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 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.
Castello dei Rampolla is cited 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, just acceptable in the coastal Bolgerhi, yet too close to home in the stronghold of the 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 Sammacro, it heralds from a single vineyard, at an altitude of 1,140 ft, benefiting from stony soil, boasting incredible east, west and south facing aspects. The first vintages underwent 18 months in French oak barrels. The grapes are harvested manually and undergo no chemical treatment using bio-dynamic farming methods.
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