The Tasting Panel magazine

March 2013

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ITALIAN WINE Banking on EXPLORING RUFFINO���S WHITE WINES Bianco by Meridith May / photos by Erica Bartel R ufino is synonymous with Tuscany. The winery established the Chianti DOCG in 1984 and produces seven different Chiantis; it was also the irst to import Chianti to the U.S. Tradition runs deep at Rufino, and it should also be noted that ���tradition��� is a term that fully applies to the proiles of Rufino���s wines (see our write-up on Rufino Modus on page 120). ���Rufino���s formulas are unique in that its style is not over-extracted and not over-the-top,��� explains Daniel Burgio, Director of Sales for Rufino. But Rufino does also offer some charming white wines from outside Tuscany, exploring the complexity and proile of Prosecco, Orvieto, Moscato d���Asti and Pinot Grigio. THE TASTING PANEL recently sat down with Burgio to taste through the current line-up of white wines. From Constellation Brands: Scott F. Young, CS, CSW, WSET III, Luxury Wine Specialist, SoCal and Daniel Burgio, Director of Sales for Ruf���no. Ru���no Prosecco DOC ($15 SRP) The U.S. is the largest consumer of Prosecco, but unlike other Italian varietals, which are mainly consumed within their indigenous regions at home, Prosecco is also drunk throughout Italy. ���Prosecco transcends regions in Italy,��� says Burgio. The use of the Glera grape was once 100% mandated in order for a wine to be labeled Prosecco, but with supplies of Glera running low, regulations were changed in early 2000 so that 20 percent of other varietals were allowed to be blended in. However, with tradition in mind, Rufino���s Prosecco remains 100% Glera. On its own the grape is bitter, bland and acidic, but thanks to the Charmat method, the fruit and lavors are enhanced. In this ���tank method,��� secondary fermentation is not achieved in individual bottles as in Champagne, but in large steel autoclaves, which keep the wine under pressure. 89 Ru���no 2011 Orvieto Classico DOC ($10 SRP), 40% Grechetto, 20% Procanico and 40% Verdello, Canaiolo Bianco ���Orvieto is another one of those rare varietals consumed in Tuscany, which is outside its indigenous region of Umbria,��� explains Burgio, ���but that���s 54 / the tasting panel / march 2013 Ruf���no Prosecco is dry, with notes of apricot, sandalwood, peach bone grit and a pleasant, soft mousse. because Tuscany is its nextdoor neighbor.��� The grapes are grown in chalky soil and also in ancient volcanic soil, which contributes to the distinct bitter-almond minerality on the back end of this wine, which commences with a crisp, clean spring garden on the nose, with continuing loral sweetness on the palate. 91 Ru���no 2011 Borgo Conventi Pinot Grigio, Collio DOC ($15 SRP) Collio is the Veneto���s most sought-after region for Pinot Grigio. ���This is a passion for the Folonari family,��� says Burgio, speaking of the family that retains majority interest in the Borgo Conventi property. From 100% hillside fruit (collio translates as hillside), this most complex P.G. picks up terroir and maritime breezes off the Adriatic: Think honeysuckle and croissant with a salty inish. 94 Ru���no 2011 Moscato d���Asti DOCG ($15) Made from 100% Moscato Bianco grapes in the southern part of Piedmont, in the Asti DOCG. The bubbles are ultra-light and streamlined, giving way to apricot and peach nectar with a hint of underlying herbs and more of a perfumed sweetness than a sugary mouthfeel. 91

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