2010 Castello dei Rampolla Sammarco IGT Rosso Toscana
Castello dei Rampolla is located in Panzano’s famous Conca d’Oro or ‘golden basin” district, an amphitheater of striking, pristine hillside vineyards in Tuscany. The di Napoli family has owned Rampolla since 1739, and Alceo di Napoli inherited the estate in 1965. At the time, Rampolla was essentially a summer residence. Wheat, olive trees and other mixed crops were cultivated, but there were no vineyards. With the assistance of Piero Antinori amongst others, Alceo began making and bottling wines under the Rampollo label in 1975. Rampolla are now a reference point for the highest level of quality that does not fit into Chianti Classico or Brunello for Tuscany.
In 1980, Rampolla produced their first vintage of Sammarco, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese. 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 exist yet 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, gradually replacing 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.
The 2010 Sammarco tastes like biting into a combination of graphite, crushed rocks, smoke, violets, kirsch, lavender and sweet spices. The flavors are intense and concentrated, yet also incredibly nuanced. Firm tannins give the wine an extra kick of energy on the sculpted finish. I don't expect the 2010 will be ready to drink anytime soon, but it is a real pleasure to revisit today, as it is just as stunning as it has always been. In a word: magnificent! Drink 2020-2040
Antonio Galloni - Vinous
The 2010 Sammarco Vino da Tavola is based on Cabernet Sauvignon with smaller parts Sangiovese and Merlot. The 2010 vintage is still very closed and will require ten years or more to blossom. What you get at this young stage in the wine’s life are tightly wound tones of bramble, wild berry, light spice, bacon fat and loads of vibrant medicinal herb. The mouthfeel shows a great degree of finesse and silkiness that will surely evolve in time to embrace an even finer texture. Give it time.
Monica Larner - Wine Advocate #215 (Oct 2014)
Wow. The nose to this wine is truly wonderful with currant, berry, orange peel and minerals. Full body, firm, chewy tannins and an intense, beautiful finish. It goes on for minutes. So complex. A blend of cabernet sauvignon and sangiovese. Better in 2017.