Big, brooding, and powerful, the '15 d'Alceo roars out of the glass in a profusion of brambly blue and purple fruits, Mediterranean scrub, charcoal, balsamic herbs, licorice, and a touch of grilled meat. 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. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon with 15% Petit Verdot, this biodynamic Super Tuscan ferments for three months in concrete with only natural yeasts; the wine ages for 12 to 15 months in tonneaux, followed by 18 to 24 months in bottle before release.
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 syn
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