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SELVAPIANA

TUSCANY

SELVAPIANA

TUSCANY



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ABOUT THE WINERY

During the 17th and 18th centuries, England and France were frequently at war with each other, which among other things meant that England was periodically cut off from its usual sources of wine across the Channel. Looking farther afield, they found substitutes for their French clarets in far-away Tuscany. The market for Chianti and other Tuscan wines grew and brought in significant revenue, to the point that Grand Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici, ruler of Tuscany for more than 50 years beginning in 1670, realized that this market sector needed some regulation to protect its value. Therefore, in 1716, he issued a bando (decree) that defined exactly which parts of his realm were suitable for the production of its most renowned wines. Among the four areas that Cosimo elaborated was a zone called Pomino. 

Pomino is the name of a current wine denomination, but the Pomino region defined by Cosimo III was much larger—essentially the same as the Rùfina subzone of the Chianti DOCG today. Thus, Chianti Rùfina was one of the areas (along with Chianti Classico, Carmignano, and Val d’Arno di Sopra) defined in the world’s earliest-known denomination protection law. It celebrated the bando’s 300th anniversary in 2016. 

Selvapiana is among the best-known and most respected of the two dozen growers in Rùfina—the smallest subzone of Chianti—and as it happens is also one of only two wineries to produce wine from the tiny Pomino DOC. The Selvapiana winery, like all of Chianti Rùfina, lies close to the Sieve River, a tributary of the Arno upriver from Florence. The air is cooler and cleaner here than in the city, which is why these hills have long been a retreat for aristocrats escaping Florence’s summer heat. During the Renaissance, one noble Florentine family constructed the Selvapiana residence by enlarging a medieval watchtower that was one of the outposts guarding Florence from invading enemies.

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WINERY LOCATION: Rùfina (suburb of Florence), Tuscany
WINE REGIONS: Chianti DOCG, Vin Santo del Chianti DOC, Pomino DOC, IGT Toscana
VINEYARD LAND: 145 acres (60 ha)
FARMING PRACTICES: Sustainable & Organic
GRAPE VARIETIES: Sangiovese; smaller amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Canaiolo, Colorino, Malvasia Bianca, Malvasia Nera, Merlot, and Trebbiano Toscano
WINE STYLES: Dry red; dry white; sweet dessert
TOTAL WINE PRODUCTION: 300,000 bottles (225,000 liters)
YEAR FOUNDED: 1827
OWNER(S): Francesco Giuntini Antinori
WINEMAKER(S): Federico Giuntini Massetti with consultant Franco Bernabei

WINES

SELVAPIANA CHIANTI RUFINA DOCG

This Chianti Rùfina is the pillar of Selvapiana’s production, using primarily Sangiovese with small contributions from traditional blending partners Canaiolo, Colorino, and Malvasia Nera. This wine is an excellent example of the finesse and crispness the Rùfina subzone of Chianti delivers.

SELVAPIANA “BUCERCHIALE” CHIANTI RUFINA RISERVA DOCG

Bucerchiale is Selvapiana’s flagship wine, a Riserva-level Chianti Rùfina crafted from the grapes of the estate’s best vineyard, Bucerchiale. Francesco Giuntini, working with young winemaker Franco Bernabei on his second vintage at Selvapiana, created this special wine to be a long-aging benchmark of the best of Rùfina’s and Selvapiana’s Sangiovese. The wine is not a blend, as is normal with Chianti, but rather is pure Sangiovese to show that variety without any adornment by other blending components. First produced in 1979, Bucerchiale is made in only the best vintages, seven or eight times per decade.

SELVAPIANA "VIGNETO ERCHI" CHIANTI RUFINA DOCG

In 1997 the Giuntini family was offered a parcel of land in Pontessieve, one of the five municipalities where Chianti Rufina can be produced.  From 1993 - 1997 Selvapiana rented a parcel just next to the vineyard so they knew the potential of the area, were excited about a new opportunity to grow Sangiovese there and jumped at the opportunity to purchase the land. In 1999 they planted six hectares to Sangiovese (massal selection from the Bucerchiale vineyard), a few older Tuscan native varieties and olive trees, all of which have been cultivated organically since day one.  They waited until 2016 when the vines had reached a good age and and the vintage was exceptional to release the first offering of this wine.  

SELVAPIANA “FORNACE” TOSCANA IGT

Fornace is Selvapiana’s Super Tuscan wine, based entirely on Bordeaux grape varieties—Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc—grown on the estate.

SELVAPIANA “VILLA PETROGNANO” POMINO DOC

In the hills above the Sieve River valley, where Selvapiana and the rest of Chianti Rùfina are located, is a serene pine forest that holds the secret vineyards of Pomino DOC, owned by just two estates. Thanks to the friendship of Francesco Giuntini with the owner of Villa Petrognano, Cecilia Galeotti Ottieri, Selvapiana has had the opportunity to farm the villa’s 13-acre plot for many years. The cool, higher ground here on the border between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna produces cool-climate fruit and delightfully crisp red wines. The Villa Petrognano vineyards are planted with Sangiovese, along with a significant amount of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are blended into this modern yet tradition-respecting wine.

SELVAPIANA VIN SANTO DEL CHIANTI RUFINA DOC

Vin Santo is one of those Old World wines that no modern winemaker would ever imagine making if the concept hadn’t been devised and proven centuries ago. Taking perfectly good grapes, drying them out for a few months until they become raisins, sealing them up in a little barrel, and then waiting several years to see if anything drinkable comes out . . . is not what they teach in enology classes today. Nevertheless, whether by accident or on purpose, people did it long ago, and the result if you do it right turns out to be a delicious unctuous sweet wine called Vin Santo. These wines are made all over Tuscany, but one of the best places to do it is here in the Rùfina subzone of Vin Santo del Chianti DOC.

LOCATION


WINERY:
Rùfina (suburb of Florence), Tuscany

VINEYARD:
Rùfina subzone of Chianti, Tuscany

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NEWS AND REVIEWS FROM OUR FRIENDS IN THE INDUSTRY



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93
JULY 2020
Selvapiana "Vigneto Erchi" Chianti Rufina DOCG 2016

The newest wine in the Selvapiana lineup. When Selvapiana’s owners, the Giuntini family, purchased this land in 1999, it was the first purchase they had made since 1897. 2016 is the first release from this vineyard. On the nose, this wine is complex but tight, showing savory mineral notes that combine with concentrated red cherry, spicy oak and woodsy herbal hints.  After that tight nose, the wine seems surprisingly rich in flavor when it enters your mouth, all dark berry fruit but in a truly dry wine, not at all the sort of rich, fruity flavor many wine drinkers might be accustomed to. The wine has high acidity and an abundant amount of velvety tannin, but not enough tannin to overwhelm that fruit.  Again, there’s balance happening here between the aromatics and the structure. 

94
OCTOBER 2018
Selvapiana “Bucerchiale” Chianti Rufina Riserva DOCG 2013

This is a deliciously decadent Chianti Rufina with aromas and flavors of berries, cherries, wet leaves and coffee. Full body, chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Drink now or hold.

93
MAY 2019
Selvapiana “Bucerchiale” Chianti Rufina Riserva DOCG 2015

The Selvapiana 2015 Chianti Rufina Riserva Vigneto Bucerchiale is a generous and exuberant expression of Sangiovese that remains ever­faithful to its traditional and territory-driven roots. This wine speaks with a Tuscan tongue, giving voice to wild berry, earthy truffle and aromas of Mediterranean herb. The finish is softly fruity with subtle structure (which is firm and binding nonetheless) and fresh acidity. - Monica Larner

93+
AUGUST 2019
Selvapiana “Bucerchiale” Chianti Rufina Riserva DOCG 2016

The 2016 Chianti Rùfina Vigneto Bucerchiale is a real standout. 
A wine of vertical explosiveness and energy, the 2016 Bucerchiale is deep, wonderfully defined and full of nuance. Macerated cherry, kirsch, sweet tobacco, licorice, menthol, chocolate and spice abound in this super-expressive, nuanced Chianti Rùfina. Expressive savory notes add the closing shades of nuance.
This is a such a gorgeous and complete wine.

90
JULY 2020
Selvapiana Chianti Rufina DOCG 2018

Chianti Rufina 2018 is the least expensive ($19), the easiest to enjoy, and the readiest to drink.  Its nose is surprisingly fruity and vibrant for a Chianti; it suggests fresh red cherries, dried herbs, fresh mint and thyme, and licorice.  In your mouth, the wine is dry and medium-bodied, a light-ish red with a spine of acidity and just a medium amount of tannin, with fruity flavors similar to its aromas. A noteworthy aspect of this wine is how well it “hangs” in your mouth — fruitiness in the front, acidity up the middle and a combination of fruitiness and textured tannin in the back. It’s a complete wine that delivers all across your mouth. Did I mention the price? Despite these connotations of “lesser than,” it’s the wine I really want to drink, especially now, in July.  

96
JULY 2019
Selvapiana “Bucerchiale” Chianti Rufina Riserva DOCG 2016

The pure sangiovese character is so impressive and enticing; this frames bark, dried rosemary, rose petals, cedar, burnt orange peel, truffles and earth. The tannins are so firm and serious, while the forthright acidity is the perfect combination. Layers of taut but plush red fruit and continual, savory and umami undertones. Superb. Drink from 2024.