The wine and its bottle label are so well-known and recognizable that I even have a pepper grinder someone gave me years ago made to look like a bottle of Riserva Ducale. I wouldn't be surprised if someone discovered a lost Warhol of Ruffino Ducale.
This is a DOCG Chianti, meaning that a minimum of 80 percent Sangiovese grapes must be used making the Chianti. In this case, Cabernet and Merlot are also added.
Ruffino has been making Ducale Riserva Chianti for a long time; the first vintage was 1927. There are elegant, fruity aromas of cherries and plums, along with white pepper and hints of tobacco. On the palate, soft tannins mingle with dried-cherry flavors and rosemary notes. Food-wise, this oldie-but-goodie Chianti seems to have been made with roast leg of lamb in mind.
If you haven't tried Ruffino Riserva Ducale Chianti Classico in a while -- or, ever -- now is the time. It's a terrific choice to help get you through the frigid winter nights we've been having.