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Selvapiana Chianti Rufina Riserva Bucerchiale 1999

Sangiovese from Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
  • WS91
  • RP90
0% ABV
  • WS93
  • RP93
  • RP92
  • RP91
  • W&S91
  • RP92
  • WS90
  • RP92
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • RP88
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Winemaker Notes

This 100% Sangiovese from the Bucerchiale Vineyard (an older plot of vineyard planted in original Sangioves clones)is simply a superb wine, with a solid structure and fine tannins. A wine made for long aging as indicated by the bottles in Selvapiana's cellars dating back to 1947 and 48.

"Intense aromas of ripe fruit, flowers and hints of wood. Full-bodied, with rich, silky tannins and a long, long finish. A tight and well-structured red for aging. Best after 2004."
Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2002

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
Wine Spectator
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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Selvapiana, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
1999 Chianti Rufina Riserva Bucerchiale
Selvapiana, located in the heart of the Chianti Rufina area of Tuscany, was founded by the Giuntini family in 1827, and is managed today by Silvia and Federico Giuntini Masseti. It is a typical Tuscan estate consisting of the owner's villa, cellars and other historic buildings — now no longer used — including an oil mill, granary and joiner's workshop.

For a long time, Selvapiana was a summer residence for Florentine bishops. It then belonged to a series of Florentine merchant families including the Scalandroni. Purchased in 1827 by Michele Giuntini Selvapiana, the estate now covers an area of 600 acres, of which 100 are devoted to vineyards and 75 to olive trees. Five generations of the Giuntini family have lived on the estate over the years.

The current owner, Francesco Giuntini Antinori, has dedicated a great deal of energy towards restoring the prestige that Chianti Rufina once enjoyed. In recent years, responsibility for running the estate has been taken over by Silvia and Federico Giuntini Masseti. They are sticking to the path forged by Francesco, and continue to work closely with Franco Bernabei, the consultant winemaker at Selvapiana since 1978.

Famous for its food-friendly, approachable wines and their storied history, Chianti is perhaps the best-known wine region of Italy. This sub-zone of Tuscany has it all—sweeping views of undulating hills, the hot Mediterranean sun, hearty cuisine, and a rich artistic heritage. Historically packaged in short, round, straw-covered bottles known as “fiaschi” and containing insipid red liquid, Chianti today is typically not your Italian grandfather’s pizza wine. The heart of the Chianti zone is known as Chianti Classico, as the region has expanded its boundaries over time to capitalize on the wine’s fame, thus diluting its reputation. Within Chianti there are seven other subzones with unique characteristics, including Colli Senesi, Colli Fiorentini, and Chianti Rufina.

Chianti wines are made primarily of Sangiovese, with other varieties comprising up to 20% of the blend. Generally, local varieties are used, including Canaiolo, Mammolo, and Marzemino, but international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah have also been approved in more recent years. Basic, inexpensive Chianti is simple and fruit-forward and makes a great companion to any casual dinner involving red sauce. At its apex, it is savory and rustic with high acidity, firm tannins, and notes of tart red fruit, dried herbs, fennel, salami, balsamic vinegar, and smoky tobacco. Chianti Riserva, typically the top bottling of a producer, can benefit handsomely from a decade or two of cellaring.


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The perfect intersection of bright fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is the backbone variety in Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Elsewhere throughout Italy, it can make inexpensive wines for daily consumption ranging from inoffensive to deliciously easy. On the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed moderate popularity in California and Washington State over the last few decades.

In the Glass

Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with savory flavors of tart cherry, plum, tomato, fresh tobacco, anise, thyme, oregano, and dried earth. High-quality, well-aged examples will take on notes of smoke, clay pot, leather, gamey meat, potpourri, and dried fruits. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.

Perfect Pairings

Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and grainy tannins create an affinity with tomato-based dishes, spicy meats, and anything off the barbecue.

Sommelier Secret

Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines (with price tags to match) that are typically monovarietal or a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.

WBO1953769_1999 Item# 53106