Renzo Masi (not related to the well-known Masi Amarone) is a family run company that has been making wine for three generations. ‘Rufina’ refers to one of the eight defined sub-zones of the Chianti DOCG in the northeastern part of the zone.
The pour is an intense inky color. Luscious jammy fruit dominates the nose with hints of earth and wood. On the palate are cherries, prunes, and figs. Secondary flavors include licorice and herbs. A medium length finish has a light tangy ending note. Slightly hard tannins feel on their way toward mellow.
Tasting notes from 2015 detected some unwanted bitterness in this 2011 vintage that seems to have improved age. Another year or two in the bottle probably won’t hurt in smoothing out the tannins either. This Chianti seemed a little fruitier than other Tuscan reds we’ve had.
The Renzo Masi Chianti Riserva made an excellent pairing with tomato-based Italian food, due in part to its level of acidity. I made a pot of tomato sauce using the Cook’s Country recipe to serve it over spaghetti. But what do we do for meat? Wanting something quicker than homemade meatballs, we go for a Polish kielbasa, cooked on the grill. It may seem a bit unusual to use a Polish sausage with Italian spaghetti, but the fattiness of the kielbasa blends sublimely with the tartness of the tomato sauce. With a sprinkle of Italian herbs, some fresh basil, and a spoonful of shredded Parmesan cheese, it’s a delicious combination.