CASTELLO DEI RAMPOLLA, Panzano in Chianti
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 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. Part 2 of the interview is here
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