In last Saturday's Irish Times, John Wilson said of the Basciano Chianti Rufina 2006:
"This was the star of a tasting of Italian wines a few months ago. Nobody could believe the price. Lovely, quite elegant dark cherry fruits, supple and very easy to drink. This is the kind of wine that should be in every Italian restaurant throughout the nation."
Nice one, John. Of course, I wouldn't restrict it to just Italian restaurants - I think they all should stock it. We have been dealing with Paolo Masi and his lovely wife Anna Rita for about 7 or 8 years now. We had been looking for a good, reasonably priced Chianti for a while , done some research and heard they were a good source for wines when looking at value for money. WE visited them at Vinitaly first and were impressed with the wines. However, being nothing if not thorough, we then tasted "cheap" Chiantis for the following excruciating 2 days. Like a girl shopping for shoes, we then returned to the first place and did the deal.
Paolo took the business over from his father Renzo Masi and he has 2 labels. Fattori di Basciano is their own property and their own grapes from very nice vineyards in Chianti Rufina. Renzo Masi is the other label and this is made from grapes he buys from his neighbours and is a little less serious than the Basciano label. They also do great table wines called Poggerissi, a red and a white. Brilliant value at every price level. They came out really well in a Chianti tasting done by Jancis Robinson recently as well, if I can find the link I will post it in the next few days.
In the meantime, if you want to try it, check the stockists in the Irish Times....