2015 Castello dei Rampolla d'Alceo 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.
Alceo di Napoli dreamt of planting high-density vineyards with Bordeaux varieties, something that was unheard of in Chianti Classico at the time. In 1988, di Napoli started clearing the land, which at the time was planted with olive trees and housed the property’s stables. Importantly, this land had never been farmed for grapes before, so it was virgin land. The first terraces were planted with Cabernet Sauvignon in 1990. Petit Verdot followed in 1991 and 1992. Sadly, Alceo di Napoli passed away in 1991, but his children Luca and Maurizia stepped-in to run the family estate. In 1994, Rampolla converted to biodynamic farming, the d’Alceo plots have essentially been farmed biodynamically since the beginning, as they had no real previous history to speak of, nor conventional farming regime from which to adjust. Today, d’Alceo is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Petit Verdot. The first vintages spent about 18 months in French oak barrels. Since 2007, d’Alceo spends 10-12 months in barrel, with only 10-15% new barrels, a decision Rampolla took to preserve more freshness and reduce the flavor impact of oak.
Dark, powerful and explosive, D'Alceo is one of the epic wines of 2015. Crème de cassis, plum, graphite, sage, lavender, and menthol rush out of the glass in a deep, beautifully resonant wine loaded with class. A wine with striking inner sweetness, depth and structure, the 2015 will thrill readers lucky enough to own it for a number of years to come. The 2015 was fermented in cement and then spent 14 months in oak. It is rich, sumptuous and simply irresistible.
Antonio Galloni - Vinous (Aug 2019)
This is a big and self-assured red with lots of charcoal, vanilla, dried blackberries, barbecued meat and resin. Full-bodied and very chewy indeed with a ton of dark fruit and raw power. A delicate line of acidity pulls the brakes on.
JamesSuckling.com (July 2019)