September 7, 2017

Castello dei Rampolla

Castello dei Rampolla 2015 Chianti Classico
Retail:  $41.95 / btl  (6 btl/cs)

Castello dei Rampolla 2012 Sammarco
Retail:  $112.95 / btl  (6 btl/cs)

Castello dei Rampolla 2007 Sammarco
Retail:  $278.95 / btl  (6 btl/cs)

Castello dei Rampolla 2012 d'Alceo
Retail:  $254.95 / btl  (6 btl/cs)

Castello dei Rampolla 2007 d'Alceo
Retail:  $584.95 / btl  (6 btl/cs)

Order deadline is Friday 15 September for delivery in early December


Castello dei Rampolla, Santa Lucia in Faulle

We are proud to present our annual offering of the remarkable wines of Castello dei Rampolla. These benchmark wines belong in the cellar of any serious collector.

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, il Palagio, Le Massa, and more ­­– this is 'Grand Cru’ Tuscany.  

When he inherited the estate in 1965, Alceo di Napoli converted from sharecropping to a modern farm. At the time, Rampolla was essentially a summer residence. Wheat, olive trees and other mixed crops were cultivated by the mezzadri, but there were no vineyards. “Alceo di Napoli was a man of extraordinary humility. He loved the land”, Piero Antinori has said. Until 1975 most of the grapes were sold 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, and the 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 inspired 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

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

click HERE to view


Castello dei Rampolla 2015 Chianti Classico

This is a wine I buy every year (suggesting you should too...). 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 or two 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)

Castello dei Rampolla 2012 Sammarco

92+ points – Antonio Galloni,
“Castello dei Rampolla's Sammarco comes across as unusually medium in body in 2012, with a distinctly red-toned flavor profile. I have seen other lighter vintages blossom with time in bottle. That may very well be the case here as well. Readers should expect a floral, bright Sammarco built on mid-weight structure and finesse rather than power.”

92 points – Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator
“A light and supple, yet firm, red, offering strawberry, cherry and leafy flavors. Fresh and juicy, with a lingering aftertaste of fruit, herbs and earth. Drink now through 2023.” 

Castello dei Rampolla 2007 Sammarco

96 points – Antonio Galloni,
“The 2007 Sammarco is a real stunner. Deep, concentrated and explosive to the core, the 2007 boasts remarkable richness and intensity. Here the feeling is of glycerin weight and a demi-glace-like sense of unctuosity. Smoke, tobacco, mint and black stone fruit meld into the expressive finish. The 2007 is just beginning to show the early signs of aromatic development, but it has more than enough depth to drink well for many, many years.”  December 2015

91 points – Ian D’Agata,
“(a blend of cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese and merlot; 14.5% alcohol): Dark ruby. Expressive aromas of plum, mocha, cinnamon and herbs. Dense, broad and pliant, with good weight and a strong herbal component to its red fruit and spicy oak flavors. The persistent tannic finish is a little chunky, offering lingering notes of leather, cocoa and tobacco and with a vegetal nuance and a touch of alcoholic warmth. Large-scaled and impressive, but not as refined as some recent vintages of Sammarco.” July 2012

97 points – Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator
“Intense aromas and flavors of black currant, cherry, cedar and licorice are reminiscent of a fine Bordeaux. Concentrated, yet stylish and elegant, with great breed and a lingering aftertaste of fruit, spice and mineral. Delicious now, yet still very young. Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Merlot. Best from 2014 through 2032.”  October 2011


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 normally 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)

Castello dei Rampolla 2012 d’Alceo

94 points – Antonio Galloni,
“The 2012 d'Alceo is sweet, round and enveloping. Silky tannins give the 2012 much of its shape, while adding to the wine's appeal. Plum, black cherry, menthol, licorice and sweet spices wrap around the fleshy, succulent finish. Like the Sammarco, d'Alceo is a bit restrained in this vintage.”

97 points – Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator
“A focused, balanced style, evoking pure cherry, raspberry, mineral and floral aromas and flavors, this is elegant and fluid yet dense and well-structured, ending with lively acidity and dusty tannins. The finish goes on and on. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2025.”

Castello dei Rampolla 2007 d’Alceo

97 points – Antonio Galloni,
“Dark raspberries, cloves, menthol and crushed rocks wrap around the palate in the 2007 d'Alceo. Rich, voluptuous and sexy, the 2007 is very much a product of a vintage that yielded a crop of resonant, generous wines. The ripe, silky tannins will make the 2007 accessible relatively early, but it also has more than enough depth to age well for years. Today, the flavors are naturally still quite primary and there is still quite a bit of baby fat that has to melt off before the 2007 enters its prime drinking window. Still, there is a lot to like, including the wine's huge, palate-staining finish. Grace meets power in the 2007. In a word: dazzling!”  December 2013

94+ points – Ian D’Agata,
“(75% cabernet sauvignon and 25% petit verdot; 14.5% alcohol): Deep purple-ruby. Knockout nose combines blackcurrant, violet, coffee, menthol, tar and graphite. The palate offers an uncanny combination of sweetness and penetrating power, with brisk acidity framing and lifting the very rich flavors of black fruits, minerals and spices. The very long, soft, supple finish conveys an impression of energy and youthfulness, not to mention the structure for a graceful evolution in bottle. Lay this one down.” July 2012

96 points – Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator
“Suave and silky, with rich black currant, blackberry and spice flavors backed by lively acidity and dusty tannins. It all hangs together beautifully, with a Bordeaux-like cast to the flavors and profile. There's intensity, without this being showy or heavy. Terrific length. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Best from 2013 through 2030.”  October 2011