The Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro is my favorite red wine, especially with a little age. My classic memory is a velvet-like wine that ages gracefully. I swoon when I have it and everything is perfect.
To celebrate my birthday, I rounded up 7 vintages of the Riserva Ducale and shared them with 12 members of Wine Lovers of Connecticut.
Here’s the roundup of the wines we tasted:
We had dinner at New Haven’s classic Italian restaurant, Tre Scalini and Joe Maiorano did a great job, but the focus was clearly the wines. And not a dog amongst them. The clear favorite was the 1997, which received a Tre Bicchieri from Gambero Rosso. In fact we tasted 3 vintages that received 3 Bicchieri.
But what is of deep concern to me is that there have been no such awards since 2006. Is it coincidental that Ruffino was purchased by the huge American wine conglomerate Constellation Brands, which is neglecting the potential of this great wine? I fear that is the case. I hope not because I want to keep reliving the velvet experience. But if I’m correct, I would suggest you scour your local wine merchant for any of the older vintages; you won’t pay a fortune for a great wine experience.
Here’s a tidbit I learned about the name ‘riserva ducale’: the label has an etching of the Duke of Aosta who was so enamored of the wine that he made it the official wine of the kingdom.