Riecine, Chianti Classico (Tuscany, Italy 2011; $30)
Ok, label-reading tip: If you’re into rich, rustic Italian wine with lots of fruit, you probably like Chianti. But look for Chianti Classico on the label. That’s the original growing region for Chianti, right in the center of Tuscany. This is the area of Italy where sangiovese, the main grape in Chianti blends, has long been known to thrive. Sangiovese is now grown all over the country, and the official region for wines labeled as Chianti has expanded significantly beyond the original area. The quality of wines from that expanded territory vary widely. But if you stick to those from the “classico” territory, you’re more likely to find a gem, like this Riecine. It’s got ripe black fruit, blackberries and plums and dark cherries, with a touch of spice and earthiness in the mix. Yummy.