Marchesi de' Frescobaldi is one of the most important wine producers in Italy, and currently owns the largest extent of vineyards in Tuscany. But, bigger doesn't always mean better. And, I've come across Frescobaldi wines that were, well ... meh. But, this isn't one of those.
Frescobaldi Nipozzano Riserva Chianti Rufina ($24.99) comes from the Castello di Nipozzano estate -- a castle, vineyards and grounds that date back to the year 1000. Back then, Castello di Nipozzano served as a defensive fortress; today, it houses the wine cellar where Frescobaldi estate red wines are produced and cask-aged, as well as functioning as Frescobaldi's main hospitality center.
Nipozzano Riserva 2008 is made from Sangiovese (90%), with the remaining 10% a blend of Malvasia Nera, Colorino, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The dark, almost purplish wine bursts with complex aromas of raspberry, red cherry and blackberries. On the palate, there are also abundant dark berry flavors, along with zippy hints of black pepper, espresso, chocolate and rosemary. Frankly, there is a lot going on in this medium-priced wine, and the 2008 vintage is drinking really well, right out of the gate.
I'd suggest serving Nipozzano Riserva with aged cheeses and barbecued or grilled meats. I recently tried it on one night with spaghetti Bolognese and on the next with barbecued pulled pork and it complemented both very nicely. All-in-all, Nipozzano Riserva 2008 is a well-balanced wine with generous fruit that will be a good companion at most lunch and dinner tables.