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Castello dei Rampolla Sammarco 1988 750ml
Castello dei Rampolla Sammarco 1988 750ml

Price: $179.00
ID: 2823
Vintage 1988
Producer: Rampolla (Castello)
Varietal(s): Sangiovese Blend
Color: Red

Availability: Currently Unavailable
Product Code: RD3333
Currently Unavailable.

Since 1739, the di Napoli family has owned and managed the 13th-century estate of Castello dei Rampolla, which is situated near Panzano in the heart of the Chianti Classico zone. The legend at this historic property, however, is predominantly a contemporary affair, and, you could say, inspired by the pioneer Super-Tuscan, Sassicaia. After cultivating a vineyard in 1965, Alceo di Napoli was pretty content to sell most of the grapes he grew to the Antinori family. He would likely have continued to perform in this support role, but he was soon to emerge as his own mind behind, having fallen in love with a wine that Antinori’s then-enologist, Giacomo Tachis, was closely involved with—Sassicaia. This radical, Bordeaux-style wine introduced Alceo to Cabernet Sauvignon, a grape that was just getting its roots wet in Bolgheri’s complementary ground. Of course, things above the soil weren’t quite as accommodating, as Alceo was soon to learn.

He endured fierce criticism for advocating the synergy between the Panzano area of Chianti and Cabernet Sauvignon, but it took only the 1980 vintage debut of Sammarco—a predominantly Cabernet-based blend (featuring a small percentage of Sangiovese, and, in more recent vintages, Merlot) that he conceived with Giacomo Tachis—for Alceo’s conviction to be validated. While this Cab powerhouse is frequently positioned after its inspiration, Sassicaia, as well as Antinori’s Cabernet-based Solaia and Ornellaia, it nevertheless is a significant entity in the pioneering Super-Tuscan movement. Moreover, it is the original biodynamic Super-Tuscan: the estate’s conversion to a wholly biodynamic regimen transpired over the course of several years and has been in effect for over a decade now. The estate is also noted for its rigorous, uncompromising viticultural practices, which emphasize high-density planting and low yields. An artisanal mindset informs all phases of production.

Truth be told, however, Sammarco somewhat lost its position as the alpha of the house with the 1996 debut of fellow portfolio member Vigna d’Alceo. Conceived by Alceo’s son, Luca, in homage to his father, Vigna d’Alceo blends Alceo’s signature Cabernet Sauvignon with Petit Verdot. The latter’s contribution—unusual in the Super-Tuscan genre—renders d’Alceo more potent than the most power hungry of cult Cabernets, imparting a sleek and spicy dimension. Its intense marriage of opulence and power has effectually given it cult status, placing it in the realm of Masseto and Messorio. Today, Luca and his sister, Maurizia, continue to produce their father’s handcrafted wines in cooperation with Tachis. In addition to Vigna d’Alceo and Sammarco, the estate produces both a normale and riserva Chianti Classico, as well as a white dessert wine, Trebianco Vendemmia Tardina.

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