Castello dei Rampolla Vigna d'Alceo 2018
|Castello dei Rampolla
"The 2018 D'Alceo is a wild, exotic wine. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot come together in a wine that is sumptuous, layered and exceptionally beautiful. Inky blue/purplish fruit, sage, mint, lavender and chocolate are some of the many notes that take shape. The 2018 was fermented in cement then aged 12 months in a combination of 500L tonneaux and barriques. This really blooms with time." Antonio Galloni Vinous Media 99 points Drink 2025-58
The 2017 D'Alceo possesses mind-blowing intensity and pedigree to burn. Rich, ample and explosive, the 2017 is magnificently impressive right out of the gate. Lavender, rose petal, spice, kirsch, mint and violet lead into a core of inky dark blue/purplish berry fruit. Soft contours and suave, silky tannins give the 2017 so much immediacy, but there is plenty of cellaring potential too. In a word: epic.
It's not easy to wrap your head around the Castello dei Rampolla 2017 d'Alceo. The wine is exaggerated on almost every front, including its powerful tannins, shaped by a scorching hot and dry vintage that produced super concentrated fruit. I can't say that this vintage is my style or that it delivers the extreme elegance and finesse that this estate at the heart of Panzano, one of the greatest growing sites in Italy, is capable of. However, there is a lot to be said about this blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with Petit Verdot. The wine opens to an almost impenetrable appearance with inky black hues and unruly intensity. The power of the bouquet is driven by the ripeness of the fruit and perhaps a positive pinch of volatile acidity (just the right amount for emphasis) that adds extra lift and punch to the overall effect. Syrupy blackberry segues to smoky tar and resin. We saw impactful tannins in the 2016 Sammarco, but the 2017 d'Alceo takes that astringency one step further. The 2017 will sure take many years to reach harmony, although I suspect that the tannic imprint is here to stay.
Underbrush, scorched earth and leather aromas mingle with camphor and whiffs of blue flower on this full-bodied red. The savory palate is concentrated and tightly wound, offering spiced blueberry, ripe black plum and chewing tobacco alongside firm, close-grained tannins.