In the heart of Chianti Classico, a tangle of signs marks the road to Castello dei Rampolla. The dirt road at the top of a hill branches off into smaller dirt roads like arteries; at the apex sits five posts holding no fewer than fifteen signs for wineries and road names, all pointing in different directions, some skyward. Find the right turn-off, and you drive down a long dirt road lined by trees. At its base, you'll see an ancient piazza, ringed by old stone buildings and shaded by giant antediluvian trees; this is Castello dei Rampolla, which dates from Medieval times. Since 1739 the Di Napoli family has owned and managed this estate that comprises a tiny aristocratic village--a couple of villas, a small chapel, and a few other buildings. Grouped together in the shade of towering old trees, these buildings appear timeless, untouched by modernity and altogether serene.
Alceo di Napoli, a relative of Sassicaia creator Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, brought the estate into the modern age, creating his Tuscan inflected Bordeaux-style blend Sammarco with the help of famed enologist Giacomo Tachis in 1980. Current owner-winemakers Luca and Maurizia di Napoli, Alceo's children, carry on their father's legacy of handcrafted wines, taking the estate wholly biodynamic a little more than a decade ago. In 1996, Castello dei Rampolla released its Vigna d'Alceo, a wine that Luca and Maurizia made to honor their father, who passed away in 1991. Castello dei Rampolla crafts some of the most highly regarded wines of Toscana, and the wine we feature today, the 2011 Vigna d'Alceo is not merely one of the great vintages of this wine; it's also one of the standouts bottlings from the vintage. If you love Super Tuscans, you need to experience the '11 Vinga d'Alceo.
Along with this great Super-Tuscan wine, I'm very pleased to present two other offers that serious wine lovers won't want to let pass by. First is the Millennium Collection of Aldo Conterno Barolo Granbussia. From 1999 to 2001, Barolo had three extraordinary vintages in a row--benchmark vintages may sound like a lot of hype, but these three years put an incredible punctuation mark on the end of a century and kicked off a new millennium with style. Aldo Conterno's Barolo Granbussia is one of the finest evocations of this vintage trio, and this collection is rare, beautiful, and important. Finally, committed Burgundy lovers will want to put at least one bottle of Comte Georges de Vogüé 2012 Musigny VV in their cellars; these magnum formats of the collector wine are breathtaking.