The road to Castello dei Rampolla is marked with a tangle of signs. A dirt road sits at the top of a hill, branching off into smaller dirt roads like arteries, and at the apex there are five posts holding no fewer than fifteen signs for wineries and road names, all pointing in different directions, some of them skyward. Find the right turn-off, and you drive down a long dirt road lined by trees. At its base, you'll find an ancient piazza, ringed by ancient stone buildings and shaded by giant, ancient trees. This is Castello dei Rampolla, an estate that dates back eight centuries. It's beautiful, peaceful, an island that punctuates the modern world with its anachronistic quietness.
Alceo di Napoli, a relative of Sassicaia creator Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, brought his Castello dei Rampolla estate into the modern age, creating his Tuscan inflected Bordeaux-style blend Sammarco with the help of famed enologist Giacomo Tachis in 1980. He passed the estate to his children, Luca and Maurizia, who carry on their father's legacy of handcrafted wines; more than a decade ago, they made the estate wholly biodynamic, and in doing so, they made their wines even more extraordinary, nuanced and delicious. Today, I'm very proud to present the 2011 Sammarco from Castello dei Rampolla. Every new vintage of this estate's wines blows me away, and this one is no different. You want to drink it--now, next year, and years from now.
Along with this new Super-Tuscan release, I'm very pleased to offer a new release from Biondi-Santi, the Montalcino estate where Brunello was born. This 2013 wine isn't a Brunello--it's too early for that--but this Rosso di Montalcino is the next best thing. As you'd expect from Biondi-Santi, this wine is structured and lovely, letting you taste the classic lines of the 2013 vintage and experience the mastery of Biondi-Santi. Finally, there's one very classic Chambolle-Musigny from Arnoux-Lachaux. You can't go wrong with a Burgundy this lacy, juicy and pure.