Ruffino is one of the most recognizable names in the wine world. The iconic Italian brand has been making Chianti – in bottles wrapped like a basket – for decades. The basket bottle is gone but a century-plus-30 years of winemaking delivers a really nice glass of Chianti for the price point.

I wrote about the Ruffino Chianti, their most basic wine, just a couple of weeks ago.

The latest bottle is the Ruffino 2007 Chianti Superiore. I’d call it a cherry bomb! No it’s not the kind we older folk remember from youthful Fourth of Julys, or even the one John Mellencamp sang about in the 1980s. The Sangiovese blend has really bold notes of cherry.

The wine has nice balance and a smooth finish. Old world wineries are learning from many of the new world winemakers. This Chianti is aged in stainless steel but no oak.

The Superiore is 75 percent Sangiovese with the other 25 percent including Canaiolo Nero, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot – all within Italian regulations for Superiore production.

The result is a fairly simple but nicely-flavored Chianti Superiore that is bolder than the $9 Chianti and will hold up a better to big flavored pasta dishes.

It’s obviously a young wine from the old world but one that is easy to drink with a smooth feel on the palate and a mild acidity. The alcohol is certainly in check at 13.5 percent.

As I previously wrote, trying these Ruffino wines is like rediscovering an old friend. The recommended retail on the Superiore is a very reasonable $12.99. I found it on the internet anywhere from $9.99 to $15.99.

In the spirit of full disclosure: I received these wines as samples from Ruffino’s marketing arm in New York!

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com

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