With a brief break from the heat this weekend (that is, the daytime high was only 35°C/95°F), I felt it was time to open the 2006 Nipozzano Riserva. $22, 13.5% abv. 90% Sangiovese, with the rest made up from Malvasia Nera, Colorino, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a Chianti Rùfina from the producer Marchesi de' Frescobaldi in Tuscany. The family moved to the area about a thousand years ago and got into the wine trade around seven hundred years ago.
I tend to get impressed by a few family heirlooms that have come down from the late 19th century. I imagine breaking out the thousand year old spoons for dinner is a much different experience. The name seems tailor made for marketing: "fresh and bold". I'm proud of my own last name but ultimately it means "one who pushes a cart".
First off, I have to point out that this is a very easy-drinking wine, and I'd downed two glasses before I remembered that I needed to take notes. I love it when that happens--not that I'm tired of taking notes or anything, but sometimes a wine is just so comfortable and enjoyable that you get tricked into drinking wine as it is meant to be consumed. But when I snapped back to reality, here's what I got: black plum, touch of cedar and leather, spicy edge. Medium tannins, really just at the perfect level where they are present but don't completely dry out your mouth.
I served this with a hearty bowl of gomiti all'amatriciana, or as it is better known around here, chili mac. For those of you who want a good BBQ wine keep this in mind. A fatty chunk of slow-smoked pork shoulder and a fresh caprese salad would be just about perfect with this wine.
Note: This wine was received as a sample.