Marco and Paolo Folonari, who held on to Italy's historic Ruffino label following the division of their family's Tuscan estates last June, have launched a new super Tuscan red blend called Modus.
"Modus is not a remake of any wine we have offered in the past," said Ruffino president Marco Folonari, unveiling the wine at a Sept. 23 lunch at Florence's top restaurant, Enoteca Pinchiorri. "It is completely new."
The Ruffino Modus 1997 is a blend of Sangiovese (60 percent), Cabernet Sauvignon (25 percent) and Merlot (15 percent) selected from the best Ruffino vineyards throughout Tuscany. The blend percentages may change from year to year, depending on the performance of each variety.
With production figures set to rise from 3,000 cases of the 1997 vintage to 8,000 cases of the 2000 vintage, Modus should compensate for the loss of the popular Cabreo Il Borgo, a Sangiovese-Cabernet blend, to the other branch of the family.
About 700 cases of the 1997 vintage will be exported to the United States in early 2001; the wine will sell for around $40 per bottle. In a recent Wine Spectator blind tasting, it scored 85 points and was described as being a "bit lean but with some good berry, cherry and currant character."
Also poured during lunch was an as yet unnamed 1998 Chardonnay, made from grapes from the Folonaris' Casavecchia estate and matured in barriques. Production will be about 3,000 cases, roughly the same as the Cabreo La Pietra, also a Chardonnay. Neither the price nor the release date has yet been set.
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