As Antonio Galloni posits, in his Castello dei Rampolla vertical tasting, ‘Castello dei Rampolla has been one of Tuscany’s leading estates for more than four decades.’ The Estate is famous for two wines, D’Alceo and Sammarco. 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 Castello dei Rampolla who began to emulate the polemic Bordeaux blend style at this Estate. He wasted no time in seeking out the world-famous consultant oenologist Giacomo Tachis, the founding father of Sassicia, Tignanello and Querciabella. 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.
Today we are delighted to be able to offer, what will be one of most sought after ‘great value wines’ of 2018. Castello dei Rampolla Sammarco 2012 has received 92+ points from Galloni giving a price today at £210 per case of six. This gives it a Price Over Points Ratio (POP) of 33.6, which for a wine of this renown and brilliance is a superb price vs value ratio. This is offered today alongside the 2013, which has produced something truly remarkable, a 98-point score from Galloni. This surpasses the rest of the field in 2013, yet as can been seen by the table below, at a remarkable price point of £285 per case of six.
Castello dei Rampolla is sited in Panzano, famed for the Conca d’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.
Castello dei Rampolla vestiges an effortless prototype of French varietals, Sammarco in 2013 is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 5% Sangiovese. It heralds from vineyards that boast an altitude of 1,140 ft, benefiting from stony soil, boasting incredible east, west and south facing aspects. The grapes are harvested manually and undergo no chemical treatment using bio-dynamic farming methods. The wine spends three months in concrete, then 12-15 months in oak barrels, followed by 18-24 months in bottles. Production is also extremely limited, with 1,590 12 bottle cases produced in 2013.
Taken together, a case each of Sammarco 2012 and 2013, comes to £495, which is still less than a six-bottle case price of its peers, with an average of £41.25 per bottle. Indeed, of the 2013 Galloni says, ‘Readers should not plan on opening a bottle of this any time soon, though, as it seems likely to age at a glacial pace.’ As such, the parcel of one case of each of the 2012 and 2013 together, allows one to drink the superb 2012, while waiting for the 2013 to hit its straps. That said, the 2012 has a drinking window unto 2037, capable of long ageing and brilliant in its own right. We have very limited quantities of this parcel available.
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