September 6, 2016
 

Castello dei Rampolla - New Releases & Library Offer

A jaw-dropping selection from this historic estate

2014 Chianti Classico

2011 Sammarco (750 & 1500 mL)
1985, 1990, 1993, 1998, 2005, 2009 Sammarco (750 mL)

2011 and 2009 d'Alceo (750 & 1500 mL)
1996, 2000, 2006 d'Alceo (750 mL)

Order deadline is Wednesday 14 September for delivery in December - Reply to this email or call 416-693-7994 to order.

 

Background

The di Napoli Rampolla family has owned the awe-inspiring ‘Santa Lucia in Faulle’ estate in Panzano-in-Chianti since 1739.  Located in the revered ‘Concha d’Oro’, west of the village, Rampolla’s neighbours include Le Fonti (who we also represent), Fontodi, Monte Bernardi, Le Massa… ­­– this is 'Grand Cru’ Tuscany.  

When he inherited the estate in 1965, Alceo di Napoli converted from sharecropping to a modern farm, and planted the first vineyards.  Until 1975 most of the grapes went to Antinori, and when Alceo decided to begin making and bottling his own Chianti Classico he turned to his friend Giacomo Tachis — Antinori’s technical director, creator of Sassicaia, Tignanello & Solaia.  

Since Alceo’s death in 1991, his children Luca and Maurizia have built upon his legacy, converting fully to biodynamic practices in 1994. The 125 ha estate has about 30 hectares of vineyard, producing only 60-70,000 bottles annually — very low yields of remarkably intense fruit — fermented in concrete tank or terra-cotta amphorae.

Sammarco is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Sangiovese created by Alceo in collaboration with Giacomo Tachis in 1980.  One of the first ‘Super-Tuscans’, Sammarco was an inspiration for the next generation of winemakers.

d’Alceo is an homage to his father created by Luca di Napoli — Cabernet Sauvignon & Petit Verdot — which has become a true Tuscan icon.  1996 was the first vintage, from vineyards planted in 1990-92.

Like all the wines from this remarkable estate, even the Chianti Classico is an unusually structured, age-worthy wine.

“The Di Napoli family has been making stunning wines for a while, but in recent years quality has gone into the stratosphere, a rarified place where words feel utterly useless in describing just how profound and magical these elixirs are.”
– Antonio Galloni

Click here to see Antonio and Castello dei Rampolla's Luca di Napoli talk about the history of d'Alceo, the principles of biodynamic farming and a host of other topics in this wide ranging conversation. © 2013 All Grapes Media, LLC

 

Castello dei Rampolla

Castello dei Rampolla 2014 Chianti Classico
Retail:  $39.95/btl  (6 btl/cs)

Fermented in concrete, and matured in large, neutral oak ‘botti’, the wine is Sangiovese with a small portion of Cabernet & Merlot. The Cab & Merlot add complexity, but the wine is very Tuscan in character, definitely not an ‘International’ style. It shows remarkable freshness and intensity, and will benefit from another year in bottle.

 

SAMMARCO – New Release and Library Offer

In 1980, Rampolla produced their first vintage of Sammarco.  It was the early days of Italy’s infatuation with international grapes that would in turn bring a handful of wines a level of recognition and accompanying prestige that was unthinkable back then. Antinori’s first vintage of Tignanello was 1971.  Solaia followed in 1978.  Tenuta dell’Ornellaia did not yet exist, and Sassicaia was still under the radar.  It was the very beginning of an entire movement.

The first Sammarcos were 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Sangiovese.  Merlot was added in 2003, complementing the Sangiovese and giving the wine softer, more modern contours as well as greater early approachability. The Cabernet has always been aged in French oak barrels, with an increasing move towards larger 500-liter formats, while the Sangiovese sees only cask. – Antonio Galloni (edited)

Click here to read Galloni’s article on Sammarco 1981-2011

 

Sammarco

Castello dei Rampolla 2011 Sammarco
Retail:  $106.95/btl (6 x 750 mL/cs) / $209.95/magnum (6 x 1500 mL/cs)

95+ points – Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
“The 2011 Sammarco is so youthful it almost tastes like a barrel sample! Dark, rich and inviting, the 2011 possesses notable concentration and depth, with round yet powerful tannins and a surprising level of freshness for the year. A host of black cherry, graphite, smoke, plum and lavender notes accompany the powerful finish. It will be quite some time before the 2011 is ready to drink, but there is plenty to look forward to.”

Castello dei Rampolla 2009 Sammarco
Retail:  $99.95/btl (6 x 750 mL/cs)

96 points – Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
“A dark, immediate wine, the 2009 Sammarco hits the palate with waves of generous dark fruit. Black cherry, plum, smoke, tobacco and incense flesh out in a succulent Sammarco that won't require decades to give its best. This is an unusually open, resonant Sammarco.”

Castello dei Rampolla 2005 Sammarco
Retail:  $99.95/btl (6 x 750 mL/cs)

94 points – Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
“The 2005 Sammarco is soft, silky and impeccable balanced. Still fresh and beautifully delineated, the 2005 possesses striking harmony in a mid-weight expression of this site. Sweet plum, violet, herbs, mint and sage notes add nuance on the finely-knit finish. There are no hard edges or angular contours here, just spike of acidity on the close that serves as a reminder of the cool, rainy conditions.”

Castello dei Rampolla 1998 Sammarco
Retail:  $339.95/btl (6 x 750 mL/cs)

95 points – Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
“The 1998 Sammarco is a real treat to taste today. Although not the biggest nor most explosive Sammarco, the 1998 makes its case with superb balance. The tannins have begun to soften, making the 1998 a good choice for drinking now and over the next 10-15 years. Sweet red plum, tobacco and exotic spices add the final shades of nuance. There aren't too many more complete or expressive Sammarcos for present drinking than the 1998.”

Castello dei Rampolla 1993 Sammarco
Retail:  $339.95/btl (6 x 750 mL/cs)

93 points – Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
“The 1993 Sammarco is an excellent choice for drinking now, as it shows pretty notes suggesting early signs of maturity. Sweet tobacco, menthol, licorice, smoke, scorched earth and black fruit grace the mid-weight, expressive finish. The 1993 retains gorgeous freshness for a wine of its age, and plenty of the trademark Sammarco power.”

Castello dei Rampolla 1990 Sammarco
Retail:  $599.95/btl (6 x 750 mL/cs

97 points – Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
“One of the many highlights in this vertical, the 1990 Sammarco has it all. Sweet, sensual and layered in the glass, with exceptional balance, the 1990 presents a compelling mélange of intense aromatics, silky fruit and phenomenal length. Now a mid-weight wine, the 1990 nevertheless has enough depth to drink well for another decade, perhaps beyond.”

Castello dei Rampolla 1985 Sammarco
Retail:  $704.95/btl (6 x 750 mL/cs)

96 points – Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
“The 1985 Sammarco is powerful, rich and concentrated, with the explosive energy it has always had. Still dark and intense to the core, the 1985 will drink well for another decade, perhaps longer. It remains one of the benchmark vintages for Sammarco. The 1985 is also a sentimental favorite, as it is the first vintage I tasted young.”

 

D’ALCEO – New Release and Library Offer

Alceo di Napoli dreamt of planting high-density vineyards with Bordeaux varieties, something that was unheard of in Chianti Classico at the time.  In 1988, di Napoli started clearing a new parcel of the estate, which at the time was planted with olive trees and housed the property’s stables.  Importantly, this land had never been farmed for grapes before, so it was virgin land.  The first terraces were planted with Cabernet Sauvignon in 1990.  Petit Verdot followed in 1991 and 1992.  The first vintage was 1996.

d’Alceo is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Petit Verdot, fermented in concrete.  The first vintages spent about 18 months in French oak barrels.  Since 2007, d’Alceo spends 10-12 months in barrel, with only 10-15% new barrels, a decision Rampolla took to preserve more freshness and reduce the flavour impact of oak.  In truth, I did not detect any significant or overbearing presence of oak, even in the early years, although the wines are clearly shaped texturally by aging in small barrels.  More recently, Rampolla has moved increasingly towards larger 500-liter tonneaux.  – Antonio Galloni (edited)

 

d'Alceo

Castello dei Rampolla 2011 d’Alceo
Retail:  $244.95/btl (6 x 750 mL/cs) / $469.95/magnum (6 x 1500 mL/cs)

97 points – Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
“The 2011 d'Alceo is fascinating to taste next to the Sammarco, as it is much more open-knit, silky and expressive. Cherry jam, pomegranate, spice and new leather flesh out in the glass. The integration of fruit, tannin and acidity is further along than in the Sammarco. The 2011 d'Alceo should open up pretty early, which should be welcome news to readers cellaring some of the more tannic vintages. I expect the 2011 will provide readers with a long drinking window of pure pleasure.”  Sept. 2015

(96-98) points – Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
“Tasted from tank just prior to bottling, the 2011 d'Alceo is shaping up to be magnificent. Blackberry jam, white flowers and fragrant spices saturate the palate in a stunning wine endowed with superb pedigree and class. It is so rare to find a wine that combines this level of ripeness and acidity, without feeling heavy at all. The 2011 clocks in a 14.6% in alcohol and a whopping 6.4% acidity, a balance of elements that is exceedingly rare. Once again, picking early was the key. What a gorgeous wine this is!”  Dec. 2015

Castello dei Rampolla 2009 d’Alceo
Retail:  $224.95/btl (6 x 750 mL/cs) / $429.95/magnum (6 x 1500 mL/cs)

96+ points – Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
“The 2009 d'Alceo comes across as much more classic in style and structure than the 2008. According to Luca di Napoli, the trick to 2009 was harvesting on the early side. Freshly cut flowers, sweet red berries, plums, mint and licorice all take shape in the glass Over the last few months, the 2009 d'Alceo has softened a bit, releasing expressive, floral aromatics, brighter shades of fruit and striking inner perfume, but it remains quite vibrant in the context of a vintage in which so many wines are quite a bit riper in style. The 2009 is a wonderfully deep, resonant d'Alceo that should offer a wide drinking window starting in a few years. It certainly looks like Rampolla nailed the vintage.”

Castello dei Rampolla 2006 d’Alceo
Retail:  $224.95/btl (6 x 750 mL/cs)

97 points – Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
“The 2006 d'Alceo is huge. Still tannic, powerful and brooding, the 2006 is clearly a wine for the future. The 2006 boasts striking depth, gorgeous inner perfume and dazzling balance. With time in the glass, the 2006 starts to flesh out a bit, but it remains intense and muscular to the core. Sweet floral notes, plums, cloves and mint are layered into the finish. This is another epic d'Alceo from Rampolla that captures the purest essence of one of the great all-time Tuscan vintages.”

Castello dei Rampolla 2000 d’Alceo
Retail:  $599.95/btl (6 x 750 mL/cs)

95 points – Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
“The 2000 Vigna d'Alceo is gorgeous. It is also one of the most open, pliant wines in this tasting. Plums, savory herbs, violets and licorice all flesh out in the glass. Beautifully soft and caressing throughout, the 2000 is a great choice for drinking now and over the next decade. The 2000 is a bit slender next to many of the other vintages, but is balance is exceptional. Sweet, silky tannins round of the finish.”

Castello dei Rampolla 1996 d’Alceo  * the 1st vintage of d’Alceo
Retail:  $738.95/btl (6 x 750 mL/cs)

97 points – Antonio Galloni, vinous.com  (tasted Dec 2013)
“The 1996 Vigna d'Alceo is just beginning to show the earliest signs of tertiary complexity. Licorice, smoke, underbrush, menthol, plums and dark cherries all flesh out in this beautifully layered, sumptuous Vigna d'Alceo. With some air, the 1996 can be enjoyed today, but it also has the stuffing to age well for another 15-20 years. What a great showing.”