2017 Barone Ricasoli, Albia Rosé, Tuscany, Italy £13.49, Flagship Wines, 01727-865309; £12.99, Grape & Grain, 01444-456217
The Ricasoli family, from the Castello di Brolio in Gaiole in the heart of Tuscany, has been immersed in the wine trade
since 1141. Their family tree, reproduced in a print from 1584, is one of the first images of the Chianti region, and the family exported their wines from the late 1600s to both Amsterdam and England.
In 1872 Baron Bettino Ricasoli came up with the blueprint for Chianti wine, now called Chianti Classico. I have known the current baron, Francesco, since he took up the reins at this historic estate back in 1993. Highly influential in the region, with 235 hectares of vineyards and 26 hectares of olive groves, Francesco has elevated his wines to the top of the tree.
Not content with sitting on his laurels, the baron is an innovative chap, too, and his most recent success is in the unlikely field of rosé. The elite rosé market is, of course, presently dominated by Provence, but Francesco’s newly released 2017 vintage is a staggeringly serious wine. It is also priced beneath that of all of the French big names.
Made from sangiovese and merlot and looking as ravishing as it tastes, this is a wine that unites history, acumen and a burning desire to impress. You would be very well advised to slake your thirst with this beauty. Stupefacente.
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (MatthewJukes.com).