spends more aging time. This wine spends 2 years in oak.
Eye: Clear, medium intensity ruby with a cool edge
Nose: Clean, medium- intensity ripe blueberries with a nice clean forest floor, mushrooms. Herbs behind, a bit of sage
Mouth: Dry, medium+ acidity, medium- tannins, medium body. Lean and a bit astringent with a nice long herbal finish. Definitely a wine to enjoy with food.

Disclosure: The winery provided this sample, all the way from Italy!  All opinions are my own.

A Classic Combination, Chianti Rufina with Milk Braised Pork Loin
Whenever possible, I love to find a traditional regional recipe to pair with a new wine. Milk braised pork loin is an absolute classic in Italian cuisine and I love to make it when the weather turns cooler in Minnesota. While I use a dutch oven, it’s made on the stovetop. Historically, ovens were a luxury, rarely found in an individual home.

Here’s a good recipe for Milk Braised Pork Loin at Epicurious. Note that you’ll definitely want to emulsify the curdled milk liquid with a blender, as it makes a delicious gravy. Before blending, it isn’t so pretty!

This is a perfect meal to pair with a nice Chianti Rùfina on a cool fall evening. Pork with a luscious gravy is nicely balanced with the palate cleansing acidity of the wine. I coated the roast before cooking with a finely chopped mixture of fresh sage and rosemary, some of the last remaining survivors from my summer garden. The subtle herb flavors were reflected in the background notes in the wine, bringing both to a more prominent place.

Milk braised pork loin

Italian Food Wine & Travel Dives Deep into Chianti
If you’d like to participate in our chat this Saturday (Nov. 4), it’s easy to do. We connect via Twitter at 11 am ET, using #ItalianFWT as our guide. Simply do a search for that hashtag and click on the “Latest” button to see what we’re talking about. And we’d love to hear from you! Just make sure you add #ItalianFWT to your tweets so we know you’re there.

Jeff from FoodWineClick  serves as our guide to Exploring Chianti Rufina with Marchesi Gondi.

Gwendolyn from Wine Predator tempts us with Four Chiantis and a Vermentino Paired with Puttanesca (#ItalianFWT).

Jennifer from Vino Travels is Venturing through Chianti with the Sangervasio Winery.

Katarina from Grapevine Adventures brings us 2 Chianti Classico Wineries, 2 Different Sub-Zones at #ItalianFWT.

Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla offers up Sangervasio Chianti with a Soup from Brazil.

Tracy from The Traveling Somm shares her experience of Living the Dream in a Relais and Chateau in Tuscany.

Lauren at The Swirling Dervish tries out Chianti and Chianti Classico: Two Wines to Pump Up a Weeknight Menu (#ItalianFWT.)

Join us in December as we indulge in Christmas Feast Wines, hosted by Susannah of Avvinare. Our posts go live and our Twitter chats occur on the first Saturday of the month, at 11 am ET. Please join us!

Explore Chianti Rufina over a dinner of milk braised pork at www.foodwineclick.com







6 Responses to “Exploring Chianti Rùfina with Marchesi Gondi #ItalianFWT”
  1. Duff's Wines says:

    Jeff, I took a cooking class in Tuscany this September and the main was milk braised pork loin. Damn it was fine. And, met the test of fitting in with all the other stuff and the wine. Good post.

  2. Lynn says:

    I’ve had a Rufina or two in the way past, didn’t realize this DOCG is at higher elevation. your description of the wine has me intrigued, would love to chat with you about it someday. And the dish- looks to be a sublime pairing, nice!

  3. I love milk-braised pork! When I first started cooking I tried Marcella Hazan’s recipe, which was simple yet delicious. Still one of my faves. Yours looks scrumptious, especially paired with the Rufina!

  4. Vino Travels says:

    I always use to associate the “Gallo Nero” black rooster with quality before I learned of all these other sub regions. Glad you highlighted rufina! Meal looks great as always. I think i need you to send me some meals when the baby comes haha!

  5. Chianti Rufina is a very interesting sub-zone, I am glad you all discovered it. 🙂 When you get to Florence, you should definitely contact them for a tour of their palace, it is an experience in Florentine history, culture…and wine, of course.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Jeff from FoodWineClick will serve as our guide to Exploring Chianti Rufina with Marchesi Gondi. […]

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