Ruffino Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Riserva Ducale Oro 2012
Ruffino Winery first produced Riserva Ducale Oro in 1947. It was the follow-up to their Riserva Ducale, which was first made in 1927. Ruffino considers the Riserva Ducale Oro to be a modern classic. Riserva Ducale Oro has gained the even higher designation of Chianti Classico Riserva Gran Selezione, which is subject to more appellation demands, and is produced only in the very best vintages. Serve with Steak Florentine, spicy Tuscan bean soup with bacon, prosciutto and cheeses, gnocchetti alla fiorentina or any grilled meats.
In 2014, Chianti Classico approved the new level called Gran Selezione (Great Selection). It is the first and only region to have such a classification. With this new category, Chianti Classico DOCG now produces three kinds of wine:
Chianti Classico (the standard version, also called annata) .
Chianti Classico Riserva, with extra aging and higher production requirements.
Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, a designation for only the very best Chianti Classico wines, which, like some of the other top-tier wines, will be made only in good years .
All three levels of Chianti Classico have the same rules for grape composition and are required to contain a minimum of 80% Sangiovese. The other 20% can include a number of red varieties such as Canaiolo Nero or Cabernet Sauvignon, or the wine can be 100% Sangiovese. White varieties, which were once a required element of the blend, are no longer allowed in Chianti Classico.
The higher designation Gran Selezione involves tighter restrictions on production, such as lower vineyard yields and higher grape ripeness. A significant twist is that for Gran Selezione all the fruit must be estate grown. In other words, the winery must own or lease the vineyards that are the source of the grapes and cannot buy additional fruit from other growers. The minimum alcohol level for Gran Selezione is higher at 13%, reflecting the requirement for riper grapes. The aging requirement is longer as well: Gran Selezione must be aged for at least two and a half years before it can be sold, compared to one year and two years for normale and riserva, respectively. There is no requirement for wood aging, although most producers do age their wines in barrels or casks.