Castello dei Rampolla Vigna d'Alceo 2017
95 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, October 2021
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. - Monica Larner
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