Le Bozze Chianti 22

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Chianti DOCG is one of the most recognizable names in European wine. This venerable wine region in Tuscany has long been celebrated for producing some of Italy's most iconic red wines. When you move past the ubiquitous straw-covered bottle of yesteryear, the wines of Chianti get really interesting.

The Chianti region is subdivided into several distinct DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) zones, each with its own unique terroir and wine styles. These include Chianti Classico, Chianti Colli Senesi, Chianti Colli Fiorentini, Chianti Colli Aretini, Chianti Montalbano, Chianti Montespertoli, and Chianti Rufina. Among these, Chianti Classico is undoubtedly the most well-known and often regarded as the core of the Chianti DOCG. A closer examination, however, will reveal that each DOCG has its own distinct identity, reflecting this venerable wine-producing area's diverse terroir and winemaking traditions.

Much like the French AOC system, the DOCG in Chianti acts as a legal watchdog, laying out specific guidelines to ensure that vignerons respect tradition and focus on quality. The laws specify the particular grape varieties that can be used and provide specific requirements for blending and aging.

Sangiovese is the primary grape used across all Chianti DOCGs and must make up at least 70% of the blend. Other permitted grapes that can be used for the remaining 30% include Canaiolo, Colorino, and, to a lesser degree, international varieties such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The laws also stipulate minimum aging periods: DOCG Chianti must be aged for at least 11 months, while Chianti Riserva requires 24 months of aging, including at least three months of bottle aging.

Chianti Rufina DOCG, situated in the northeastern Chianti region, is one of the smallest sub-zones. Unlike its more famous cousin, Chianti Classico, Chianti Rufina features a cooler climate and higher vineyard elevation. This combination contributes to a longer growing season in the Rufina DOCG, allowing grapes to mature more slowly, developing a lovely density of fruit while maintaining brighter lift and acidity. Reds from Chianti Rufina are especially noted for this deft balance of elegance and structure, distinguishing them from the often more robust and rustic reds produced in other parts of Chianti.

The Masi family has owned and operated the Fattoria di Basciano estate since the early 20th century. Its location in the rolling hills of Chianti Rufina, flanked by the Argomenna Valley and the Sieve River, is absolutely perfect for viticulture. The family's estate meanders across 75 hectares, featuring 35 hectares of vineyards, 20 hectares of olive groves, and 20 hectares of managed forest.

Over the last fifteen years, the Masi family has focused heavily on research and development, investing in new vineyard plantings and constructing a new state-of-the-art winery. The heart of Fattoria di Basciano is a restored 13th-century guard tower, and it's now the centerpiece of the family's agritourism operation.

Le Bozze Chianti Rufina is a special private label bottling crafted exclusively for an east-coast-based US importer. In your glass, Le Bozze Chianti Rufina presents aromas of ripe red cherries, violets, and hints of tobacco and baking spice. The palate delivers a harmonious blend of acidity and super-soft tannins framed by a rich, medium-bodied texture. You'll enjoy notes of plummy dark red fruits, a whisper of leather, and undertones of earthy dried cherry through the middle palate and well into the finish.

Riffs on traditional Tuscan cuisine like Florentine Steak, savory meat ragùs, and aged cheeses like Pecorino Toscano are a great starting point for superb pairings. Pasta dishes with robust tomato-based meat or mushroom sauces pair beautifully, as do simple variations on grilled meats and vegetables. The wine's balance of acidity and tannins makes it versatile at the table, capable of elevating a wide range of culinary experiences.

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