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Castello dei Rampolla d'Alceo 2012

Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
  • WS97
  • WE95
  • JS94
  • RP91
13% ABV
  • V100
  • WE96
  • JS96
  • WS95
  • RP94
  • JS97
  • RP95
  • WE95
  • W&S94
  • WS93
  • WS95
  • JS95
  • RP94
  • JS95
  • JS100
  • RP96
  • WS98
  • WE96
  • RP96
  • RP98
  • WS91
  • RP99
  • V97
  • WS95
  • WS98
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13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine shows a deep purple robe with a delicious bouquet of espresso, sweet melted licorice, black currant jam, tobacco and toasty oak. A full-bodied wine, with refined tannins.

Perfect with game, chicken, turkey, ham, aged cheese and mushrooms.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 97
Wine Spectator
A focused, balanced style, evoking pure cherry, raspberry, mineral and floral aromas and flavors, this is elegant and fluid yet dense and well-structured, ending with lively acidity and dusty tannins. The finish goes on and on. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2025.
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
Earthy aromas of tilled soil, underbrush, leather, purple flower, cedar and ripe black-skinned berry lead the way on this delicious blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Petit Verdot. The smooth full-bodied palate doles out juicy blackberry, red currant, licorice, exotic spice, mocha and a hint of game while tightly knit but velvety tannins lend both structure and finesse. It's already compelling but give it time to fully develop. Drink 2018–2027.
Cellar Selection.
JS 94
James Suckling
Fragrant and enticing with flower petal, dried black tea and berry aromas. Full to medium body, chewy tannins and a fruity finish. Needs to come together still. Better in 2019.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 d'Alceo is a Tuscan blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. This is a more challenging vintage. There is a heavy layer of ripe fruit with sweet strawberry and dried blackberry that is hard to dig past in order to reach more delicate and complex nuances. The 2012 summer heat and lack of rain makes for less dimension. The wine drinks nicely now, but I would suggest a near to medium-term drinking window.
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Castello dei Rampolla

Castello dei Rampolla

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Castello dei Rampolla, Tuscany, Italy
Image of winery
The Rampolla winery, with its cellars dating back to the 13th century and its ancient Castle overlooking the Conca d’Oro’s valley, has been owned by the di Napoli for nearly three centuries. The 42 hectares of vineyard located on calcareous soils at about 360 meters above the sea level in the Chianti Classico locality of Panzano grow Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

One of the most iconic Italian regions for wine, scenery and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano coming in second.

Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines have their own respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, scattered with vineyards.

Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright and juicy red fruit, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity and ageability. Top-quality Sangiovese-based wines can be expressive of a range of characteristics such as sour cherry, balsamic, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise and tobacco. Brunello expresses well the particularities of vintage variations and is thus popular among collectors. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, with or without Sangiovese. These are common in Tuscany’s coastal regions like Bolgheri, Val di Cornia, Carmignano and the island of Elba.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

HNYRAAVDO12C_2012 Item# 354824