With 13% alcohol, costing under $25 on release, and scoring 18 points on the 20-point Dionysian scale, the 1997 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale ,at 22 years old, was superb.

Filled with light red fruit, spicy notes, and some tobacco and wood, the wine was at perfection. It comes from an outstanding vintage, and few years have matched the 1997 since.


Instead of pasta, the wine married well with a beef dish. Great Chianti always pairs well with red meat.

The wine was decanted half an hour before serving and it continued to open during the meal. It was my next to last bottle form the case I got long ago.  It was a great year for all Sangiovese grapes in Tuscany. In Vino Veritas.