Saturday, 19 October 2013

Ruffino Dinner at Graffiti's Italian Eatery (Kanata)

Ruffino is synonomous with Chianti.  That bottle of wine encapsulated in wicker that our parents used to sip while listening to bouzouki music on the Danforth in the early 1970s.

They loved it – with the easy drinking, primary red fruit and cracked white pepper infused vino  that washed down virtually any food with ease.  

Ruffino has been around a long time, and while it has holdings across Italy, its heart will lie forever in Tuscany.  6 estates, 2800 acres of land (divided up between vines and olive trees), they are a serious player in Italian wine industry.  

On October 19, we had the fortune of attending a wine dinner at Graffiti’s Italian Eatery in Kanata.  With 6 Ruffino wines paired with 6 very well executed dishes by Chef Neil, we knew we were in for a treat. 

                       The Menu! (click to enlarge)

Arriving a bit late (thanks to 417 traffic), and missing out on some canapés, we dove right into the Ruffino Prosecco, a new project for Ruffino, but the quality of the wine would lead you to believe that they have been making it for years.  The wine featured a fine mousse, with notes of stone fruit, apples, pears, and citrus zest.  A soft, balanced acidity make this wine a perfect sipper before dinner.   89 Points.  (-Rachel)

The first course featured the Ruffino Orvieto Classico 2012, a blend of 4 different grapes, including an ancestor of the Trebbiano grape.   Soft and round, featuring honeysuckle, flowers, citrus fruit, and chalky minerals define this wine.  You almost get a hint of oak even though it’s stainless steel fermented and aged (no doubt some malo).   88 Points.  (-Rachel)  Great pairing with the salad.  Pass the Orvieto!

Next up was the Lumina Pinot Grigio perfectly paired with the tiger prawn dish.  100% Pinot Grigio, light golden colour, featuring pears, unripe white peach, straw, and a hint of caper brine on the finish (a good thing!).  90 Points.  (-Rachel) 

Dish 2 - Grilled Tiger prawn with tomato, heart of palm in cider vinaigrette – tomato gel, goat cheese, crispy pancetta and puffed rice.

Then onto the big reds, starting with the Ruffino Riserva Ducale Chianti Classico 2009, a bold Sangiovese featuring aromas and flavours of black raspberry, iron, blueberry, dark baker’s chocolate (nice one Heather Wall!), cherries, scorched earth, tar, and singed vanilla.  The tannins are quite present at the moment.  Drink 2014-2020.  92 Points. (-Rachel)  Paired with a squash and roasted pepper puree, and it worked.  

 The veal shank was paired with our favourite Ruffino wine, Modus.  This wine has been made since 1999, and has never scored below 90 points.  The 2010 is no different, featuring aromas and flavours of scorched caramel, black plums, milk chocolate, spice, grape pumice, and vanilla.  Elegant and refined, this wine only needs another year or two in bottle to hit its peak – unlike the monstrous 2007, which needs until 2016-2017 to come out of its shell.  93 Points.  (-Rachel) 

And finally with dessert we tried another new project from Ruffino, the Moscato d’Asti, which will hopefully be available at the LCBO soon.  Full on peach and floral bliss, and at 6%, you can easily (too easily?) drain a bottle by yourself.  91 Points.  (-Rachel). 

All in all a great night with Robert Ghezzo, brand ambassador for Ruffino here in Canada, and Chef Neil from Graffiti’s!

-Andrew and Rachel

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