AWC Blog

Spotlight: The Super-est Super Tuscan

When you think Super Tuscan, a few big names come to mind – Sassicaia, Ornellaia, Tignanello​. And all are truly world class wines.  But there’s another Super Tuscan that consistently outscores those household names – Castello dei Rampolla d’Alceo. It doesn’t quite roll off the tongue like the others and perhaps that’s why it isn’t as well known.

Nevertheless, it routinely receives higher scores from the top critics and we are one of only five retailers in the city to have been given access to the wine.  The wine is available on wine.com “on sale” for $200 (from $242) and we are pleased to be able to offer it on a pre-sale basis for $150 this week only.

D’Alceo is an effortless prototype of French varietals, 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Petit Verdot and like Sassicaia and Ornellaia it marries power with elegance, opulence with restraint: it is the pinnacle of what Tuscany can do with the best grapes of Bordeaux. The only problem for the estate is that it only produces 15,000 bottles per vintage – about 1/12 of Sassicaia!

Castello dei Rampolla’s history echoes that of Sassicaia and Ornellaia. In fact, it is the direct progeny of them. Before Sassicaia’s official unveiling in 1968, Mario Incisa della Rocchetta made his now legendary wine to be shared with his family and close friends. Among this group of friends was the owner of Castello dei Rampolla, Alceo di Napoli. Thus it was that Alceo began to emulate the Bordeaux blend style at his estate. He wasted no time in seeking out the world famous consultant oenologist Giacomo Tachis, the founding father/consultant behind of Sassicia, Tignanello and Querciabella. And the rest is history.

Castello dei Rampolla d’Alceo 2011, $150
97 Pts Antonio Galloni/Vinous

The 2011 d’Alceo is fascinating to taste next to the Sammarco, as it is much more open-knit, silky and expressive. Cherry jam, pomegranate, spice and new leather flesh out in the glass. The integration of fruit, tannin and acidity is further along than in the Sammarco. The 2011 d’Alceo should open up pretty early, which should be welcome news to readers cellaring some of the more tannic vintages. I expect the 2011 will provide readers with a long drinking window of pure pleasure.

97 Pts James Suckling

This is very firm and dense with fantastic structure and a superb depth of fruit and silky tannins. Full body showing a core of ripe fruit featuring currants and blackberries. Minerals and fresh mushrooms to add. Better in 2018.

95 Pts Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2011 D’Alceo is a stunning blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon with 15% Petit Verdot. The bouquet is perfumed and enticing with dark rose, cherry fruit, spice, leather, cola, grilled herb and so much more. Fruit comes from a six-hectare single vineyard (whereas fruit for the Sanmarco represents a special selection from various vineyards.) The intensity and purity is what sets this wine part. Both are impeccable. In the mouth, D’Alceo feels long, linear and meaningful. Castello dei Rampolla practices biodynamic farming.

We only have 12 bottles to sell.  Call, click or come in to reserve your quantities. All orders must be secured with a credit card.

Call 212-201-1224 or click to order.

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