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What a bottle. Off the charts! Full and velvety with spice and berry character and dark chocolate. Bright citrus acidity underneath. Intense. Wild fruit.James Suckling | 97 JSRich aromas of blackberry and raspberry jam, with hints of licorice. Full-bodied, with soft, round tannins and a clean, fresh finish. Balanced and refined. Perfect now, but will improve.--1997 Italian blind retrospective. Drink now through 2014. 3,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WSThe 1997 Sammarco is starting to show the early signs of oxidation in its bouquet, which suggests it is best enjoyed sooner rather than later. There is plenty of depth, but probably also limited potential from here on out. Like the 1998, the 1997 is giving all it has right now, and will continue to hold based on its huge core of fruit, but I wouldn’t push my luck too far.Antonio Galloni | 93 AG
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.Vinous Media | 100 VMIt’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.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPUnderbrush, 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.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WE
The 2018 Sammarco is brilliant. Bright and explosive, with tons of linear drive, the 2018 is exceptionally polished. Cabernet Sauvignon is up to 80% of the blend, and that very much comes through in a wine endowed with tremendous purity. Blue/purplish fruit, lavender, sage, mint and blood orange all race across the palate. I love the freshness here.Antonio Galloni | 98 AGGorgeous aromas of blackberries and redcurrants with violets and rosemary follow through to a medium body with fine, tense tannins and an intense, minerally finish. Racy and polished at the end. Long-lasting. Drink after 2026.James Suckling | 96 JS
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 | 99 AGLots of blackcurrant and blackberry aromas follow through to a full body with firm tannins and a chewy finish. Lots of black licorice, aniseed and light asphalt. Lead pencil, too. Try after 2025.James Suckling | 96 JS
This is a fantastic Chianti Classico with so much complexity and intensity. Cherry, chocolate, hazelnut and wet earth with some black truffle. It’s medium-bodied with depth of fruit and fantastic texture and length. Don’t miss this. Sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Unfiltered. Very drinkable now, but one for the cellar.James Suckling | 95 JSJuicy and delicious, this opens with aromas of iris, rose, dried aromatic herbs and wild berries. Smooth and medium-bodied, the palate features succulent Marasca cherry, ripe raspberry, ground clove and crushed mint set against taut, fine-grained tannins. Fresh acidity keeps it balanced. Drink 2023–2028.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEThis is such a pretty wine and such an absolute pleasure to drink, thanks to its intrinsic simplicity and brightness. The Castello dei Rampolla 2019 Chianti Classico gives us a textbook rendition of Tuscany’s Sangiovese grape, with the extra brightness, sharpness and crisp acidity that comes naturally. This wine reveals a profoundly authentic character with wild berry, lavender, garden soil and crushed aspirin. You could drink it now or possibly stretch its drinking window to the 10-year mark.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPThe 2019 Chianti Classico is an explosion of aromas and flavors. Freshly cut, flowers and red/purplish fruit abound. A classic example of the year, Rampolla’s Chianti Classico is flat-out gorgeous and one of the best recent editions I can remember tasting. The 2019 is a blend of Sangiovese (aged in cask) plus dollops of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon (done in French oak).Antonio Galloni | 93 AGAn inviting red, with strawberry, cherry, rose hip and floral aromas and flavors allied to an elegant frame. Features a firm backbone of tannins and lively acidity, which provide support, and lingers with bright fruit and a crisp feel. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now through 2030. 3,000 cases made, 1,250 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 92 WS
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