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Wine Access

A Breakthrough Chianti We Might Not See Again

Email sent: May 4, 2021 7:00am
The 2018 Fattoria di Basciano exemplifies the qualities that “define great Rufina wines.” Just $14.99.
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A Singular Expression of Tuscany’s Untamed Terroir

This beautifully crafted Chianti brought our conversation to a dead stop. With its incredible aromatics and what Vinous calls “tell-tale refinement,” it shows an expression of terroir that can’t be matched for the price.

Chianti Rufina Tuscany 2018

Fattoria di Basciano

Chianti Rufina Tuscany

$16.00
$14.99 1-11 bottles 6% off Buy Now
$11.99 12+ bottles 25% off Buy Now
Shipping included on $120 or any 6 bottles.
90 pts

Wine Spectator

The Stunning Value Chianti That Almost Got Away

Fattoria di Basciano’s muscular 2018 Chianti Rufina is exactly the type of bottle you discover on vacation, fall in love with, and can never track down again. Except this time, the mysterious vacation bottle IS available at home—and trust us, this is one you’ll be reaching for again and again. 

When a waiter in Florence poured us a bottle, this Chianti brought the conversation to a dead stop. After marveling over its powerful frame and lingering, mineral-tinged finish, we canceled our plans for the following morning in order to find the producer. There was no way we were going home without this wine.

Wine Spectator lauded this 2018 as “a densely textured red, rich, with vivid acidity and refined tannins.” In essence, Fattoria di Basciano has fashioned a Chianti here with a level of polish and earthy depth that we’re used to seeing priced at $25 or above. Brawny and powerful, with cigar box aromatics and a plush, brambly palate, it’s a singular expression of this untamed corner of Tuscany that could go for a lot more. 

But thanks to the charm offensive we launched on the father-and-son team who harvest these high-elevation, windswept vineyards, it’s a spectacular $14.99 per bottle for Wine Access members. At $11.99 per bottle on cases, there’s truly no downside to this captivating red. 

While trekking around Florence last March, we stopped at a small restaurant called Amblé, looking for some pasta alla Bolognese to refuel after a long day on our feet. After taking our order, the red-aproned waiter said he had something in mind when it came to wine. Due to his thick accent, we didn’t quite catch his meaning.

We understood a few minutes later when he brought over a bottle of the ruby 2018 Fattoria di Basciano, decanted it tableside, poured a glass, then disappeared before we could get a question in edgewise. But within a minute of tasting this wine, we weren’t in the mood for talking anyway—we were left in awe of its rich boldness and succulent ripeness.

The next morning, we were steering our yellow Fiat into the Apennine foothills of Chianti Rufina, east of Florence. It’s one of the smallest subzones of the Chianti DOCG, and perhaps the most famous for its quality. 

Here, steep vineyards are hundreds of feet higher than in Chianti Classico, and the distance from the coast creates a continental climate that amplifies diurnal temperature variation. That means vineyards like Fattoria di Basciano’s allow Sangiovese to ripen slowly, developing thick skins and juicy acidity. 

In the process, they absorb an expression of terroir that can’t be matched for the price—Fattoria di Basciano’s bottles “show the tell-tale refinement, high acidity, relatively low alcohol, sour cherry fruit and slight underbrush-mushroom notes that define great Rufina wines,” declared Vinous.

Renzo and Paolo Masi, who run the family property, were surprised to see us. They don’t often get outsiders as visitors—and certainly not ones as insistent as we were on taking their wines thousands of miles away. They said they’d think about our offer.

Now that the deal is done, we can’t wait to uncork a bottle ourselves. 

Wine Access Tasting Notes

Bold, muscular, and attractive with an opaque ruby core. Aromas led by black cherry and dark plum are accented by sweet tobacco and herbal spice. The mouthfeel is generous and instantly satisfying with grand fruit balanced by mineral undertones, plus big tannins and a long finish. Drink now - 2026.

medium
Oak Intensity
large
Body
large
Tannin
large
Fruit Intensity
large
Acidity

Critic Reviews

90 pts
Wine Spectator

This is a densely textured red, rich, with vivid acidity and refined tannins propelling its black cherry, blackberry, leather, iron, woodsy and tobacco aromas and flavors. Fine balance, length, and character. Drink now through 2032.

Wine Facts

Food Pairings

red-meat hard-cheese
Alcohol by volume
13.5% alcohol by volume
Decanting
30 mins decanting time
Serving temperature
60° F serving temperature
Drinking window
Now - 2026 drinking window
Varietal
Sangiovese
Colorino

Fattoria di Basciano

Chianti Rufina Tuscany

Chianti Rufina Tuscany 2018
$16.00
$14.99 1-11 bottles 6% off Buy Now
$11.99 12+ bottles 25% off Buy Now
Shipping included on $120 or any 6 bottles.

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