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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
AUGUST 2021
Selvapiana Chianti Rufina DOCG 2019

Black cherry, crushed stone and citrus fruit on the nose. Aromatic and pleasing. Medium-bodied with vivid fruit and a fresh finish. Very typical Chianti Rufina with subtle, clean fruit and bright acidity.

JUNE 2022
Selvapiana “Bucerchiale” Chianti Rufina Riserva DOCG 2018

Chianti Rufina DOCG is the smallest of the seven subzones of the Chianti DOCG. It is located at the foot of the Apennines, the mountain range that is the backbone of Italy, where vineyards are grown at elevations as high as 1600 feet, which means cooler temperatures than at lower elevations.  The growing season is longer, and temperatures can be much cooler at night resulting in conditions that can provide more time for those finicky grapes to ripen while retaining acidity for balance.  The owner, Francesco Giuntini Antinori, considers this single variety Sangiovese their flagship wine made only in the best vintages.  It is an elegant wine with pure, focused, ripe fruit with light ruby, red cherry, strawberry aromas and flavors laced with notes of dried, woody herbs.  The integration of fruit, crisp acidity and fine grained tannins is seamless.  It has an elegant personality.

92
APRIL 2021
Selvapiana "Vigneto Erchi" Chianti Rufina DOCG 2016

In 1998, the Giuntini family purchased a new property in the Chianti Rufina wine region.  In 1999 they planted six hectares (14.8 acres) of Sangiovese cuttings from grapevines selected from their Bucerchiale vineyard, as well as other indigenous vines and olive trees.  The vineyard, like all Selvapiana vineyards, is farmed organically.  The wine is made solely from Sangiovese, fermented with indigenous yeasts, aged in French oak barriques for 18 months and spends one year in bottle before release.  It is an impressive wine with aromas of red cherries, dried woody herbs, blood orange and a touch of vanilla that pave the way for vivid flavors of red cherries, red currant, with notes of pipe tobacco and a whiff of dried mushroom. The ripeness of the fruit is balanced with zesty acidity and dusty tannins.        

94
JUNE 2022
Selvapiana “Bucerchiale” Chianti Rufina Riserva DOCG 2019

This has aromas of wild raspberries, plums, almond blossom, sandalwood, clay and green olives on the nose. Medium-bodied with fine, creamy tannins. Supple and transparent. Very fine. Even better from 2024.

93
NOVEMBER 2020
Selvapiana “Bucerchiale” Chianti Rufina Riserva DOCG 2016

VALUE ITALY PICK OF THE WEEK 

Dark and brooding, this red features ripe black cherry, blackberry, wild herb, earth and iron flavors. Gains in richness, density and ripeness what it loses in freshness, though shows fine balance and length. Drink now through 2028

97
OCTOBER 2021
Selvapiana “Bucerchiale” Chianti Rufina Riserva DOCG 2017

Fattoria Selvapiana is one of Rùfina's modest superstars, defined by its very low-key profile and red wines that combine generously free-flowing fruit and faultless terroir expression. The lovely light tang in every sip stems from a mix of clay-limestone that provides fatness and juiciness, while schist or galestro engenders underlying depth. Organic.

93
JUNE 2022
Selvapiana Chianti Rufina DOCG 2020

So much crushed-stone character here with citrus and black-cherry aromas. Medium-bodied with iodine and oyster-shell undertones to the blue fruit. Lemon rind at the end. Drink or hold.

91
NOVEMBER 2021
Selvapiana “Bucerchiale” Chianti Rufina Riserva DOCG 2018

Savory, balsamic aromas and flavors of wild herbs and Tuscan scrub are a nice foil for the ripe cherry and macerated plum fruit in this expressive red, which is balanced and lively on the long finish. Drink now through 2028. 4,000 cases made, 1,500 cases imported.