Selvapiana, the gift of Sangiovese just keeps giving (and a photo of not so little Georgia)

It’s been incredible to see the heartfelt, poignant reaction to Quintarelli’s passing on Sunday. With the loss of Quintarelli and Gambelli, January has been a “cruel month” in Italian wine, as Italy’s top wine blogger Franco Ziliani put it. With uncertainty looming over Europe and an ever shifting wine industry, this passing of the old guard seems to mark the end of an era in the wines that we know and love. I have to admit that it leaves me in a state of aporia. But it’s time to begin wine blogging again…

When you first open the Selvapiana 2009 Chianti Rufina, you are greeted by a stiff whiff of volatile acidity and a wine so tannic, dense, and chewy on the palate that your first impulse is to recork it and put it down for another few years.

But with a little aeration, the funk quickly blows off and the wine starts to reveal its gorgeous ripe red and berry fruit, its ethereal mouthfeel aligning with its bright, translucent granite color (see the photo by Tracie P above).

Tracie P’s not drinking more than a glass of wine at dinner these days because she’s nursing Georgia P and so I’m always looking for under $25 wines that will last for several days in the fridge.

I opened the 2009 Selvapiana on a Monday and drank a glass every night with dinner over the course of four days. But the last day — and the last glass — the wine appeared to me as a Platonic ideal of beauty, the quintessence of what fine (food-friendly) wine should be in my view: bright, bright acidity, balanced alcohol (around 13%), a nose reminiscent of dewy pine, and ripe plum and black cherry. Pretty nifty for a wine that costs less than $20 in most markets (mine included). It just needs a little patience. I love it…

In other news…

Georgia P’s nearly 9 lbs.! She and mamma are doing great…

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