2019 Ruffino Ducale Riserva Chianti Classico Alternatives

On April 20, 2024, someone asked Reddit: I really enjoy this wine. What others would you recommend based off of this?. Here are three similar wines to try instead.

Wine recommendations by: Jessyca Frederick

2019 Ruffino Ducale Riserva Chianti Classico

The ask

The wine: Ruffine Ducale Riserva Chianti Classico
Likes: n/a
Doesn’t like: n/a

BUY the 2019 Ruffino Ducale Riserva Chianti Classico

About the wine

This one is a r/wine Reddit request not meant for me, but here’s my take.

  • Region: Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, Toscana, Italy
  • Grapes: 80% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and "other complementary grapes"
  • Aromas: tobacco, clove, eucalyptus.
  • Taste: violets, cherries, wild berries, and plums.
  • Mouthfeel: vibrant acidity, delicate tannins, long finish, bold structure.
  • Oak program: 24 months in stainless steel vats and large oak casks.
  • Price: retails around $20.

I’m going to recommend wines based on the flavors, grapes, and oak program, not just well-known producers in the area, which is the common way recommendations are made from the wine industry. I don’t think this serves any of us very well, we like what we tasted, not the reputation of the person who made it.

My recommendations

Altesino Rosso Di Altesino

Altesino Rosso Di Altesino ($25-30)

Why I picked it for you: like the Ruffino, it’s a blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Bordeaux varietals. Plums and cherries dominate the palate, with hints of spice and herbs on the finish. No oak was used in this production.

Things you might not like: it saw no oak, though the "large oak casks" of the Ruffino implies there wasn’t much of an oak influence there.

Buy the Altesino Rosso Di Altesino

Querciabella Maremma Toscana Mongrana

Querciabella Maremma Toscana Mongrana ($28-30)

Why I picked it for you: also a blend of Sangiovese, Merlot (and Cabernet Sauvignon) from Toscana, but this time from Maremma DOC. It saw 12 months of cement and stainless steel (no oak). Ripe fruit, morello cherry, blackberry, and blueberry on the nose. Juicy and fresh with soft tannins.

Things you might not like: these flavors might be objectionable to some — kirsch, ivy, pine needles, and a "touch of licorice." Not so much the kirsch, which makes wine interesting, but the others.

Buy the Querciabella Maremma Toscana Mongrana

Marchesi Frescobaldi Nipozzano, Chianti Rufina Riserva

Marchesi Frescobaldi Nipozzano, Chianti Rufina Riserva ($20)

Why I picked it for you: intense violets, wild berries, and cherries.

Things you might not like: pepper, nutmeg, and Arabica coffee. Generally these are nice things to taste in a red wine, but everyone’s tastes are unique. Also, this wine saw 24 months in oak, which might not gibe well with the structure or tastes of the Ruffino Ducale Riserva.

Buy the Marchesi Frescobaldi Nipozzano, Chianti Rufina Riserva

Notice: I hold no formal wine credentials. I am a wine geek who has consumed 1000+ of bottles from 100+ different wine clubs and 1000s more bottles that didn’t come from those wine clubs. I do not accept payment for inclusion here, and I do not accept payments to influence my recommendations.

Then why am I recommending wine? I know a lot about wine. Particularly I know some things average wine drinkers don’t usually know — like how to research a wine and decide if it’s worth buying. Typically wine buyers rely on critics reviews and scores when evaluating a new-to-them wine. Sometimes they search on Reddit.

Most of the time, the information uncovered isn’t truly useful because everyone has a different palate. The trick is in learning what you like and why, and then seeking similar wines to try.

Instead of telling you what I like (which I do in my wine reviews), this is about telling you what you might like, based on what you know you like (and sometimes don’t like). So I recommend wines to help wine lovers expand what they are currently drinking in the hopes that they’ll learn how to find wines on their own, too.

How do you make money at this? I find the wines I think are of interest using my wine marketplace (no AI is used anywhere in this process). It has inventory from most major online wine stores (Total Wine, Wine.com, and Wine Access) and dozens of other places to buy wine, too. Each wine I recommend comes with a "Shop this wine" link, which sends you to my marketplace. When someone buys a wine from my marketplace, I sometimes earn a commission.

I’ll probably spend around 30 minutes assembling your personal wine recommendations, but you are not obligated to buy anything. If you do buy something I recommend, whether locally or online, please let me know if you liked it! (Or if I missed the mark.)

Learn more about me or get in touch.