Debuting New Castello dei Rampolla Sammarco, Vigna d'Alceo, and Chianti Classico!

December 6, 2019
A Note from Sergio

One thing about Italian winemakers: they know how to grow international varietals while staying true to their land. Planted on Italian soil by Napoleon's army, as well as by Florentine merchants, so-called "international" grapes are inextricable from Italian winemaking. Toscana's rolling hills and cooling Mediterranean breezes are perfect for growing these grapes, and swarms of English on holiday instantly recognized and sought out the easily recognizable wines made from familiar Bordeaux grapes. Even Tuscan cuisine--thick slices of bruschetta lightly rubbed with garlic and topped with lardo, vegetable and stale bread ribollita, pencil-thick pici pasta dressed in a boar ragu, and the classic bistecca Fiorentina--fit not only the lush and savory Sangiovese but also the more tannic Cabernet Sauvignon, peppery Cabernet Franc or dark-fruited Merlot.

Castello dei Rampolla perfected its Chianti Classico long before it chose to make an internationally appealing wine. Estate founder Alceo di Napoli was in love with the Super-Tuscan classic Sassicaia, and in 1980, he was inspired to create Sammarco, a Bordeax-styled Super Tuscan. After his death, his children created the blockbuster Vigna d'Alceo to honor him. These two Castello dei Rampolla Super-Tuscans feature Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot (along with Sangiovese), and they have attained cult status. Today, I'm proud debut three Castello dei Rampolla releases: its sublime 2015 Sammarco; its muscular and rich 2015 Vigna d'Alceo; and its sappy, delectable 2017 Chianti Classico. These three wines are gorgeous, and I know you're going to love them.

The holiday season is in full swing, and IWM's 2019 Gift Guide has something for all your favorite wine-lovers--enjoy!

Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Time Sensitive Offer: A Trio of Superb New Releases from Castello dei Rampolla!
2. Wine Events: Upcoming December Wine Tasting Events

My Best,

Sergio Esposito

Castello dei Rampolla seems to hide from visitors. A tangle of confusing signs sits at the top of a one-lane dirt road, and each sign points to a different estate, yet none of them say "Castello dei Rampolla." At the bottom of this narrow dirt road, though, sits a cluster of stone buildings on a small stone piazza canopied by tall trees and surrounded by spectacular Tuscan vines that ring around the bottom of the bowl that is Chianti Classico's Conca d'Oro. This is where you will find Castello dei Rampolla, and it's an ideal spot for winemaking. It's not surprising, then, that Castello dei Rampolla makes some ideal wines. Today, we're delighted to debut a trio of Castello dei Rampolla new releases: the estate's massive, profound 2015 Vigna d'Alceo; it's dazzling 2015 Sammarco; and it's flat-out delicious 2017 Chianti Classico.

2015 saw a textbook ripe growing season in Toscana's Chianti Classico--a wet and cold winter turned to a temperate spring; a sunny summer with cool nights followed, and these conditions helped Castello dei Rampolla's brother-and-sister winemaking team, Luca and Maurizia di Napoli, craft wines that very well could be the standouts of this benchmark vintage. Even though Castello dei Rampolla's Sammarco and Vigna d'Alceo come from the same 103-acre estate--a wonderland studded with cypress trees and flowing with indigenous wild grasses, herbs and flowers--these two wines show very different personalities. Where the '15 Sammarco is finessed, the '15 d'Alceo is all about raw power, and where the year's sophisticated Sammarco shows polish and refinement, its d'Alceo is a full-throttle big red that floods the senses.

The '15 Sammarco dances with the grace and power of Baryshnikov, melding impactful intensity with sheer finesse in a breathtaking union. Pure fruits echo on the palate, where they fuse seamlessly with the wine's fine-grained tannins, keen acidity, and thrumming mineral bass--you'll want to drink this textured Sammarco right away (and you can with liberal decanting), but five years in the cellar will show the wine's true beauty. Big, brooding, and powerful, the '15 d'Alceo roars out of the glass in a profusion of sweet fruits and savory, meaty notes. This intense wine fills the mouth with chewy tannins and copious dry extract, but a nimble thread of acidity and a solid mineral core keep it supple and lively. Sweet, super-ripe fruits, savory underpinnings, dizzying complexity, and massive structure mark the '15 d'Alceo as a contender for wine of the vintage.

While Castello dei Rampolla's marquee Super Tuscans deserve your attention, you shouldn't overlook the estate's compelling, crowd-pleasing '17 Chianti Classico. Balancing its super-ripe fruits with its ebullient personality, this '17 Chianti Classico is scrumptious, wrapping its sweet fruits around earthy, savory notes. Fine-grained tannins, a sweet inner lift, and vivid acidity form a delicious whole in Castello dei Rampolla's drink-me-now '17 Chianti Classico, but make no mistake, this wine will drink beautifully over the medium term. Castello dei Rampolla is a favorite with IWM's clients (and our staff) and these three new releases are drop-dead gorgeous--contact your portfolio manager to secure yours from our limited debut allocations!

Castello dei Rampolla 2017 Chianti Classico*
(Italy, Toscana - Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon)
$34.99 Regular Price/btl
$32.19 Case Price/btl

Castello dei Rampolla 2015 Sammarco*
(Italy, Toscana - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese)
$99.00 Regular Price/btl
$89.00 Case Price/btl

Castello dei Rampolla 2015 Vigna d'Alceo*
(Italy, Toscana - Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot)
$199.00 Regular Price/btl
$179.00 Half-Case Price/btl

*Pre-Arrival, Spring

Saturday, December 7 | 1:00-4:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Lunch Tasting

Regular Ticket Price: $399.00/person
Early Bird Price: $249.00/person

IWM Host: Will Di Nunzio, President

One of IWM's most highly anticipated tasting events is our white truffle luncheon, a delicious celebration of the tartufo bianco, Alba's most sustainable delicacy! Truffles flown from Piemonte will serve as the centerpiece of this sit-down luncheon with a menu designed by IWM's own Chef Michael Marcelli and his in-house kitchen staff, and guests will enjoy dishes that make the most of truffles and fall's ephemeral fare. IWM's knowledgeable sommelier will pour fine Champagne, Barolo, Barbaresco and other great wines, explaining the role of terroir in wine and in truffles, helping to deepen guests' understandings of the interconnectivity of wine and food. Autumn brings the most wonderful time of the year--truffle season. Celebrate it in style with IWM.

Featured Menu:

Assorted Antipasti
Roger Coulon Brut Réserve de l'Hommée 1er Cru NV
Laraia Gavi Riserva Viena Madonnina 2017
Sandrone Nebbiolo d'Alba Valmaggiore 2017

Risotto, Guinea Hen Sausage, Roasted Shallot
Giuseppe Rinaldi Barbera d'Alba 2016
Bartolo Mascarello Langhe Nebbiolo 2015

Fresh Strapponi Pasta, Porcini, Nepitella, Pine Nut
Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Vigna Romirasco 2014

Braised Veal Cheek, Rye Spaetzle, Chestnut
Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino 2006 (1.5L)
Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Cannubi San Lorenzo-Ravera 2006

Parmigiano e miele
Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Ornus dell' Ornellaia 2015 (375ml)

*Wines may be subject to change.
IWM will do our best to accommodate guests' dietary restrictions with advanced notice.

Saturday, December 14 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Regular Ticket Price: $129.00/person
Early Bird Price: $119.00/person

IWM Host: Francesco Vigorito, Vice President of Sales

The holiday season is a time for giving, for receiving, and for enjoying yourself--which means that it's also time for really great wine. IWM celebrates the warmest time of the year at our Reds for the Holidays event, an afternoon dedicated to robust Burgundy, luscious Brunello welcoming Super-Tuscan wines, noble Nebbiolo, and all wines red, luscious, and delicious. Accompanied by regional meats and cheeses, this special event, led by a knowledgeable IWM sommelier, will take you through the ins and outs of grape varietal, winemaker protocol, terroir and typicity of some of your favorite red wines, while introducing you to new bottles! It's a holiday gathering as only IWM can bring you, full of lively conversation, useful knowledge, and delicious wine!

*Wines to be announced.

Saturday, December 21 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Walk-Around Tasting

Regular Ticket Price: $99.00/person
Early Bird Price: $89.00/person

IWM Host: Michael Adler, Portfolio Manager

Sparkling wines signal effortless elegance, brilliant style, and joyful sophistication--and no holiday is complete without them, or without big, bold wines that border on luxury! Let the holidays ring with this tasting event featuring Champagne, a few beloved Italian bubblies, and some beautiful holiday still wines as IWM pops the cork on one of our favorite holiday events, featuring some of our favorite holiday wines. Accompanied by regional meats and cheeses and led by IWM sommeliers, this Saturday tasting invokes the spirit of the holidays, while treating you to some of the best wines IWM has to offer. Indulge in delicious wine, sparkling conversation, delectable treats, and all the warmth of this singular season with us at IWM. Drink in the present--and share this event with someone you love!

*Wines to be announced.

Saturday, December 28 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Sit-Down Tasting

Regular Ticket Price: $129.00/person
Early Bird Price: $119.00/person

IWM Host: Morgan Howard, Portfolio Manager

From grape varietals to winemaking techniques, Italy and France have a serious relationship. As much as Italy and France compete for the attention of the wine world, the two neighboring countries also influence one another. Join IWM for this special event that helps you compare, contrast and enjoy the wines of France and Italy side by side, the makings of an entirely delightful Saturday afternoon. In this Studio del Gusto tasting, we'll be matching wines from Burgundy, Bordeaux and beyond with Italian Barolo, Brunello and more. Pairing wines from some of our favorite producers, regions, grapes and traditions, this event will give you an unparalleled opportunity to compare and contrast the wines of the world's two greatest winemaking countries. Spending a Saturday sipping wines from iconic and emblematic producers, nibbling on French and Italian cheeses and meats, and learning how the fine wines of Italy and France make each other great!

*Wines to be announced.

For more information, please visit our website Wine Events Page.

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