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March 01, 2016

Castello Dei Rampolla D’Alceo 2011

Castello

We are delighted to be able to offer the newest vintage of Castello dei Rampolla D’Alceo the 2011, which has been awarded 97 points from both Antonio Galloni and James Suckling. Castello dei Rampolla D’Alceo averages 97.5 points over the last five years from Galloni, far exceeding Sassicaia, Ornellaia, Solaia and even Masseto. The market for the newly released 2011 starts at £420 per case of six and we can offer this today for £385, a 9% reduction. It is noteworthy that the 100 point scoring 2010 trades for £700 per case of six and the 2008 which Galloni awarded 96+ and which has received 100 from Suckling trades at £600 per case of six.

D’Alceo is an effortless prototype of French varietals, 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Petit Verdot and like Sassicaia and Ornellaia it marries power with elegance, opulence with restraint: it is the acme of what Tuscany can do with the best grapes of Bordeaux. Seemingly the only problem for the Estate is that it only produces 15,000 bottles, 1,250 full cases a year, less than half of Masseto and 1/12 of Sassicaia!

Castello dei Rampolla’s history echoes that of Sassicaia and Ornellaia, in fact it is the direct progeny of them. Before Sassicaia’s official unveiling in 1968, Mario Incisa della Rocchetta made his now legendary wine to be shared with his family and close friends. Among this group of hallowed friends was the owner of Castello dei Rampolla, Alceo di Napoli. Thus it was that Alceo began to emulate the polemic Bordeaux blend style at his Estate. He wasted no time in seeking out the world famous consultant oenologist Giacomo Tachis, the founding father/consultant behind of Sassicia, Tignanello and Querciabella: Tachis passed away last month. His unrivalled ability to incarnate Bordeaux blends in Tuscany quickly resulted in Castello dei Rampolla’s new wine, Sammarco, rising to prominence; previously large amounts of the grapes had been sold to Antinori.

Castello dei Rampolla is cited in Panzano, famed for the famous Concad’Oro or ‘golden basin’, an outstanding natural amphitheatre composed of the village’s hillsides, neighbouring Fontodi. The Napoli family have owned the Estate, which goes back to 13th Century since 1739. At the time of his death in 1991, Alceo di Napoli’s wine Sammarco was experiencing continuous notoriety and criticism for using Cabernet Sauvignon in the Chianti Classico region. The Estate passed to his dedicated children Luca and Maurzia di Napoli who continued their father’s revolutionary work and who, in his honour, created the eponymously named d’Alceo. D’Alceo soon eclipsed Sammarco, heralding from a single vineyard, at an altitude of 1,140 ft, benefiting from stony soil, boasting incredible east, west and south facing aspects.

A long list of adjectives are required to express the complexity of flavours; Alceo exhibits; espresso, melted liquorice, blackcurrant jam, porcini mushroom, chestnuts, mulberry, flavours that appear so intense in power, yet the mouth-feel seems effortless. D’Alceo has a cult status similar to Masseto, yet its accent to global stardom is just beginning, it is the critics’ choice and we recommend it highly for consumption and investment.

6×75 – £385 IB £476.76 incl duty and VAT

Antonio Galloni, Vinous, 97 Pts
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!

James Suckling 97
This is very firm and dense with fantastic structure and a superb depth of fruit and silky tannins. Full body showing a core of ripe fruit featuring currants and blackberries. Minerals and fresh mushrooms to add. Better in 2018.
 

Monica Larner 95
The 2011 D’Alceo is a stunning blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon with 15% Petit Verdot. The bouquet is perfumed and enticing with dark rose, cherry fruit, spice, leather, cola, grilled herb and so much more. Fruit comes from a six-hectare single vineyard (whereas fruit for the Sanmarco represents a special selection from various vineyards.) The intensity and purity is what sets this wine part. Both are impeccable. In the mouth, D’Alceo feels long, linear and meaningful. Castello dei Rampolla practices biodynamic farming. 

To buy this wine click here.